Our top revision tips

Revision timetables, practice papers, exam nerves... Stressed? Understatement. We get it.

It might be tempting to put off your revision until the last moment, and to just cram the night before, but research has shown that spreading revision out over a longer period of time is one of the most effective studying techniques.

It’s the best way to make sure that you’ll get through those crucial exams, but perhaps more importantly, you’re more likely to retain knowledge long-term if you revise it over the course of several weeks or months – so you’re setting yourself up well for future exams, too.

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1. Have a revision timetable

Start revising early and draw up a revision timetable. Set realistic goals and take short, frequent breaks to help you stay focused.

2. Start early

Do it! Don't put it off, and get down to it in the morning. You're more likely to do all of your planned work for the day if you start early.

3. Active revision

Do more than simply read your notes or copy them out. Active revision is by far the best way to memorise information. Making notes summarising what you read, organising it into different categories and creating diagrams will all help it go in and stay there.

4. Exercise: work out like a Team GB athlete

Physical activity increases the heart rate which makes the blood circulate faster. This means that the brain gets more oxygen so productivity goes up, while tiredness and stress go down.

5. Listen to music

Background music can improve focus by providing motivation and improving mood. If you need a boost for that final hour of your daily revsion, or need a soundtrack for your post-study workout, step this way. Here's a selection of our favourite tunes to get you motivated.  

Looking for some calming sounds for your revision? Or need some zen before those all-important exams? We've got you. Kick back with some of our favourite laid back tunes.

6. Get smart with some memory tricks

Use mnemonics for sequences, like 'King Philip Came Over From Great Spain' for 'Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species' in Biology. Learn different topics in different places; imagining the place can help recall the information.

7. Top student tip: happy diet, happy mind
Hayley Elahee, Computer Science
I'm sure you've heard "you are what you eat", but allow me to introduce you to "happy diet, happy mind". During my exam weeks, I plan my meals and snacks accordingly. I ensure that I’m cooking hearty comfort foods and try to keep snacks healthy but happy. Buy yourself the odd KitKat, have that Nutella toasty at 3am. Sometimes during times of stress, our body just needs that little bit of extra comfort food.

8. Use past papers

Get some past papers to get to know what sort of questions you might be asked. Once you've done three or four past papers, many of the questions on the day should look familiar - or at least a little less daunting. However, be careful not to rely solely on this though as the examiners could change the paper for your exam, as well as mix up the topics. 

9. Find a quiet space

You need a place where you can be uninterrupted for a few hours. Your room or a library will do. Be wary of public places like coffee shops - it's easy to get distracted.

10. Reward yourself

It's important to find time to put the books away and do the things you enjoy, whether it's socialising with friends, going to the cinema or playing sports.

Need some extra motivation?

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