How NOT to revise / study for exams!

Monday, 13 May 2013

It's exam season worldwide
(or at least in the UK and USA so probably other places too)

Here is my tried and tested tips of how not to revise, because there is a difference between revising and feeling like you're revising so that you don't feel guilty.
So here goes:

1. Put your laptop or computer away. Sit with your back to it, or if possible study in a place entirely different from where you're used to sitting with your computer, otherwise being in that place with a textbook without your computer will feel just weird. Not many people have two desks so if you usually sit with your computer at your desk then study at the kitchen table, in your bed, in the library.

-If you are determined that you need your computer for revision then log out of all the social media that you are normally automatically logged into. It's that little bit extra effort to log back in again so will stop you going astray while you study using your computer.

2. You can kid yourself that you can study while having the television on in the background, but we all know you can't. Anything to ease the monotony of looking at words on a page and writing and staring at that wall ahead of you feels like it's better than nothing. But, if you just give silence a chance, you'll find that time goes much much faster than having constant distraction of television when you're studying and you get much much more done.

3. Reading a textbook over and over isn't productive, and isn't really revision. When you read a passage, you'll absorb hardly any of it. Your eyes will glaze over the wrods on the page and you won't be able to recall much of what you've read. You have to do something with the information you're reading. Write it down, put it in a brainstorm, colour it, underline it, repeat repeat repeat.

For me, I have three stages of studying for a exam, this is how it goes:
Step 1. Initial note taking, I take notes of the content, and underline or highlight where necessary
Step 2. I compile a '10 essential things to include in any essay on (subject goes here)' list
Step 3. I plan every past paper available, using my list from Step 2. as guidance and tailoring it to the specific question.
Repeat Repeat Repeat

If you have no time for that, there's always an old video from me on How to cram the night before a test and pass:

Good luck!


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