Exams - our top 10 exam revision tips

So exams are around the corner and you may be feeling stressed. This time of year can be tough, but stay calm because you will find a revision style that works for you. We’ve outlined a few revision techniques that can help you find the best way to revise.

1. Create a Revision Timetable

Give yourself enough time to study, don’t leave it until the last minute! Once you have your exam timetable, set out a separate study timetable with the days of your exams and pencil in your revision sessions. Be realistic and make sure that you give yourself time for other commitments and relaxation too.

2. The Right Environment

Set yourself a study area, and make sure you have enough room to spread your notes and textbooks out. This area should be comfortable and away from any distractions like TV, games consoles, your phone and too much noise. Everyone has different study styles, think about what is best for you and what you prefer.

3. Take a Break

Take regular breaks. You may think you have to study for hours on end, but this can in fact be counterproductive. It’s hard to absorb too much of anything. Research shows that short 20-30 minute revision sessions work best as this makes your concentration level much higher. The ‘Pomodoro Technique’ is a great time management strategy you could try.

4. Time of Day

Remember, we are all different so find a routine that works for you. If you’re more productive in the morning then take a break at lunch, and if you study better in the evening revise later in the day. Also, it’s important to be well rested before your exams so a minimum of 6 hours sleep is crucial.

5. Brain Food & Hydration

Snack on brain food; keep away from junk food! It may seem like a quick fix to reach for a chocolate bar but what you eat can really have an impact on your energy levels and focus. Keep your brain fuelled by choosing nutritious foods that have been proven to aid concentration and memory, such as fish, nuts, seeds, yoghurt, eggs, and blueberries. Drink plenty of water throughout your revision sessions and exams. Keeping hydrated is essential for your brain to work at its best. 

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6. Bitesize Information

Use flow charts and diagrams as visual aids, colours can also be helpful when revising. Using images, shapes, flow charts and testing yourself can all help with memory. Condense your revision notes to bitesize bullet points on small revision cards. This can help you quickly recall everything when it comes to sitting your exam.

7. Practice with your Peers

Ask your tutor for past exam papers. Practising on old papers will help you get used to the format of the questions and allow you to time yourself on each question. You could do this as part of a group, arrange revision sessions with a group of friends studying the same subject as you and quiz each other. Working in a small group can be good for testing memory.

8. Fail to Plan - Plan to Fail

As cliché as it sounds, it’s true. Plan your exam days and prepare everything you need well in advance. Make sure you’re aware of any rules and requirements and even plan your journey to College. All of this will put your mind at rest so that you only have to focus on your exams.

9. Confidence is Key

Finally, be confident. What you've put in you will get out. Taking a positive approach keeps you focused and relaxed and it will make it far easier to concentrate. If you're finding it particularly difficult to feel calm and to stay positive, speak to friends, tutors or visit the Wellbeing Centre.

10. Exam Day

It’s easier said than done but try not to stress. Take the time to read the question properly as there may be some clues in the question that can help your answer. Take deep breaths and use any left over time to check your answers. You will feel so much better knowing that you’ve done all you can and tried your hardest. For further information on how to deal with exam stress, click here.

Good Luck!