Thursday, May 26, 2011

Ready, Set, REVISE

Revision. Not the most popular word, but it's THAT time of year and I know many of you are either mid way through or about to begin university exams or finals. I'm 7 exams in, with 1 more to go and I'll be so wonderfully relieved when I've finished not just the exams for the year, but my last university exams ever.

Selina over at Flying Saucer has some great revision tips up at the moment, as she's just about to start her finals, and when I added mine to the mix, she suggested I post them here too. So here we go, the Chloe Likes To Talk Revision Guide.


1. DO make sure you have everything you need before you sit down to work- pens, pencils, highlighters, adequate paper/notebooks, sticky page marker things, any books or notes, if you're a linguist like me- dictionaries. There's nothing worse than getting started and getting into your revision when you suddenly realise you're missing something you really could do with and have to interrupt your work to go off and get it. This usually ends in long procrastination filled diversions and forgetting what you needed in the first place!



2. DO try and work somewhere with plenty of light. Working in bad light is not good for your eyes, will give you a headache and increases that horrible caged in feeling. Luckily for me, my desk in halls is straight in front of the window so I get loads of daylight.

3. If you have lots of subjects or modules or separate exams to revise for, DO plan in time slots for each one. This will mean that you don't over prepare one particular area or worse still, under prepare another and you can prioritise each one the nearer you get to the exam. It also helps to mix things up so you don't get too overwhelmed (or bored) with one thing.



4. DON'T drink too much caffeine, DON'T eat too much sugar and try not to rely on energy drinks. Caffeine and sugar might give you a quick boost, but as soon as it starts to wear off you'll start to feel more tired and even less able to concentrate than before. That said, a treat coffee and a biscuit at 1600 keeps me going. All a case of moderation.

5. DO leave the house. Every day. It can be quite easy to get through a whole day, and suddenly realise you haven't stepped outside the door. This can make the whole task of revision seem more overwhelming, it can allow you to get over-stressed about your exams and lose perspective and I find it makes me fidgety and unable to concentrate properly. Even if it's just to go buy something for lunch or post a letter, get out for a little while.

6. DO exercise. Find something you enjoy- running, swimming, aerobics classes, cycling, pilates, Zumba, the Gym, whatever. And do it. I swim and at the moment I swim 5-6 times a week. I like to go around lunch time and then have a quick lunch afterwards. to break up my day and make sure I'm taking a proper break. Exercising will help you to concentrate, it gets you out of the house (see above), it helps you to focus your mind and will help you to stay healthy through your exam period.

7. DO clear your desk and start again after each exam has finished. My desk always looks like a bombsite the closer I get to the exam, littered with papers, notes, reference books and highlighters. Once each exam is finished, I clear away all of the notes and materials from that particular area so they're out of the way and don't get mixed up and it means my desk is properly clear to get back to it for the next round.

8. DON'T let your phone be a distraction. If you have a BlackBerry/iPhone/Smartphone- turn off the e-mail/Facebook/Twitter sounds so they don't distract you. I only have sound for texts and phone calls because they're the only things that I need to know about if they go off. If you receive a lot of texts that are likely to distract you, turn that off too. Then put it out of reach. Phones are great, but they're an easy way to waste half an hour or to disrupt you when you least need it.



Good Luck to all of you doing exams at the moment, especially those of you sitting your finals like me. We CAN do this. And if you have any tips of your own please share in the comments- it all helps.
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