How to Revise - Study Tips That Really Workby Katherine Hanrahan
Make the most of revision time and ace those exams with our step-by-step guide on how to improve concentration, how to revise effectively, and how to create a revision timetable that works.
Whether you’re just starting to think about how to revise or you’ve reached a point where you feel like you can't cram anything else in – learning how to study effectively in a way that works for you is a life skill that’ll see you through school, sixth form, college, university, and beyond.
That’s why we’ve gathered together the best revision tips from students and leading study experts to create this step-by-step guide to how to improve concentration, how to study effectively, and how to prepare for exams.
So read on for our favourite revision tips, guaranteed to help you make the most of your revision without losing precious sleep over it…
Set up a study zone
Only you know what works for you, but make sure you have a dedicated study area where you’ll be comfortable to stay for a few hours while you revise. Make sure you have everything you need within arm’s reach, and remove anything that might distract you. Hide your smartphone, and if you’re revising Geography, put away your History and Maths notes!
Don’t forget to bring a drink to stay hydrated, and if you find silence off-putting, stream some chill-out or focus music in the background.
Your study zone doesn’t have to be a stylish, super-sized desk either. A dining table, bed, or even a space on the floor where you can spread out your notes could work. Just make sure you have plenty of cushions and get up every so often to stretch those muscles!
Create a revision timetable
Make a revision timetable to start planning your revision within minutes. If you're not sure where to start, why not download our handy revision timetable?
Creating a revision timetable means you’re making yourself aware of everything you need to learn, so smaller topics are less likely to slip between the gaps. It also means you can schedule in more time for the subjects or topics that cause you the most worry, so you won’t be left with too little time at the end to tackle them.
Healthy body, healthy mind
You hear it all the time, but fitting in the odd bit of exercise will help clear your head and improve concentration in between revision sessions. We’re not talking daily marathons here – even a quick walk around the block can de-stress the mind and help you keep perspective, or browse YouTube to find 10 minute workouts to keep that blood pumping.
Don’t forget to make sure you're eating plenty of fresh fruit and veg, and drinking water to stay hydrated and keep your memory, concentration and focus as sharp as can be.
Schedule in regular tests to make sure what you’re learning is sinking in.
Mix it up a little; write questions, quotations, formulas, or facts on flash cards, practise with past exam papers, or use textbooks or Google searches to find questions and answers. Test yourself after each topic you’ve learnt to make sure that you’re not fooling yourself by thinking you know more than you do. Try answering a few test questions when you haven’t revised a topic for a few days to make sure it’s sunk in.
If there’s a topic where you keep getting the answers wrong, ask friends or teachers for help instead of struggling on alone!
Reward yourself (you deserve it)
Take regular breaks (every 45 minutes for 15 minutes works well for most people) and make sure you step away from your revision – don’t just sit and play on your smartphone! If you find you need a break every 10 minutes because you’re struggling, that’s fine too, just make your short bursts extra productive by lining up little treats for yourself after each one.
You could even set bigger rewards for achieving the marks or grades you’re aiming for. Promise yourself that when you get through this, you’ll buy yourself something new or go somewhere special.
You see, there’s no secret to how to revise for exams, and it doesn’t have to be stressful. It might seem overwhelming now, but there'll be a point soon when your revision is done, your exams are over, and you can kick back and enjoy the fact that you prepared for your exams as best you can. For now - plan ahead, look after yourself, take regular breaks, ask for help when you need it, and you’ll ace it.
Published By Katherine Hanrahan on 12/12/2019 | Last Updated 17/03/2023