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Effective Revision Techniques and Study Hacks for Students

24 May 2022

When you’re studying for exams things can get a little stressful, and let’s be honest, somewhat monotonous.

The key to success when revising for exams is to find a routine and study techniques that work for you. Not everyone works in the same way, so we’ve compiled a list of our favourite revision hacks to help you along the way.

 

Get into a routine

One of the key top tips that we can offer you to improve your revision sessions is to set out a routine that works for you.

Some people like to create a revision timetable to keep on top of all of their modules and to ensure that an adequate amount of time is proportioned to them.

Timekeeping and knowing how to space out study sessions is an essential and effective revision technique, as well as finding a space that is conducive to study. You need a place free from distractions, maybe the library or a study zone. Locking yourself in your bedroom is not the only option, and it’s good to change scenery every now and then.

 

Sleep well and take breaks

A great way to improve your memory and increase memory retention is to take regular breaks and even take naps.

It’s tempting to think that taking breaks is a waste of time, but there should always be a balance between work and rest. If you burn out, then you won’t be able to effectively retain information and even the most effective revision techniques won’t work.

It’s also important to be kind to yourself and reward yourself for any good work that you do. Small incentives like a trip to the cinema with friends or a favourite sweet treat can serve as boosters to keep morale high between intense study sessions.

When you’re studying, it’s usually better to do little and often rather than marathon sessions. That’s because the time in between studying is just as important for digesting and retaining information as the studying itself.

That time spent taking a break is when the information becomes cemented in your long-term memory. 

Taking naps in between sessions is another really efficient revision technique and a way to allow your brain to make those connections and to absorb information. It also allows you to recuperate in terms of energy levels, giving you an energy top up for the next round.

 

Take a healthy approach

A healthy student is a productive student. 

We’re not just talking about physical health.  It’s important to take a holistic approach when it comes to your health. 

Of course that means that you should take care of your body by maintaining a consistent routine of exercise, sleep, and a healthy diet.

Not only that but also think about your mental and emotional wellbeing. Physical and mental health go hand in hand but so often we only focus on the physical, to our own detriment.

Let’s face it, exams can be stressful and that kind of pressure takes a toll. Taking time out to meditate, meeting with friends, taking a stroll, having a hot bath….are just a few of the things you can do to relax and unwind during exam season.

Trust us, you’ll notice the difference.

Test your knowledge

Ok, so you’re studying hard, you’ve got your schedule, you’re taking time out to look after yourself. But how do you know that information is really sinking in?

Well, you have to test yourself! 

Taking quizzes or doing past papers is one of the best and most efficient revision techniques to gauge exactly where you’re at with the revision process. Doing past papers also prepares you extremely well for the exam day, as you learn what to expect in terms of questions and exam structure.

When you’re doing past papers, time yourself and be strict, treat it as though it were the real deal. Then read through what you’ve put down on the paper and assess yourself.

There are lots of exam papers online, or you can ask your course tutor for past papers.

 

Switch off social media

This sounds like a no-brainer but as is the case with so many things, the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak!

We all think that we have control over our social media consumption, but in reality most of us are addicted to checking up on our notifications. 

You might think it’s harmless to take a peek every now and then while you’re studying – until you get sucked into the black hole of Instagram or scrolling through TikToks. Before you know it, you’ve wasted 45 minutes doing absolutely nothing!

Silencing notifications on your social media or putting your phone away is the only way forward for many students. 

There even exist some apps which restrict your social media usage according to the timings you put on them. They literally bar you from checking your social media, so even if you feel the temptation, you won’t be able to give in.

 

Mix it up

Not everyone works in the same way. Every individual has a method of working that functions better for them. 

Perhaps you haven’t discovered your learning style yet, and that’s ok. But it’s much better for you if you experiment a little to be able to find shortcuts and effective revision techniques that work for you

Some people are very visual learners and need to write information down to be able to absorb it. If, for example, you need to memorise key dates try writing them down on post it notes and leave them around your apartment so they are constantly visible.

Or make notes on coloured flashcards so that the information becomes associated with a certain colour and you can distinguish between large chunks of information.

Others learn by hearing information relayed, so perhaps listening to podcasts or using videos could be the best way to learn if that sounds like you. Even talking with friends from your course, sharing revision notes and talking about what you’ve learned could be a way to ingest information.

Get a study buddy

Speaking of learning with friends, getting a study partner can be one of the most effective revision techniques. 

Be careful, though, as being with friends can be distracting. Make sure you pair up with someone who is focused and takes learning seriously too. You need to be with someone who has a contagious passion for success and who will be a good influence on you.

You’ll find that if you start revising with someone who is powering through they will provide you with morale and support to motivate you during more difficult moments.

 

Blurting

There are many effective revision techniques out there but one that has recently been all over TikTok is the method of Blurting.

It’s very simple really. It consists of writing down as much information as you can remember on the topic that you’re revising. Once you’ve written it all down, you can then read the text back and see where you’re lacking in knowledge. 

Then you go on to do more research on that area, revise more, and repeat the process.

A simple but effective revision technique.

 

Talk to yourself!

It might sound a little bit unusual but you can memorise important information by talking to yourself!

What’s more, if you say it out loud, you’ll find deeper connections and question yourself a little more. This revision technique brings into play your critical and problem solving faculties.

Just be careful that the neighbours don’t catch you! 

 

Ask for help

If you find that you’re struggling at any point in the academic process, don’t be too proud or embarrassed to ask for help.

Whether it be talking to a family member or a good friend, or even seeking advice from tutors, there’s no need to suffer in silence.

Most universities offer counselling and guidance services. They understand that university is not only fun and parties, for many it’s a time of growth and moving out of your comfort zone.

Some people experience stress because of exams, others because of financial difficulties, others don’t get along with their housemates. Whatever the problem is, there is always a solution. The most important thing is that you talk about it with someone who can help.

Here at Novel we understand that in order to enjoy university and get the most out of the experience, everything has to be taken into consideration. That’s why we offer wellbeing services, as well as beautiful living spaces and study zones. 

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