Tips for revision days
Revision days are hard. There have been many times I have sat staring at the work that needed to be done, not knowing where to start.
But don’t stress! Here are some tips to help make your revision day more manageable and your work more effective!
Make a plan
The most important piece of advice that I can give you is to make a plan! Either the night before, or on the morning, decide on what you want to have learnt or revised by the end of the day.
If you have a general plan of what needs to be done over the coming weeks or months, then this will be easier.
Set realistic goals
Don’t try and cram your entire course.
Be realistic with your goals. Don’t try and cram your entire course into one day. You’ll only burn yourself out and your work will be wasted as nothing will go in – believe me!
See how your course outline naturally divides topics and use that as a tool to see how much work you can do in a day.
Pick a topic and divide
Decide which topic you want to revise and, this is key, divide it into smaller chunks.
For example, at A Level I studied the American Civil War in history. I would break this into chunks such as: civilian involvement, weaponry, transport, specific battles and key figures.
By breaking up a big topic, (which can seem intimidating), into bite-size pieces, your revision day will become much more manageable and it will open itself up to a very natural work/break schedule.
Don't check your phone
When you’re working, don’t check your phone! Set a timer for your 20 minutes if it helps because otherwise, it can be a very bad distraction.
Another tip: put it on ‘do not disturb’ rather than airplane mode, that way you won’t get notifications. If someone rings you more than once it will come through (just in case you worry about emergencies like me).
Take a break
Speaking of breaks – they are very important! If you rest effectively, then you can work efficiently. The trick, as I’m sure you would have heard, is little and often.
Take some time off.
Once you finish a smaller chunk, take some time off in proportion to how long you were working for.
A good balance would be a five-minute break to 20 minutes working, so you could break every 20 minutes, or if it is a bigger chunk then you could work for an hour and then have a longer break.
Then, when it comes to rest, don’t just sit and scroll for five minutes. By all means, check your messages, but try to get out of your study space. Leave the library, your room, or your desk.
Give yourself some space, have a drink and a snack. This will be much more effective than sitting at your desk scrolling.
Plus, by resting in a different place that you are working in, you are less likely to be distracted in your work space and therefore will work more efficiently!
Schedule in your chunks and your breaks.
If it helps, write your plan down: choose a time you want to start working at and when you want to stop. Schedule in your chunks and your breaks; do your best to stick to this, but don’t beat yourself up if you don’t quite manage to!
And finally, when you come to the end of the day, celebrate! You have just completed a day of work. Whether you have achieved all your goals from the morning, you have done your best. Chill out, watch a film, see some friends, enjoy yourself.
Hard work is important, but don't burn yourself out. Take care of yourself.
Remember that exams aren’t everything. Just do your best, that’s all anyone can ask of you.