5 ways NOT to revise

Revision is something that, if you’re anything like me, you will have to do pretty much all through your student life and maybe after that too! So, it’s important that you get it right. Of course, you will already have a revision technique that suits your own learning style but it’s important that you don’t become trapped by common revision myths. Here are 5 ways you DEFINITELY SHOULD NOT revise this exam season…

1. Only reading through the textbook or notes

Reading through the textbook and my notes was something I did for my school exams, but at university level this is probably one of the worst ways to revise.

Textbooks at university are often used for students at all levels of their study, so if you only study from the textbook you might find yourself feeling overwhelmed with all the knowledge.

On the other hand, if you only revise from your notes, you might find yourself missing some crucial information that you need or misunderstanding a concept completely. Notes often contain the key information but to get a full understanding of a topic you will have to go through other sources. Which brings to me to my next point…

2. Making notes from just one source

If you are studying a science subject, like me, then making notes from just one source won’t give you a full understanding, nor will it help you get a good grade. Making notes from one source is the same as if a judge were to decide a verdict after just hearing one side of the argument. By gathering information from many sources you’re not only making sure that the information you have obtained is correct but also ensuring that you are getting a full understanding of the topic.

What I found useful was adding to my lecture notes with information from textbooks and scientific journals. Each time I added to my lectures notes, I would read them back which really helped me remember everything. Then, I would go for walk and when I came back I would attempt to answer exam questions from past papers.

3. Partying during exam period

As boring and old-school as I sound right now, during exam period you need a good night’s sleep every night! Wild night’s out are a great way to let loose and have some fun but you might want to save that for celebration after the exams.

You never want to be in a position where you could potentially miss an exam because of a hangover or oversleeping!

4. Binging on junk food and energy drinks

This is something I have personally been guilty of doing. During my final year undergraduate exams I went an entire week without a proper meal and only ate sweets and snacks during the exam period. I eventually ended up feeling exhausted, completely drained and out of energy. Not to mention, this method is very unhealthy!

The best thing to do over the exam period is to have healthy snacks, proper meals prepared during the day and take some exercise. Whether it’s running on the treadmill, having a swim or going for a run outside, fresh air and an endorphin rush will help you focus and you’ll be surprised that even short bursts of exercise can help with your overall productivity! Of course, a bit of chocolate every now and again is always appreciated!

5. Pulling all nighters

It’s true that students pull their fair share of all-nighters but you definitely don’t want to be doing this during your exam period. Like I said, you never want to be in a position where you have overslept and therefore late to your exam (or even missed your exam!) but furthermore, pulling all-nighters fuelled by coffee and Red Bull also adds to the risk of your energy crashing during the exam. To avoid the need for an all-nighter entirely, make sure you have a realistic revision timetable set up and that you work consistently throughout the exam period. Read more about strategic time-management here.

I hope these ‘5 ways not to revise’ will help you in your revision over the exam period and help you achieve the best! Good luck and wishing all of you the very best wishes!

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