Revision tips from ABDO College
Revising for exams can seem daunting. Where do you start? How should you plan it? Here are some top tips to help you with your revision:
- Start revising early. A little time every day is more effective than leaving it all to the end
- Testing yourself using flash cards has been shown to be an effective method of revision. Start by reading the text book then make flash cards of the key concepts. Then test yourself to see what you recall. Repeat in quiet moments at work, on the train etc.
- Plan what you need to revise and fit it in to the time you have, so you allow time for every subject.
- Plan short bursts of revision and short breaks. For example, revise for 50 minutes, then break for ten. If you are revising all day, plan in a short walk at lunchtime, and something relaxing in the evening.
- Pick a method that works for you. You might make up cards with key concepts, highlight your notes, read out loud, or ask someone to test you.
- Ditch the distractions. Don’t use multi-coloured pens if you are prone to spending more time on your artwork than on the actual revision. Don’t have your phone in the room if you find yourself roaming the internet rather than studying.
- Set up a study session – actual or virtual, where you and your study buddies all sit down at the same time and work on a topic. Give yourself challenges, or test each other at the end of an hour to mix things up.
- Stick revision notes around your house – waiting for the kettle to boil might give you the chance to revise a key formula or two.
- Think about where you revise: do you work better at a desk? Psychologically it can help to have a work space where you know you are focussed, and can walk away from at the end of a session.
- Ditch the TV! Don’t try and revise in front of your favourite show. You’ll get gripped by the plot and forget to revise, or get into revision and need to replay the programme. Save TV for evening wind-down time.
- Be aware when you slip into procrastination mode – the washing suddenly must be done, you’ve spent three hours messaging friends … if you are distracted by jobs to do, just make a note that they need to be done later.
- Don’t just read your notes: it isn’t an effective way to learn. Reword key ideas, concepts and formulae onto file cards. The added advantage is that you can carry them round with you.
- Plan time for food and sleep – getting run down before exams is easy to do and won’t help.
- Do lots of practice exam papers: it will help you learn and you’ll feel more relaxed when faced with a familiar format.