Are you feeling a little nervous about your exams? The key to success is remaining calm and in control. The best way to take control is by following a dedicated and varied revision schedule. Simply staring at your text books is not the answer – here’s what to do…
1. Break up your time. It’s especially important to break your revision time into small chunks when exams are just around the corner. You want to make sure that every subject is covered in as much detail as possible.
For example, if you have decided that you are going to revise on a Saturday morning, break it down into study periods of 45 minutes each. Write down what you are going to cover in each study period, thinking carefully about how long each task will take.
2. Use a pen and paper. You’ve probably done most of your coursework and revision on your laptop or tablet. However, using a pen and paper has significant advantages when it comes to committing information to memory.
Read through the material you need to know. Then, use your pen to write down the most important points, facts, dates or quotations. The act of writing will help you to absorb the information, and also aids your evaluative skills – which are important in almost all subjects.
3. Create personal audio notes. Having created your paper notes, it’s now time to really consolidate your knowledge and ensure that you don’t forget any important details.
Using your phone or tablet, choose the voice recording feature and read your notes aloud. For the absolutely vital information, add a sound effect or change your voice – both will help it to stand out and instantly become more memorable.
4. Listen up. Listen to your personal audio notes as much as possible, and vary the recordings you choose so that every subject is covered.
Making a cup of coffee in the morning? That’s 5 minutes that could be spent listening to your notes. On the bus? Put in your earphones and listen to your notes as you watch the world go by.
5. Pop quiz. Adding a little fun to your learning can dramatically increase your chances of exam success. Get a friend or family member to help you create a quiz about the course(s) you have been studying. For wrong answers, you pay a penalty. For example, if you have forgotten a quotation, you have to go out into the street and shout it aloud!
It’s not too late to complete this revision plan: all you need is a little determination and the desire to succeed! If everything is getting too much for you, don’t be afraid to take time out to rest, relax and listen to your favourite music. You could even try doing a 5 minute breathing meditation to help give you focus and a sense of calm. Everyone will wonder what your secret is!
I'm a former English teacher and private tutor who is passionate about education. I've been writing professionally for the past three years and have written educational worksheets for use in schools as well as contributing to an educational journal. I've also written on every other topic under the sun!