Firstly, make sure you actually DO have all the relevant info you need, and not just what you THINK you need.
Find out if you are allowed to take notes in and see the questions beforehand because this will change your revision plan immensely and even condense it slightly.
Find out if you need to reference in the exam or whether you are writing out a load of names, dates, and other such referencing ramble after every quote for no more marks. This would be silly and a huge waste of time. If you’re anything like me, you’ll be scribbling down your answer right up until the last second so time is precious!!
However, if you are like me in another aspect, then you’ll leave all your revision till the last minute, stress out so much that you’ll probably get a rash, (ewww), then spend a copious amount of money on coffee and jelly snakes to enable 24 hour revision with no sleep in the days leading up to the exam.
So…do as I say and not as I do and follow these top revision tips…
- DO NOT leave your revision till a week before. Last night cramming is acceptable but only with information you already know and not with scary new stuff. This will cause information overload and possible twitching.
- DO NOT have alcoholic drinking intervals during your revision sesh. Get a few hours done in the day, and then reward yourself with a cheeky trip into Winch town later. Or just stay at home with your trusty bottle of vodka and step away from the laptop and pieces of paper which will no doubt be angrily thrown all over the desk in an unorganised fashion. Breaks are crucial, and by this I don’t mean breakdowns. Try not to have one of these…
- Post-it notes– stick them on your wall, round the bathroom mirror, on your laptop, up your arms, and even on the ceiling so you can fall asleep looking at your notes, brush your teeth looking at your notes and even have your dinner whilst taking in your notes. If you turn up to the SU covered in post-its, the chances are that people will assume it’s the weekly fancy dress theme for a sports team or something and no one will even bat an eyelid.
- Revision cards – short and sweet. No need for lengthy sentences when revising, keywords that trigger other ideas and the main points of your argument are what you should be writing on these cute little things. Small enough to put into your handbag or manbag, try looking through these on the train instead of listening to your ipod, or eavesdropping on other conversations.
- Keep hydrated and don’t revise on an empty stomach, you’re revising for an exam, not fasting. Even if your exam is early in the morning, try and eat a little breakfast, a rumbling tummy is VERY distracting. Trust me. Your stomach will rumble, people will start looking round and then you’ll get clammy hands. Can’t hold a pen with clammy hands you see.
- Spider diagrams are an amazing revision technique. After writing a proper essay answer, try and split the main points of your argument into a spider diagram without looking at your books and notes. Then you’ll be able to uncover which bits you have missed and need to look over again. By the time the night before your dreaded exam is here, you should be able to remember your entire answer and not even need to use a spider diagram to condense it down. Please note, no real spiders are needed for this technique.
- BEWARE, do not just try and memorise an entire answer. You must remember it because you know the information you are using. What if the question you have been revising is not guaranteed to come up in the exam? Covering all the information you require will give you the ability to answer ANY question in this topic.
- Highlighters – make your revision pretty! Colour code it to enable your brain to associate different colours with different points. Then, once you’re in the exam, you should be able to group these bits of information together and extract them from your head like a filing system. Do not use too many colours or your brain will just feel like a packet of Skittles with no real knowledge behind them!
- GET OFF FACEBOOK. It doesn’t matter how many groups you join and FML status updates you make, it isn’t going to help your revision. Don’t just minimise it, I know your game. Log out, now. You’re not going to miss anything.
- Finally, remember to relax! If you revise hard enough, you WILL remember what you need and you WILL do well. Don’t let nerves get the better of you.