Revision is often one of the most stressful things you'll have to endure during your student career. Fear not, as we've got some tips to make the whole process a piece of cake!
Studying is a horrific experience, right? No, and it doesn't have to be this way!
Here are nine tips to make the next few weeks a whole lot easier so that you can ace those exams. Don't worry, you've got this.
1. Create a designated study space (that isn't your bed)
Set up an area where you go to work - a chair, a desk or, if you're lucky enough, a room - separate from where you eat, sleep or relax. While we're on it, keeping your bed a sacred sleeping space can really help you sleep better at night. Associate different areas of your room with different activities - your desk for work, your bed for sleeping, your sofa for watching TV - and your brain will soon catch on, making those tasks a little easier and a little more automatic.
2. Put that phone down
Instagram will not teach you trigonometry. Twitter won't teach you about mitosis. That friend you're texting probably isn't an expert on Nazi Germany between 1933 and 1939, and even if they are, you're probably not talking about it!
Your phone is your worst enemy when it's revision time. At the very least, put your phone on Airplane Mode to stop the notifications. If that doesn't stop you picking it up every five minutes, remove it from the room altogether - put it in your sibling's room, hide it in the kitchen or encourage your cat to sleep on top of it - making it difficult for you to access it. It won't miss you! (The phone, I mean... although your cat probably won't be too bothered either.)
3. Make a plan, Batman
Hmm... what should I study now... hmm...
Sound familiar? I have often spent a good five minutes deciding what topic would be most beneficial to study next, by which point I have lost all motivation to work and consider myself worthy of a break for the strenuous task of getting out my books. Instead, set aside ten minutes to make yourself a proper plan for the week or the month; today, I will revise Topic 1 of Subject A. This afternoon, let's make a start on Topic 1 of Subject B. Tomorrow, I'll start with Subject C before finishing off Topic 1 of Subject A.
Know what you want to get done, write it down so you don't forget it, and get to work as soon as you sit down.
4. Shaken, not stirred
Notice how confusing my plan was in Tip 3? That's the way it should be. Revising all of a topic at once may seem logical but you'll end up ignoring it for the next few weeks, instead learning other topics until you forget the original one. Uh oh.
So, don't be afraid to mix it up a little! Start revising a topic on Monday, then on Wednesday, test yourself on what you've already learned. Next Tuesday, go over everything you've studied about that topic and then finish it off. On Friday, test yourself on the whole thing! As long as you get into a consistent pattern like this, you should be well prepared for your final exams.
5. Brain dump
Find a blank page. Write the name of a topic you've been studying at the top of it (for example, "the nervous system"). Then: go!
Scribble down everything you know about that topic. Trust me, it may be hard at first but once you get started, just stay with it and it'll come flowing out. When you've written down everything you know, look back at your notes and you'll easily be able to see the gaps in your knowledge.