Top revision tips

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Today we have an amazing guest post by @studyhoney. She’s going to share her exam experience this year and her top revision tips!

How to start this coming academic year

Back to school season rapidly approaches; we all set out for the new academic year with a fresh and determined mindset. Some will make mental plans of how much revision we aim to do in the hope to achieve and follow the pathways in life that our hearts are set upon. Many people may make it a week or two, or those who are more determined may last a couple of months with their newly set revision goals before kind of losing track of the intentions.

So what is the best way to manage your revision?

revision tips week

Image by @studyhoney

My Exam Experience 2019

As a Scottish student I sat my National 5 exams in April/May, our equivalent of GCSEs. Everywhere I looked for advice stressed the importance of revision timetables, study plans etc. However I struggled to know where to start with these kinds of things.

I would attempt to make a written timetable, or to-do list, but end up procrastinating a little too much by doing these tasks.

I eventually managed to get myself into some kind of system but it took a bit of adjustment. Towards the end of exam period I started getting a little lazy again, putting off tasks I knew I should’ve been staying on top of.

revision tips highlighters

Image by @studyhoney

My Top Revision Tips

  1. Find out your revision style early in the year – mind maps, flashcards, notes, blurting etc, experiment and figure out what works best for you. Everyone learns slightly differently!
  2. Make yourself a timetable of what subjects you want to study on different days, and allow yourself a bit of flexibility for relaxation or other extracurricular activities.
  3. Take frequent breaks! Sitting for too long staring at your paper will cause your brain to lose focus, so every little while get up, have a stretch, maybe get a glass of water.
  4. Find your ideal study space - ideally somewhere quiet and away from distractions.
  5. Have healthy go-to revision snacks, things like apple slices, rice cakes, crackers etc are great to keep you going.
  6. Use apps like FLIPD or Forest to keep yourself from getting distracted by your phone.

revision tips mind map

Image by @studyhoney

How do I find the motivation to study?

Sometimes it can be hard to bring yourself to sit down and actually do the work that you need to do. We all need a bit of extra help to get going every now and again. During exam season I started using Instagram as a platform to share my revision with other students, as well as inspire myself to do well as I was immersing myself into a community of hard working people.

I began seeing people posting their amazing test results which gave me the drive to work harder to improve mine too.

The studygram community is so supportive and always welcomes new members. I personally found it a huge source of inspiration, as well as platforms such as YouTube and Pinterest.

What’s the best time to revise?

A lot of students leave off revision until they have a test or exam approaching, then rapidly try to pull themselves together. The best way to avoid this is to make your revision materials throughout the year, such as flashcards and any notes.

Consolidate your knowledge frequently, to ensure that you are confident with the facts that you need to know.

Your brain is naturally more active in the morning so maybe try to skip those few extra hours in bed and be productive then. Once you get some studying out the way you can easily have the rest of the day to spend with friends or family.

revision tips bullet journal month

Image by @studyhoney

Should I plan my revision?

Why is it so important to plan your revision? It makes it easier to see what tasks need completed by certain dates, you have a set focus for the day and you can ensure you cover everything you need to. Without fancy apps a simple piece of paper and a pen can have you organised in a very short time, you just have to have the self-control to put the work in to achieve it.

How do I test my knowledge?

Once you feel slightly more confident with the course content the best way to revise is past papers! Past papers are an excellent way to apply the information you have learnt into various questions, just like you will have to in your exams. This is a great way to figure out gaps in your revision as you can see clearly what areas you are least confident on – then go ahead and recap these areas again.

revision notes example

Image by @studyhoney

Active vs. passive revision

You may have heard of the terms ‘active’ or ‘passive’ revision, but may be a little unsure of the difference. Active revision gets the brain working more, as you are attempting to recall your knowledge. The best ways I have found to actively revise are flashcards, blurting and answering questions. Passive revision is things such as reading/writing notes, which may be helpful in the beginning to familiarise yourself with the work but active revision should take up the majority of your study time.

Setting goals to keep yourself motivated

Another way to motivate yourself is setting goals that you want to achieve! These can be simple such as do an hour of revision every single night, or something a bit harder like a specific set of grades that you want to achieve in tests or exams. These goals will give you something to work towards, reasoning behind all the work you’re putting in. Once you achieve your goals you will likely have a great feeling of pride and positivity knowing that your time was well spent.

The future of revision with Adapt!

When I discovered the Adapt app’s Instagram page I was absolutely thrilled to see that they would be including the Scottish curriculum as many revision platforms tend to be based around GCSE/A Level content. The previews of the app itself look amazing, I love the idea of being able to schedule my revision by topic, as well as it knowing to postpone incomplete tasks without having to remember to do so myself. I am so excited for the app’s full release in January 2020 as I believe it will be extremely beneficial to those of us studying for exams this year.

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