My top revision tips

With A-level and GCSE exams looming round the corner, stress levels are getting pretty high at college. Recently, I’ve been getting a few messages asking me how I balance my time and revise effectively. I thought it might be useful to some of you if I wrote up  my top revision tips. It’s going to be a bit of a brief post from me today, as I also need to get down to work, so I’m just going to dive right into it. Some of these tips might be more “out there” than others, and not all will work for you. Just give them a go and see what helps you the most!

plan and prioritise

Starting with the obvious, but it really is essential in my books to plan out a revision timetable. Being back at school, it can be so tempting to just do nothing when I get back home, so having a planner and scheduling everything in really helps me. I usually start by putting in my extra-curricular activities for that day (e.g. athletics/ swim/ gym), then build in my revision around it. Writing things down is also a fab idea because you get such a great feeling of satisfaction after ticking it off (at least I do).

don’t be too strict

Having said all that about planning, I would also urge you not to be too strict on yourself. In GCSE year, I became way too restrictive with my revision. If I started 5 minutes too late I would panic, and I literally burnt out (I gave myself the flu and was bed-ridden for 4 days). Burnout is a genuine thing, and not just in terms of sport! Obviously you want to stick to your plan as much as possible, but life happens and you are not a machine.

when you have no relevant photos… remember to treat yo’self!

get it done early

From personal experience, I can confirm that (for the majority of people), morning revision is the most productive. That doesn’t necessarily mean getting up at 5am to cram it all in before 11am, but getting into a routine of waking up around 8am and working from 9am onwards has definitely helped me (this is at weekends and on study leave). Once it becomes a routine, it stops feeling like such a chore to wake up at that time. If you’re a natural early bird then by all means wake up even earlier!

phone-free

You get it, phones are distracting. I’m sure you’ve heard it all before. However, this year, what has made a huge difference for my revision is this app called Forest. My friend Annie originally recommended it, and although it isn’t free, for the small price of £1.99 it really is worth it. You basically plant a “tree” for a set amount of time that you choose (10mins-2hours), during which you can’t use your phone. That way, there really is no temptation to randomly use your phone midway through a revision session.

stay hydrated

Seriously, your concentration plummets hugely when you’re dehydrated, making revision nearly impossible. I always keep a bottle of water on my desk so I don’t have to get up and break my mojo!

water bottle anyone?

audio

Although this method does take time, if you really want something to stick then I thoroughly recommend trying it. Basically just record yourself reading through your key notes (slowly), then play it back over. As you listen to it, write it out again, focusing on the crucial chunks of information. The idea here isn’t necessarily to re-make your (pretty) notes, but to consolidate your knowledge and cement it in your memory.

VISUALS

I’m quite a visual learner, so I like to colour-coordinate my work. I might spend 5 extra minutes making them, but they stick so much better in my mind.

I like colourful pens okay

be realistic

Finally, I just want to reiterate that everyone is different. Be realistic with what you set yourself, and do what works for you. It’s so easy to compare yourself to others and think that you’re not doing enough, but at the end of the day it doesn’t matter what they’re doing. Only you can put the work in and make the difference to your final grade. There really is no point wasting time worrying about how much revision everyone else is doing.


I hope you found this post useful, and I’d love to hear if you have any tips of your own! In 2 months’ time, they’ll all be over. And remember not to burn out – definitely don’t skimp out on sleep!

Emma ♥♥