Research

How to do maximum revision with minimum stress

Revision requires maximum brainpower and concentration; but with so many things around to distract us it can be difficult to truly focus on the task at hand. Modern technology is great; I mean, how many of us could live without a smart phone now? However, it has to be said that we’ve become a nation of over-stimulated tech addicts. Smart phones, tablets, e-readers, laptops, wearable technology, games consoles – there’s always something there to help us procrastinate when we should be focusing on revision or essay writing.

So in this veritable sea of procrastination apparatus, how can we ignore Instagram, forget about Facebook, and take time out from Twitter long enough to focus on that all-important revision?

Everyone has different learning styles, so there’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to revision. However, if you’ve hit a brick wall and are looking to try some different revision techniques then here are a few great tips that may just help to revolutionise your study time...

Look after yourself

You can’t possibly expect to do your best revision if you’re neglecting your health and wellbeing. You may think that time spent exercising, cooking, and eating healthy food is time you could have spent drinking an energy drink, eating a takeaway, and going over your lecture notes instead. Prioritising your health and wellbeing will help you to achieve much better exam results in the long run, so it’s worth investing your time in the following:

  • Exercise
  • Sleep
  • Fuel yourself

When you’re neck-deep in a mountain of revision notes it’s all too tempting to keep reaching for the instant noodles, chocolate bars, and energy drinks. Whilst these foods are convenient, they lack nutritional value and can make you feel worse in the long run. Try to cut down on caffeine and processed sugar, instead opting for water, herbal tea, and fruit to keep you going during the day. Additionally, by investing a bit of time on a Sunday afternoon, you can make a week’s worth of healthy, convenient meals for your freezer, such as spaghetti bolognese, chilli, soup, chicken curry, and fish pie.

There's an app for that

If you’re a smart phone addict, why not make your phone a part of your revision? There are a number of apps available that can help you to focus on your studies; just try to avoid the temptation of checking Facebook every two minutes instead of revising...

  • google docs
  • Dropbox
  • Penultimate
  • imindmap

We all have different learning styles, and some people find that mind maps or spider diagrams are the best way for them to absorb information. iMindMap is a free app, available on iOS and Android, that allows you to create mind maps using the built-in sketch tool, and sync them to the cloud for access from other devices.

Get organised

If you’re revising for multiple exams at the same time it’s important to get organised, otherwise you’ll end up getting confused and not taking anything in properly. Dig out all that cute stationary that you bought at the start of the year, and put it to good use in organising your notes...

  • make a timetable
  • be realistic
  • organise your notes
  • set goals & reward yourself

Keep yourself motivated by setting revision goals, such as highlighting key points from a group of lectures and reimagining them in a mind map – whatever works best for you. After achieving your goal, reward yourself with an episode of your favourite show, a nice bath, or a phone call with a friend.

Set the scene

There are not many people who are able to concentrate on revision when there’s too much noise distraction around them. Most of us tend to need quiet, serene surroundings in order to focus, so it’s important to set the right scene for your study time...

  • quiet space
  • minimise distractions
  • focus with music
  • get the lighting right

It’s best to study in a room with a good level of lighting. If it’s too dim you could end up straining your eyes trying to read your notes, whilst if it’s too bright you may end up squinting which isn’t good for your eyes either.

Everyone learns in different ways. Some people are very visual and learn best with diagrams and mind maps, whilst some people take in information better by hearing it or watching it on a video. Whatever your learning style, our tips should go some way to helping you to look after yourself and ensuring that you create the best possible environment and state of being in which to revise effectively.