Revision can be challenging. Going over everything you’ve learned, and often when you’re feeling under more pressure to retain the information.
Have you got a study plan? If not maybe it’s time to consider writing one for yourself.
Why should you make the effort?
Writing out a plan won’t take you long, but it could help you to use your time more efficiently.
It’ll ensure you don’t miss out any subjects or spend too much time on the same subject. It could make your revision time more effective.
- Check with your teachers that you’re up to date on everything. Are all your notes complete too? (If you’re a bit behind then take some time to catch up).
- Work out how much time you have available to study. Be realistic here, don’t set yourself a schedule that you can’t meet, or that’ll leave you no time for other activities, hobbies and resting.
- Set goals. For example, do you want to study for 2-3 hours a day, or aim to finish your subject text book by “X’ date. Setting goals will help you stay on track and give you a bit more focus.
- Prioritise. If you’re behind in some subjects, maybe allocate them more time on your schedule.
Place the subjects that you find harder at the start of your study time (when your brain is feeling fresher and you can concentrate more easily), and leave the ones you find easier towards the end of the study time or assign them a little less time.
- Leave some of your allocated time for doing practise tests. Testing yourself is a great way to way to ensure that your revision is working and you understand the subject. Another bonus is that you’ll be familiarising yourself with test / exam formats.
Prepare your schedule
Now’s the time to write out your schedule and personalise it.
Don’t spend too much time stressing about the format or how pretty it looks. There are also plenty of free templates and apps online that you could use.
Use a weekly template and update it each week. That way you’ll be assessing your progress as you go (you may need to do a few extra hours or find that you’re ahead and can have an extra long lie-in). Changing the schedule will also help keep some focus and make sure your priorities are revised along the way to reflect your progress.
Here’s a basic example of what your week could look like by the time you’ve finished.
Top tips for success
- Be realistic. Write a schedule that’s actually going to be achievable for you
- Writing a plan isn’t too hard, but then it’s important that you stick to it
- Create your ideal study area. Whether it’s at your dining room table, the desk in your room, or at the library. Make sure it’s well-lit and comfortable (although not too comfy, otherwise you might fall asleep)
- Study at the same time and in the same spot daily, so it becomes a habit
- Make sure you incorporate breaks into your schedule, and make sure that reflects how long you can concentrate for
E.g. some people might study for 25 minutes and then take a 5 minute break. Others might study for 1 hour and take a 15 minute break. If you’re not sure what suits you, try changing it up after the first week if your current schedule isn’t working
- Turn off your phone and try to avoid other distractions
- Set a timer if necessary to help you stick to your schedule.
Stick with it
Adjust your schedule if it’s not working for and find other ways to make it work. Just don’t give up.
Whilst revision might not be your idea of fun, it will pay off at exam time and could really help you to boost your results.