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If you’ve not started revising yet, you might feel like it’s time to panic, hide under your duvet, avoid everyone on your course and eat excessive amounts of junk food. However, no matter how tempting that might seem, it’s not going to solve your revision nightmare. There’s still some time, so get up and get going with my top tips for revision.
Plan and prioritise – Before you spend hours procrastinating, make a totally unrealistic – yet beautiful – revision timetable to prioritise your learning! This may seem like a no-brainer, but you’re not going to be able to learn and remember everything all at once, no matter how much cramming you do. Instead, plan out when your exams are and what you need to revise first, it will ease the pressure and break your revision down into manageable chunks.
Sleep – You know you love it and thankfully for you studies show that brain recall is stronger after sleep – so get in bed, get cosy and rest your brain. But don’t get too cosy too quickly, learning something right before going to bed then letting your brain do the work can also help you remember better. However, I wouldn’t recommend this if you’ve already stuffed your brain to capacity that day.
Eat well and stay hydrated –Try to eat healthily and drink more water. I know this is difficult during the stressful exam period, but the last thing you need is to get ill so try your best to stick to a healthy diet. Whole grains, fish and fresh fruit have all been proven to enhance brain power – and we could all use a little extra of that.
Take regular breaks –Excessive revision will only confuse your already overloaded brain further, so when organising your time make sure you keep some time aside for regular breaks. Revision is best in small bursts so take a short break every 45 to 60 minutes; this will make your revision more efficient and hopefully stop you losing your mind. However, try your best to avoid too much technology during your breaks, it can be distracting and before you know it your 10 minute break could turn into an hour.
Mix it up –Don’t just read your notes, you’ll have forgotten what was on slide one by slide 50! Instead adopt an active approach for your revision and use many different revision techniques. Make notes, draw mind maps, make flash cards or even stick Post-It notes all over your house if you have to. If you’re more of an auditory learner why not record yourself reading your notes and play it back, this is particularly handy for revision on the go. Whatever works for you, but remember not to spend too long making your notes look pretty. Using different colours help, but unless you’re doing an art degree fancy revision notes won’t get you a first!
Be active – Exercise isn’t just good for your body, it’s good for your brain so get up and get active. Even if it’s just a short walk or an hour in the gym, getting away from your revision will definitely refresh your brain and boost your learning.
Have a day off – Although it can be hard to switch off, make sure you have a day off every now and then. Set aside a day or at least a night a week to have some ‘me’ time. Pack your books and revision away and give your brain a rest.
Finally, DON’T stress yourself out – It may seem like the scariest thing you’ll ever face at the moment, but stressing yourself out doesn’t help, it only causes premature aging. If you feel yourself getting hysterical: take a deep breath, have a break and come back to it, you’ll get there in the end! Summer is just around the corner, it’s only a couple of months away so knuckle down now and enjoy the freedom of a re-sit free summer.