Five half term revision tips to make studying easy
Are you or your child preparing for exams this summer? Read five half term revision tips to help make studying easy.
Summer half term is almost upon us – and with it the prospect of exam revision for many of you or your children.
But as important as revision may be, it’s much harder to stay focused and on track when the sun is shining and your friends are organising tempting days out and activities.
Five half term revision tips to make studying easy
While it’s certainly wise to balance work with some free time, that free time is far more enable when you know you’ve got some good, solid revision under your belt.
So if you or your child are preparing for exams next term, we’ve got five revitips from Regency Tuition to help you make a workable plan for your half term – and stick to it.
1) Get organised
Before the holiday starts, make sure everything’s ready and prepared so you can get going straight away. If you leave it until the holidays start to look through your notes, it will be much harder to fill in any blanks or get copies of sheets that you may have missed from your teachers.
So check through and make sure everything’s there, and then get it organised. Find a way that works best for you, whether that be ordering your notes chronologically, as the lessons were delivered to you, or thematically, keeping similar topics together.
This will help you absorb the information, and limit the time wasted on trying to find the right notes at the right time. Just getting everything ready to go before the holiday kicks in can really cut out some of the stress of revision.
2) Make a plan
We’re not suggesting you spend a whole day drawing up a colour-coded chart with cross referencing – in fact, that can often be some people’s downfall. The trick is to get some idea of how you’ll divide your time and which areas need the most work, without focussing more on making the plan look beautiful than on the actual studying.
So get a bit of paper and draw up a vague plan of what you’re going to do on each day. Try to work it so it lends itself to how you learn, for example if you need variety and change, then do a different topic or subject each day. But if you work better in depth, give yourself the time to really get to work in one subject.
The other key tip is to give yourself some wiggle room. Don’t account for every second of the day because you may not wake up in time one morning, or you might get an unexpected visit from a friend which interrupts you.
If you don’t allow for some of this, you can end up getting even more stressed by not keeping up with your schedule and falling behind can really demoralise you. Try to make your plan realistic and include some contingency time.
3) Mix it up
A number of studies have found that our attention span lasts from anywhere between 5 and 25 minutes. So even if you are one of those students who would rather do a subject in greater depth, you should really consider changing things up every so often to keep your brain stimulated.
That doesn’t mean you need to switch from Spanish to maths every ten minutes, but think about the different revision methods that there are:
- Flashcards – as well as flashcards you make yourself on paper, there are also programs like Anki and Quizlet – these are very effective because they feel quite game-like, meaning they’ll re-engage you if you feel yourself starting to wane.
- Past papers – practise on past papers.
- Mock essays – gives you a feel for time constraints and what it’ll be like in the real thing!
- Consolidate/re-write notes – because you’ll inevitably find notes that no longer maker sense to you now.
- Listening to foreign language podcasts – quite like a practise paper for listening exams.
- Test yourself – and give yourself rewards for correct answers!Writing post-it notes – to stick around so you absorb information through osmosis- revise and collaborate with friends (especially for oral exams). Again, this will just makes things that little bit more entertaining.
- Make mind maps – vocab and concepts that are linked in your mind will be easier to remember.
4) Read over examiners’ reports and the syllabus
Make use of all the materials that are available to you! The syllabus lays out everything you’re expected to know for the exam, so it’s a great way to check you’ve covered everything and that you’ve not got any worrying gaps. Most importantly, take advantage of the examiner’s reports.
These are so often overlooked because as students, busy revising, it can be easy to forget the other side of the process. These reports are written every year, by the examiners who are marking the papers. They are widely available online so that students can look through and find out what the examiners are actually looking for.
While it’s important to learn from your own mistakes, it’s also true that you don’t have to make all the mistake yourself – learn from other people’s! By going through these examiners reports you can see what things the examiners did and didn’t like, and where other people slipped up.
It’s almost like a cheat sheet – but one you’re completely encouraged to make use of!
5) Make time for you
While we encourage making use of the half term to study and get prepared, it’s so so important to take time out to relax and enjoy yourself.
So try to plan your revision so it’s not all day every day. Perhaps you could get up early and work for a few hours so you can then spend a good part of the day enjoying yourself.
Getting the studying out of the way means you won’t have it hanging over you and having things to look forward to, like meeting up with friends or a trip to the cinema, will keep you motivated.
Don’t let exam pressure get to you – prepare well and it’ll come as second nature. Find out how Regency Tuition can help you get the results you want on their website.