Top 10 Tips for Successful Revision

Attending lectures is a great way to gain the information you need to complete a course, however as university intends to strengthen your research skills and self-study, a good portion of your time should be spent revising.

At uni it’s not about jumping through hoops to get good grades; it’s about having a genuine interest in your course subject from before you even attend an open day, and being responsible enough to take the time to consolidate newly learned knowledge.

Here we’ll discuss some top tips to help you revise and absorb knowledge rather than just regurgitating it at exam time.

1. Little and often is the key to successful revision

Little and often

There’s nothing quite as terrifying for a student than to go into an exam or class test knowing full well that they haven’t revised. Take a few minutes each day after your lecture to go over what’s been taught. Set aside one or two mornings or evenings per week where you have some quiet time to sit and read through notes.

2. Make a plan on exactly what you need to revise

Student kneeling in front of a shelf of books thinking

Don’t just flip aimlessly through your notes, instead take revision topics in blocks to get to grips with a single subject matter at a time. Choose one section a day to study and don’t let yourself move on to another topic until you’re happy you’ve covered all bases in a certain area.

3. Discover what works best for your unique style

Some students create flashcards with essential information (such as formulas for Chemistry and dates for History), others prefer to test each other in peer groups, and some can gain a wider understanding using mind maps and spider diagrams. Learning this early on in your uni life will give you peace of mind about what works for you.

4. Keep your cool

Student performing a stunt on her skateboard

There will bound to be times when you’ve had enough of revising, but don’t fret and bring yourself down. Step away from the books for half an hour, go for a walk or grab something to eat and take your mind off it. Just a short rest will be enough to restore your positive attitude.

5. Remember why you are revising

student biting hard on a pencil

You’ve paid lots of money for this degree. You’ve given up years of your life to get your qualifications. You love your course subject and are going to make a difference in the world with your knowledge. Give yourself a much-needed morale boost now and then.

6. Practice with test papers

Don’t be scared on the day of the exam, familiarize yourself with mock papers from past exams so when the real one is placed in front of you it’ll just be like the one you’ve done many times before. Plus, past exams help you to know what the examiners are looking for in your answers.

7. Turn off your phone

It seems simple, but you know that as soon as it pings with a Facebook alert that’s you out of action for a good 15-20 minutes, or even longer if you then get engrossed in something else on your phone. On the flip side, there are some fantastic apps to help you revise if you can stay off social media long enough to use them properly!

8. Play music

Headphones and a coffee mug

We’re not talking about metal or garage, but have some quiet and calm music on at a very low volume in the background. Preferably something without words, choose songs that are going to create a peaceful atmosphere and allow you to concentrate in a mellow space.

9. Make use of colour

Don’t punish yourself for long stretches in front of black and white paper. Bring out your highlighters and make certain important parts pop out to you. You might even color-code things to aid with memory recall.

10. If all else fails, try something out of the ordinary

Candy

Suck different flavoured sweets when studying different topics, then eat them in the exam to jog your memory. The same goes for perfumes and aftershaves. Read notes out loud to yourself. Cover your room with revision post-it notes – around the bathroom mirror, on the back of the toilet door or even on your ceiling. Why not make a funny video or rap song with your revision topics?

Revision is super-important and should never be neglected.

It is an important part of your degree because there’s no way you’ll take in everything your lecturer spouts out at 9 am in the morning when you’re still half-asleep or recovering from the night before.

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