Exam season is almost upon us which means you better start revising soon, boo.
But with the amount of material to go through, studying for a series of tests can be overwhelming. So here are some tips to make your revising better, faster, and more efficient.
The key to successful revision is a timetable. Before you even start revising, go through the material and check what you really need to know for the upcoming exam(s). There's no point wasting time on something that will not be covered by the paper.
Another important part of successful revision is distributed learning. In other words, try your best not to pull an all-nighter. Make sure you take regular, short, 5-minute breaks. Hydrate your body properly. You know the drill.
To use your revision time efficiently, identify and use the type of learning methods that work the best for you.
If you're a visual learner, think about re-writing your notes or making flash cards.
If you learn best while listening to someone speak, record yourself reading the chapters you have to cover.
If you can't sit still while revising, it could be because you're a kinesthetic learner - meaning you acquire knowledge best by touching, feeling, and experiencing. Think of some clever ways to incorporate these into your study.
Don't waste your time on highlighting or writing out key words. Your learning starts while you're taking your notes, not after. Make that time you spend writing everything down count.
New methods of learning can not only be effective, but extremely fun. Don't be afraid to try out new things.
If you can easily explain what you've learned so far to someone else, it means you've got it. Otherwise, what's the point? Empty words, dates, and formulas will flee your mind quite quickly.
And if a subject you're trying to revise is particularly tricky, try tying the new, complex ideas to something you're already familiar with. Making such comparisons makes it easier to comprehend things, put them in context.
Don't underestimate the power of speaking out loud to yourself either. Hearing the words actually come out your mouth makes them more memorable. Just don't try this trick it in the library!
According to researchers, as well as "memory champions", systematically testing what you've learnt already and going through old exam papers are the two most effective ways of memorising things.
You can also use the SQ3R method most people in academia go by. Survey the chapter or book you need to understand and memorise, then create some questions based on the initial glance through the text. Read the text back to yourself, answering the questions you created earlier, and, of course, don't forget to review.
Studying is hard work, so don't forget to treat yo' self yourself.
Here, have a cookie. You've deserved it, pal.
Feature image © Warner Bros.