If you are reading this hopefully you are not panicking because you left all of your revision to the last minute!  Having said that, regardless of whether you have actually done this, or are simply looking for some tips to top up that revision before your exams start, I hope that you will find these tips useful.

#1 Prioritise

Find that list of topics that you need to learn and highlight the ones that you really don’t feel confident on so you can prioritise focusing on them.  Staring at a whole list of topics can feel intimidating so this is a great way to make the revision a little less painful.  Try and stick to a maximum of 5 topics per subject so that you do not feel overwhelmed.

#2 Make decent notes

There is certainly an art to taking high quality notes for revision.  Here are some ideas that will help you learn more in less time:

  • Don’t just copy from another text, write it in your own words
  • Add some silly pictures so that when you are revising, you can use those pictures to trigger your memory (take a look at The Secret To Memorising A Topic In 5 Minutes)
  • Write things in short form i.e. the main thing that the notes make sense to you and trigger your memory into remembering more detail.  These full details don’t have to be written in your revision notes though.

#3 Practice, practice, and more practice

The more past papers and exam style questions you do, the better you will become.  Find a strategy that works for you to ensure that you stick to the time limit.  This is a great way to combat the common nerves that kick in when in an exam hall.

#4 Think before you write

In an exam it can be tempting to read the question and quickly move onto answering it however, rushing this step can lead to careless mistakes.  When you are doing past papers and exam style questions, you should get in the practice of strategising.  Here are some ideas:

  • Read the instructions before reading the question.  If for instance, the paper gives you the choice of answering one of two questions presented to you, highlight the one question you intend to answer so that you do not answer both by mistake.
  • Read the question once.  Read it again.  On the second round, underline or highlight the key words so that you answer the question accurately.
  • Don’t be afraid of showing your planning or working out.  With essay based questions, planning is a crucial step and is a great way to ensure that when you write your essay, you can do so with ease and quickly.  With mathematical style questions, even if you are not confident that your answer is correct, you may be able to pick up some marks through your method.

#5 Take regular but effective breaks

It can be tempting to either, work solidly without any breaks or, take breaks that are far too long during which you get distracted.  Taking breaks when revising say, every 30 minutes or so, is a great way of keeping your mind fresh.  These breaks however, should last for around 5 – 10 minutes so that you have enough time to refresh your mind without losing momentum.  Try and avoid social media and television when taking a break as this distraction can make it hard to get your brain back into revision mode.  Instead, get some fresh air, drink water, stretch your legs…