10 tips for exam revision
When we think of exams and revision, we tend to picture pupils at school. But many adults return to learning to improve their job opportunities or as part of Continuous Professional Development (CPD). Anyone wanting to enter or progress a career in accountancy, for example, would study for AAT qualifications to improve their prospects.
Some people are more focused and motivated to study as adults, while others may find it harder to get back into the mindset of taking exams. It can also be challenging to make the time to study if all your friends are out enjoying themselves or if you have a busy family life.
Here are a few tips to help you swot and achieve success in your exams.
- Start early – it will give you more time to work through your notes and practice some previous papers. Spacing out your revision and going over notes more than once, rather than trying to cram it all into the last few days, will also help you retain information.
- Be quiet – find a quiet place to study, without distractions. If there are too many distractions at home, go to the local library.
- Time out – plan your revision around your family and work commitments and stick to your schedule. Find the best time of day to study, whether it’s early morning before work, or later in the evening when small children are in bed.
- Don’t panic – it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the amount of work you have to revise. Don’t think of it as one huge task, break it down into manageable steps and reward yourself each time you complete one.
- Plan ahead – draw up a realistic and manageable revision timetable that finishes a week before your exams, to give yourself a bit of leeway and a chance to go back over any subject areas you are struggling with.
- Take a break – include breaks in your revision plan. Set your phone alarm for a short break every 45 minutes, stand up from your desk, stretch, rest your eyes and your brain. Exercise can help you clear your mind: go for a short run, walk the dog or take the kids to the park.
- Testing times – do some past papers under exam conditions and ask your partner, family members or friends to test you. It will help you progress and encourage them to be more supportive and understanding.
- Rest up – a good night’s sleep will make you more alert the following day; it will also help you process and retain information that you’ve been learning. Avoid drinking caffeine or alcohol or eating late in the evenings and ensure your bedroom is quiet, dark and clear of clutter.
- Think positive – believing you can achieve your goal is half of the battle. Don’t get down if you have a bad day, rest up and come back to it the following day.
- Treat yourself – give yourself small treats as you go along and plan a major treat – a holiday, spa day or evening out with your friends or partner – for when you’ve finished your exams.
Good luck and happy studying!