Skills Hub

Planning and using revision time effectively

Step 1 Stay calm! Remember...

  • You don't need to know everything.
  • You already know more than you think.

Step 2 Plan!

  • Plan your time. Make a revision schedule, giving yourself time for breaks.
  • Pay more attention to your weaker subjects.
  • Be realistic. Short but frequent revision sessions are the most effective.
Download a revision timetable template. For help with managing your revision time, see Time management.

Step 3 How?

  • Make it interesting! Summarise key points using lists or key words, or invent some mnemonics to help you remember them. Use images, colours and shapes to create visual notes, or use mind maps. Try MindView or Mindmeister for digital mind maps).
  • Practise writing plans and full answers to previous exam questions.
  • Write your final revision notes for different topics on postcards or use an app like Study Blue to create flashcards to test yourself on the go.    
  • Revise with others - join or set up a revision group.
  • Practise writing plans and full answers to previous exam questions.
  • Time yourself writing exam answers.
For help with revising, see Revision strategies and memory techniques.

Step 4 Hints

  • Remember that your ability to argue, discuss and persuade is just as important as the facts you know.
  • Some revision topics can be used for more than one exam. Keep this in mind when selecting revision topics.

Prepare for your exams throughout the year by keeping up with your reading and making notes on what you are learning as you go.

Charlie

Second-year Maths

View Charlie's student perspective

Transcript

To revise for my exams, I summarise all of my lecture notes on to record cards and then revise from the record cards and do past papers.

Jess

Third-year Chemistry

View Jess's student perspective

Transcript

A lot of the time, things you learn in Chemistry you need to practise them to be able to use them. If it is a mechanism for a reaction, you need to use it and draw it again and check you know what is going on.

 

The best way of revising for me is to get together with a group of friends and all take an aspect of the course and go and try and paraphrase it or draw it out or say to your friend, ‘Would you do this reaction?'

 

By doing it yourself, you have to make sure you know it and by explaining it to others it helps everybody else. It is a really great way of reinforcing learning, and for me that is the best way to revise.

 

Veronika

Second-year Psychology

View Veronika's student perspective

Transcript

I think the most important thing, especially for Psychology, because all your exams are in the summer, is to really go along with the reading and looking at lecture notes and everything so you don't have everything to revise at the end, because I think a lot of people (including me) made that mistake in the first year that you thought, ‘Oh, it's not until summer', and then suddenly you're there.

Sebastian

Third-year Physics with management

View Seb's student perspective

Transcript

When it comes to exams, revision is very important. And the most important thing is to start early. You might think, ‘Oh, a week is enough, maybe a day per subject'. It really isn't.

 

I would suggest start after Easter. Exams start in about week eight /week nine - so it does give you two months to really revise everything. I mean in Physics, you do find yourself having nine/ten/eleven exams, so it really is important that you start early and keep coming back to the same topics till you really get it into your head. Plus, if you do struggle with something, you will still have time to ask someone and learn it in detail.


So just start early, that means you can go to bed at a reasonable time, you don't have to stay up all night. So that would be my tip, start early and seek all the help that is out there.

 

There are plenty of revision classes that lecturers organise where, again bearing in mind they write the exam, they will not mention something in a revision lecture which is completely irrelevant. So you might as well go along, take everything on board they say, and revise it.

 

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