Top tips for revising

Tuesday 22 March 2016, Applicant

by Anna J

Top tips for revising

Relevant to
Anna J

Hello again!

So proud of myself today – I'm getting organised with this blog and so I'm writing this post in advance so I don't have to worry about posting regularly when I'm revising... I hope it works!!

As I mentioned in my last post, I want to do a couple of posts about revision – with exam season fast approaching I really need to stop worrying and get my head in those notes! So today I want to talk about how to start revising, and in next week's post I'll talk about techniques.

In regards to revision, I feel privileged because in years 10 and 11 of high school I had a wonderful teacher who taught me so many revision techniques and she really supported me as I learnt which techniques worked best for me and what environment suited my revision style best. 

So here are my top tips for starting revising and how to be as productive as possible!

1) Find a space that works for you.
Finding the right environment for you to revise can be really hard. I know that in my house, sometimes it can be hard to have a moment to yourself, so I like revising in my bedroom where I know I won't be disturbed. Other people might prefer staying late at college to have that quiet time, or maybe even going to the local library. Also, when the weather gets a bit warmer, I like taking my revision outside so I can sit on the grass and enjoy the sunshine while working! I also find it really helpful to tell my family when I'm revising so that they know not to disturb me or blast some music!

2) Bribe yourself!
I don't know about you, but revision is not my favourite thing to do. There are so many other things I'd rather do than sit revising after a long day of college, and there are things I want to watch on TV. So I try and beat this. I set myself little goals with rewards at the end, such as when I've finished this section of the topic I'll reward myself with a snack, or a quick flick through my Facebook newsfeed etc. Whatever works for you really!!

3) Take frequent breaks, and lots of them too.
One of the most important revision tips I have been taught is the importance of taking breaks. So many people I know just power through and revise for hours on end, but I've always been taught that your brain can only stand up to 40 minutes at a time. So I revise for 20-40 minutes at a time (depending on how much I need to do, the closeness of exams, my energy levels, etc) and then have a 10-15 minute break to check my messages, have a chat to my parents, or whatever I feel like doing. Then I go back to revise some more! As part of this, I find it really useful to be regimental about my revision. I come home from college, start straight away, and set myself timers. For example, I would set a timer for me to spend 30 minutes revising, then when that one went off I'd set it again for a 10 minute break. This way seems to help stop me getting distracted on my breaks or for revising for too long!

4) Remove ALL and ANY distractions
Whether this be leaving the room if the TV's on, giving your parents your phone so you don't constantly want to check it, or even moving that book you're engrossed in out of the room, moving all your distractions will help your revision to be so much more productive. As part of this, I also move my headphones out of the room and all my music-playing devices. As much as I love music, it can be really distracting sometimes, and I understand that hearing words while your brain is trying to remember other words isn't the greatest idea. I've always been taught that if you want to revise to music, use classical or instrumentals. As embarrassing as it is for me to admit, when I'm working I like listening to 'I Giorni' by Ludovico Einaudi (otherwise known as the music from the BBC advert!!) I just find it really relaxing and I always seem to produce good work when I've been listening to it.

5) Make it look interesting!
As you'll see in next week's post, I love making my revision look pretty. I always use felt tips, highlighters, and different coloured pens as well to make it look as nice as possible. This is a really good thing to do because colourful notes are more interesting to look at than ones that are black and white!

I hope these tips have been even a bit useful to someone, please let me know if you have any because I'd love to have some more for myself! 

Next week, I'll be sharing some of my favourite techniques for revising, but if there's anything else you'd like me to blog about (revision related or otherwise) just let me know!

Also, if you'd like to vote for me as UCAS blogger that would be fab! You can do that here! Thank you!

It seems crazy that we're about to start this revision and exam journey all over again, but I'm hoping and praying that all will go well and I'll get the grades I want so badly!

We can do this!!

Anna x