Draw up a revision timetable. Research shows that shorter 20-30 minute spells work best and that after 40 minutes your ability to retain information begins to diminish. It is therefore important to take short, frequent breaks to maximise retention of information. Mixing the order of the subjects throughout your revision period has also proven to be a good way of keeping the mind alert.
Physical activity is very important, in particular during intense study time. Even going for a brisk walk at the end of a day of revision will make a huge difference to your wellbeing. Taking a break half way through studying will also improve your productivity. Physical activity increases heart rate, which makes the blood circulate faster. This in turn ensures that brain gets more oxygen, which increases productivity whilst reducing tiredness and stress.
Find a quiet space
This is a pretty straightforward one: you desperately need a place where you can be uninterrupted for a few hours. Your room, local or your school/university library will do. Avoid distracting places, such as coffee shops or student common rooms as it’s just too easy to have your attention diverted!
Studying in the morning is best!
You have to make a start at some point and doing it sooner rather than later is a very good idea! Start revising in the morning - research shows that you are more likely to do all the planned work if you start early, because as it gets closer to the evening, there are more distractions to meet up with friends or watch TV!
Spice up your revision
Use a bit of colour! Drawing colourful learning maps will help you to memorise facts. What is even more interesting is the fact that colourful notes are easier to memorise than plain black and white ones. Give it a go! Everybody responds to information in different ways, some people are more visual than auditory and some are kinaesthetic. Try to learn the same piece of information using different methods, for example straightforward reading (visual), making notes (kinaesthetic), learning maps (also visual), recording yourself reading the notes and playing it back (auditory). This means that you have more than one source to draw the information from.
Do plenty of past papers
Ask your teacher for some past papers or google them yourself. Most exam boards nowadays put a lot of emphasis on exam technique and simply familiarising yourself with it before the exam can often save you time and help to earn marks at the exam. A lot of examiners do not bother with inventing terribly innovative questions once you have done three or four past papers chances are that some of questions that come on the day will look familiar.
Make summary notes
Making notes helps to memorise lots of information. Repetition of the same information again and again is what enables us to remember it. Remember standing up in class and learning your tables by rote when you were young? The more you repeat the same piece of information, the easier it is for you to recall it. In fact, the most successful candidates often make as many as three sets of the same notes in a run up to the exams which help them to memorise the required information.
It is not all about the work; you need good breaks too. People who manage to find the right balance between study and leisure are the ones who get the top marks. For instance go to a cinema with friends after a productive day of revision or treat yourself to something sweet. Work hard, play not-quite-as-hard is the motto here.
Use your family and friends
Ask people around you to test you and give you feedback. You should already have made handy revision notes, which will help others to ask you questions to test your knowledge. This is also a good way to have a break from the hard work.
At the end of the day, it's not all about studying. Achievement is not all about how you perform in an exam. There are plenty of people who are successful but did not get 100 per cent in every single exam! Most of our parents say it, but it’s true. All you can do is your best – that’s enough!!
Following these tips you will get loads of work done, feel great about yourself and still have plenty of time to relax with your friends and family. Good luck, now get down to those notes!