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Revision tips and Destressing

Revision tips and Destressing

Hey guys! It’s me again writing a blog post, and I hope you’ve been doing well!

Just as a refresher, my name is Abbey and I’m a first-year student in the GEP programme. We’re currently in our revision week before exams, and a few weeks away from the Christmas holidays! I thought I’d share some of the revision tips I found helpful whilst being a vet student throughout the semester!

1. Reading slides before lectures
Before a lecture, I try to spend 5 minutes beforehand just to skim through the slides/ notes given to us online. I found that this helps me to have a general idea about what topics will be covered, and I make a note of any new terms I have not come across so I can look them up myself and make more detailed notes during the lecture.

2. Learning objectives
We are usually given learning objectives in the beginning slides of our lectures, I have found it helpful to try and answer them throughout the lecture to better understand what we’re being taught, and it’s been super helpful during revision as a reviewing tool!

3. Notetaking
I have a colour coding system (will be talking more about this in the next point!) that I use, and for some lectures, I try to write down extra details that lecturers emphasise, or concepts I’m unsure about. During lectures, I use digital notetaking on my iPad as I found it writing and drawing diagrams on slides have been very helpful, and I can add digital memo notes in different colours for questions to quiz myself on and the learning objectives of that lecture. For some lectures, I would just sit and actively listen in and only jot down some notes here and there.

4. Colour coding
For writing my notes, I tend to use blue for general note-taking. Red is for important bits; green is for clinical examples of diseases found in specific animals. Highlights are used for key terms. Writing in blue for notetaking and using blue again in written exams- I found myself has tricked my mind into remembering notes I have taken during revision.

5. Flashcards
There are several studies that have shown that practising active recall aids in memorisation and retaining information for the long term, and since the vet programme is so long a lot of the information that you learn in Year 1 is still applicable when you go into clinical rounds in your final year! There are plenty of good websites and apps, but to name a few Anki and Quizlet have been super useful, and you and your friends can also share the workload together by collaborating on questions with pictures or covering different topics! They can also be used on the go during bus rides, a quick revision whilst waiting to meet up with your friends before hanging out.

6. Active learning
Following on my last point, I have found active learning to be helpful, as it’s far better to quiz yourself repeatedly and make note of what topics you’re less confident in or don’t know as well. You can also do this with a study buddy as rapid-fire questions to quiz each other- more about that in the next point! I also use the blurting method to test myself on how much I can recall and fill out some missing points in a different colour that I can refer to. I also make mind maps or tables with pictures as I have found that I am much more of a visual learner!

7. Study buddies
Try and find a study buddy, whether a friend or a coursemate with similar study habits as you! When I prepare for exams, I have a small group of four of us where we study in quiet first and later down the line quiz each other at the end of sessions, or there are days where we take turns teaching each other concepts- as studies have shown that learning a topic with the intent of teaching helps you to learn better as well! Having a study buddy also means that you can be held responsible on days when you feel like slacking off, but your friends want to study motivates you to go study with them!

8. Study breaks
Exams are stressful and tough for everyone, so it’s important to dedicate some time to yourself! I found it helpful to set clear boundaries for myself by associating work and studying with certain areas in my flat like my desk, or the library. Or that I am only allowed to watch shows on my bed or in the kitchen, conditioning my mind to certain environments has helped me to know when to work and when to relax. Also try to do something to destress that’s not work-related, for me I found going to the gym, baking, or hanging out with my friends for an hour or two outside of the library really helps me to take my mind off of things and to not overload on my mental health!

I hope that some of these tips could also be helpful to you, and with that, it’s time for me to go back to studying- and good luck to everyone as well!


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