Got exams coming up? Stressing about how to revise properly?
Well, having done a fair few exams in my time (and by a fair few I mean loads), here's my advice on how to improve your chances of getting through that all-important test...
- Make sure you have a good revision environment - ideally this needs to be quiet and not too hot/cold with plenty of natural light. Some people like some 'background noise' which is fin as long as it doesn't distract you. Don't get too comfortable though - you might end up falling asleep!
- Make a realistic revision timetable - be selective and revise thingsthat are most likely to come up, and timetable in breaks to do some fun/relaxing stuff!
- Start revising early - there's lots of evidence that learning over a longer time rather than cramming helps things stay in your memory. However, sometimes that extra bit of last-minute cramming helps too!
- Make revision notes - jotting things down will help you remember, try drawing things out (a picture really can speak a thousand words!) and try a technique called mind-mapping (Google it).
- Do practice questions - test yourself with past-papers or get a friend to test you. This helps you consolidate information in your head (even if you get the answers wrong).
- Try different revision techniques - different people learn differently. Some people need to move around when learning (kinesthetic learners) and will 'walk through' their revision. Others remember shapes and colours. Some people need to hear things out loud to learn them. Why not record some of your notes on an MP3 and listen to them when jogging/walking - a great way to learn and exercise at the same time!
- Make sure you sleep properly in the few days leading up to the exam - your brain sorts information during sleep. Try to go to bed at a reasonable time the night before the exam too.
- Don't overdo the caffeine - staying up all hours isn't the best thing for learning and steer clear of caffeine pills.
- Eat well - revision is not the time to start dieting or get too worried about food. Eat regularly and try to get a good balance of carbs and protein. Give yourself little treats to help you feel better - revision is bad enough as it is!
- Prepare your stuff to take into the exam the night before - the last thing you want to worry about in the morning before an exam is where you put your pencil case!
- Chill - relax on the morning of the exam: eat a good breakfast, get to the exam on time and stay calm. There's very little you can do now so just give it your best shot!
We've all been through it and the one thing I have learned is that exams are not the end of the world - always try your best and look forward to celebrating when they finish!