Here are some revision tips to help students revise more effectively, reduce their stress levels and achieve higher marks in their exams:
1. Start as early as you can
According to Sergio Della Sala, professor of human cognitive neuroscience at the University of Edinburgh, “The best revision is continuous revision, started as early as possible”. Cramming last minute isn’t very effective.
2. Create a revision timetable
Create a revision timetable and stick to it. Students who are organised and disciplined invariably do better in their exams than students who are not.
3. Avoid distractions
Make sure you avoid distractions by turning off your mobile phone and computer when you’re revising. Chatting to a friend on the phone and checking your Facebook page may be more enjoyable than revising, but doing these things won’t help you pass your exams. Find a quiet place where you can be uninterrupted for a few hours. For example, your room or the local library. Avoid coffee shops. They are popular options, but it’s very easy to get distracted.
4. Use revision methods that work best for you
Use the revision methods that work best for you e.g. making mind maps, listing bullet points, writing summaries etc. It’s imperative to work actively and use higher-order thinking skills rather than just reading your notes. Use colour when making notes because research shows that colourful notes are easier to memorise than black and white ones.
5. Take regular breaks
Make sure you take regular breaks. Your brain needs a rest to process the information. 20-30 minutes spells work best because your concentrations is much higher. Mix the order of your subjects instead of spending several hours on one subject.
6. Revise with a friend
There are a number of benefits when you revise with a friend. You can encourage each other and talking through what you’ve learnt can help information stick. Teaching each other is one of the best ways to understand a topic.
7. Use past papers
Doing past papers is a great way of familiarising yourself with the exam format, testing what you’ve learnt and improving your exam techniques. You’ll also notice which questions and topics have come up recently. You can download past papers from the Internet.
8. Eat healthily
Certain foods boost brainpower and concentration. Eat oatmeal for breakfast. It will help you stay focused and feel fuller for longer. Bananas, blueberries, eggs, spinach and salmon will all help you to concentrate and improve mental performance.
Avoid drinking coffee or energy drinks because they will dehydrate you further and make you feel worse later. Drink water or green tea instead. Dark cocoa increases serotonin and endorphin levels, which boost mood and concentration.
9. Reward yourself
Reward yourself after a productive day of revision. Students who find the right balance between study and leisure are the ones who get the highest marks. It’s essential to do something that is enjoyable and takes your mind off your exams. Treat yourself to a trip to the cinema with friends. Better still, play one of your favourite sports or go for a jog. Physical activity is very important during periods of intense study because it will boost your mood and reduce fatigue and stress.
10. Get a full night’s sleep
A full night’s sleep helps you learn new skills and retain information. It’s especially important to get a good night’s sleep the night before your exam. There’s not much more you can learn and you’ll perform better in your exam when you’re feeling fresh and alert.
Following these revision tips will help you achieve higher grades in your exams. We wish you all the very best.