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Improve Your Revision Skills with 10 Simple Tips

Top Tips November 1, 2017 By Hugo

As a student, it seems as though an exam is never too far around the corner, and after months of saying yes to every social opportunity, students soon realise that college is a learning environment, and not a never-ending party of hedonism and debauchery.

Shutterstock/ GaudiLab

But revision needn't take over your life. Just take these ten small steps as an example. Each work in their own little way and will keep you focused without feeling that your life has been lost to powerpoint slides and textbooks.

1. Teach what you have learned

Verbal reinforcement is always good and helping others while also helping yourself is a win-win. 

Not only will it give you more confidence in front of people, but it will allow you to realise what sounds right and what doesn't.

 2. Read your notes aloud

Instead of teaching what you've studied to someone else, read what you've written aloud.

It may look silly in a public space, but it's believed that you are 50% more likely to remember something if you read it aloud instead of merely reading it in your head. 

3. Take breaks

It's vitally important you take regular intervals. If not, your brain will get overloaded with information.

Think of it as a marathon. If you exert yourself too quickly, you'll tire your body and be overtaken by those who weren't as gung-ho at the start. So preserve your brain's energy, and take breaks once every hour at the very least.

4. Utilise student apps to avoid distractions 

To avoid being a victim of the student illness that is procrastination, download Cold Turkey- a website which blocks typical procrastination sites likes Facebook and Youtube.

You'll still be using a computer, but it's more likely you'll be doing something constructive instead of watching a BuzzFeed video of a boy band member playing with sloths.

5. Offer yourself rewards

For all you psychology majors, you'll know that The Incentive Theory of Motivation demonstrates that people can be swayed into individual actions if outside incentives are apparent.

Even just the promise of a cup of tea and a biscuit after half an hours reading can do wonders for your revision and make you embrace the day ahead without it seemingly dragging on for eternity.

6. Take a walk before the exam

Most exams take place in the summer, so why not catch some rays a get a bit of headspace before your exam?

Even if it's just a twenty-minute stroll, research from the University of Illinois suggests that undertaking a brisk walk for 20 minutes before an exam can boost memory and brain power.

7. Revise in groups

Depending on your personality, revising by yourself might not be doing you much good.

Instead, actively engage in the materials with other people sitting the same test. Even if you don't feel as confident as them, chances are you'll learn more from their knowledge than you would from the words in a big chunky textbook. Best of all, you can test each other, which is one of the best ways to remember and absorb information.

8. Use Google for all it's worth

It may go without saying, but you'll be surprised by the multitude of readily available information that Google offers. And no, we're not just referring to Wikipedia. There's Cliffnotes, documentaries on Youtube, Google Scholar....

The list is endless, and if you search for the right words, you'll have an array of useful information without the hassle of finding individual books in the library that are never there in the first place.

9. Don't stop going out

It may sound like a paradoxical suggestion, but going out after a hard days work is a great way to let off steam and revision should be no exception to that rule.

That doesn't mean you have to go out and drink till the final song. It could just mean popping out to the movies and a meal after with friends.

10. Eat and drink regularly

Hunger is a distraction to the brain as well as the stomach. The brain needs the correct nutrients to function while drinking loads of water not only keeps us hydrated but also fights against anxiety and helps boost long and short-term memory functions.

So when undergoing intense revision sessions, always have a healthy cereal bar and a bottle of water on your desk. Or, for those with a penchant for the sweeter things in life, stash a few chocolate bars under the drawers for when your energy levels need boosting.


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