With Easter around the corner, the only consolation for you as you prepare for your exams is that you will be well supplied with chocolate eggs and sweets to power through your revision! However, sugary supplies aside, there is a lot more to keep in mind as you focus on the final weeks of your exam preparations. In this blog, I have put together some useful tips and tricks that should help maximise the efficiency on your time, while keeping you sane, happy and healthy!
It sounds obvious and I am sure most of you have already done this, but how many of you have actually made a realistic plan that you have kept to? With so many topics to revise, the temptation is to list them all out in a never ending list that seems impossible to complete. A better strategy is to make a list of all the modules/subjects that you will be examined in. Give each module a score from 1 to 3, where 1 means you know the subject well and 3 indicates that significant knowledge gaps remain and the most revision is needed. Simply put, these scores mean you need to schedule three times as many revision sessions for modules you scored a 3 than scored a 1. When making your schedule – keep it realistic, with working sessions limited to one hour and with frequent, small breaks. Tackle the most difficult topics at your peak times (normally the morning) and get going in the morning when you are freshest and have the most energy – starting revision at 5pm is too late in the day and will reduce your efficacy.
While the amount of revision to be done may seem endless, it is important to take breaks and keep up with your other extracurricular activities. Sports and exercise are especially important, helping to reduce stress levels and allowing for more restful nights. Keep up fun and social activities too, going out to see friends will allow your brain to focus on something else, allowing you to return to your revision more invigorated and energised.
Not all revision needs to be done at your desk – put sticky notes and make posters around your room or house. Take some notes outside into the garden or to the local park. Revise with friends at their home, or go to your school’s library. Sometimes sitting in one place for too long can lead to distractions such as playing on your phone or computer. If you are easily distracted, work with someone nearby who can stop you from updating statuses or browsing the web!
If you have not organised any work experience or internships for the summer, then there is still time to do so. See my blog from last month on some ideas for how to spend part of your summer vacation. If you are applying for a medical course, extracurricular activities will be an important part of your application, so it is vital to make good use of your Summer. Come September, you will be writing your UCAS personal statement, so you need to start thinking now how to fill that page.
No one can work for hours on end without a break. Start your revision early and plan ahead so you minimiae any last minute panic and need for cramming. Frequent short breaks will maintain your energy and attention and adhering to a proper sleep schedule will mean you wake up each day fresh and ready to learn and absorb new information.