You hear it all the time during exam periods. Revise, revise, revise. The first question is how? Once you've done the practice tests and worked out how you revise best, you need to maximise your revision plan in the best way possible.
How can you do this?
1. Be Specific
When revising, you need to be specific about a lot of things such as the content you will learn and how long it will take to revise; in order to do that you need to decipher how tricky this area is.
For each day that you revise, you need to decide on a subject. However, just writing down "Business" is not particularly helpful, as it’s too broad, so too much to focus on during one revision session. You need to focus in further on an area of Business such as "Marketing" or "Finance". You may even need to focus more than this, delving into "Social Media Marketing" and "Content Marketing" or "Balance Sheets" and "Profit and Loss Accounts".
- Monday - 2 hours - Social Media Marketing
- 1 hour - Content Marketing
- 1 hour break - Eat lunch and watch a TV programme
- 1.5 hours - Profit and Loss Accounts
- 30 minutes - Balance Sheets
The time in which you spend on each area of revision is going to depend on a few things:
- How well you know the subject area.
- How difficult the subject area is to understand.
- How much content there is to learn for it.
However long or short the time you spend may be, this will not be the same as everyone else. You might be able to comprehend one area really quickly but it might take a little longer for something else. As long as you work to your schedule at a pace that is right for you, you will be fine!
2. Use a calendar
It is vital to use a calendar when creating a revision plan so that you can remind yourself of the final deadline, which in this case is generally an exam. Count back the weeks from the exam to current time and see how long you have to revise for the subject.
Something that works for a lot of people and a lot of experts recommend is doing practice questions and past papers. In order to remain familiar with the exam that you are about to sit, these should be done in the final week or two weeks prior to the examination date. Therefore, you need to have all of the knowledge before that point.
Working it out logically like this is a great way to remove the last minute anxiety of thinking you've missed something as ensuring you cover everything a week or so before gives you the time to apply that knowledge to the question that the exam is actually asking you.
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3. Use mixed methods
If you have one method that works for you when revising, stick to it! Why change something that is working really well?
However, if you are someone that gets a little bored when revising and want to change things up, there are lots and lots of different revision methods that you could use in order to learn the content:
- Writing notes;
- Cue cards;
- Coloured pens and highlighting;
- Watching videos;
- Making up poems or songs with the content;
- and more.
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You could use one, two or all of these, depending on what your preference is. Perhaps you have a lot of notes from lessons that you can put into mindmaps or cue cards using coloured pens. You might then watch videos on the topics to contextualise the knowledge or make up a song or poem to solidify it.
4. Try with a friend
Revising with someone else can be a great way to test one another and see what you know and what you might not have thought of. It can be a great way to challenge one another's ideas and thoughts to draw reasonable conclusions and solutions to problems.
You can ask each other questions and help one another with areas that you are struggling with. If you are helping a friend with something, do not see it as a disadvantage to you as it might help you refresh your own knowledge in that area!
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5. Motivate yourself with rewards
If you are someone that gets motivated with rewards, give yourself rewards for revising. For example, at the start of the week you could head to the shops and buy various snacks that you might crave whilst revising such as Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream, Dairy Milk chocolate bars or a packet of sweets or crisps.
Whatever it is, leave it in the kitchen until you have completed a sufficient amount of revision. Once you feel like you have hit your target for that day, enjoy the snack!
If you are doing this however, foods that will power your brain such as fruit and veg might be a better option to eat during revision and then have the unhealthy stuff as an extra treat afterwards, once you’ve completed your revision session!.
In order for this system to be successful, you need to be totally honest with yourself and set targets at the start of the day so that you can measure when you will be able to have that desired reward.
6. TAKE BREAKS!
Taking breaks is super important to help you to stay on-task and focused. Your brain needs to have time off and so do you.
You could take a walk, go to the gym, have a nice meal or even just watch television. Whatever you do, just make sure the setting has changed from the revision space so that your brain can differentiate between studying and relaxing.
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If you constantly study, it could lead to burnout, which will make you a lot less productive than you were in the first place. So take regular breaks between revising. Factor these into your revision plan as you will see in section 1.
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