Top ten tips to tackle exams…
…by Rachael / from Scotland / studying English Literature / 3rd Year (UG)
Thankfully, my exams have finished for the semester. Looking back at them, I definitely relied on a quite a few revision methods to get me through…
Here’s my top ten:
1) Write down a list of things you need to revise, almost like a to-do list
This way, you’ll always have something to refer to, and it will ensure you don’t forget or miss out on anything.
2) Make a revision schedule
For example, use your morning session for one topic, and your afternoon session for another, and so on. It is much easier to break down what you need to study and look at it part by part, rather than trying to revise everything all together and overwhelming yourself. Also, a schedule will keep you on track and will make it easier to begin revising as you’ll know exactly what you need to do that day.
3) Take breaks, and don’t feel guilty about taking them
This obviously doesn’t mean you should take them as often and for as long as you’d like to, but definitely make sure to fit them into your schedule, and then you’ll have something to work towards. Use your breaks to relax, eat and destress.
4) Stay hydrated
Preferably, aim to drink water, but anything that’s going to keep your brain awake is ideal, and maybe keep some snacks to hand, too.
5) Try to leave your phone out of reaching distance
Even turn off the Wi-Fi so you can’t spot notifications coming through at the other end of the room. Just look forward and work towards your next scheduled break as you can use your phone then. Phones can be the biggest and worst distraction – don’t allow those singing dogs on YouTube to make you fail.
6) Speak it back to anyone who is willing to listen
If you feel like you can confidently explain your revision to someone else who has no idea what it means, and you’re able to get them to understand your points, you’ll know you’re doing well. Or, if you don’t have someone, just try speaking out loud by yourself, without looking at your notes. It works almost like a test to see how much you can recall without relying on notes.
7) Give yourself a point of motivation. Who are you doing this for, why do you want this degree, and where do you want to be in ten years’ time. This will remind you why you’re here and give you something to strive for, whilst keeping you going when you feel most restless.
8) Try not to stress. If you work hard and try your best then there’s nothing more you can do, so don’t beat yourself up about it. You’ll know you did what you could!
9) Don’t put it off – start revising early. This will give you time to cover everything you need to, and means you can spread it out more rather than cramming it all into a few days.
10) Don’t just read your notes. Try to answer questions in past papers, re-write your notes over and over, make up your own questions – any different methods which may help you in remembering your points.
I hope these ten top tips will help you just as they help me!