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Revision tips for exam success

Here's how to take the stress out of exam revision

10 April 2019

The temptation to not revise can be strong. There are just so many things to distract you these days. Netflix, gaming, videos of cats being scared by cucumbers on YouTube. The list is endless.

But seriously, we both know that revision is the only way to get stuff in and ensure you do well in your exams.

We wanted to check in and make sure you had everything you need and share some revision tips and things you can do to help yourself that others have found helpful, at what can be a pretty stressful time:

1. A revision timetable

Short bursts of learning have been proven to be more effective as you don’t lose concentration. Work out a timetable of 30-40 minute sessions when you can study. But don’t spend ages on the timetable and let it become a distraction – yes, we are speaking from experience – just keep it simple!

2. Find the right space

Apple founder, Steve Jobs, once said that he liked to move around his offices to work as it allowed him different spaces in which to think and the different environments sparked different ideas. Find spaces that work for you. If you like quiet, try the library. If you want a bit more background noise, try a coffee shop. Just make sure that wherever you go you are actually revising though!

3. Get a study buddy

Having someone to talk things through with can help. Test one another on the information you’re learning and you both benefit.

4. The early bird catches the worm

Research has shown that the brain is more receptive to new ideas in the morning after a good night’s sleep! Try and structure your days to allow you to make the best use of this time and avoid the late-night study sessions that might actually do more harm than good.

5. Practise makes progress

A big part of doing well in exams is about understanding the demands of the questions you are being asked and techniques the exam boards are looking for in the responses you give. Go over past papers and do some timed practise tests to give yourself a taste of questions you might get asked and timeframes you have to answer them. If you do enough practice papers, you may even find that some of the questions on the day are very similar to those you’ve done!

6. All work and no play is fun… said no one. Ever.

Exams are stressful. Revision is tedious. You need to make sure that you’re breaking up your time with fun activities. It gives you a break, allows you to focus on other things and then, hopefully, you return to your revision re-focussed and ready to go.

7. Make your body a temple... but not one of those ruins with trees growing over it!

Exercise and a healthy diet are always a good option, but during revision season they can be secret weapons to success. Exercise is great for helping to reduce stress and opting for healthy snacks can give your body the energy it needs to best focus. That said, it’s all about moderation, so if you feel like a cheeky Nando’s then it won’t kill you!

8. Mind over matter

Activate Learning has won awards for our Learning Philosophy, which is based around understanding how you emotional state can affect your ability to learn. If you are feeling stressed and anxious, you may feel negative about your upcoming exam and that negativity may then impact on your ability to focus and take in the information you need. But by starting your revision now, planning out the things you need to learn and following all the tips above, you will be able to smash your exams. So think positive. Know that you are working hard and that you are going to do well. You’ve got this!


Download our revision timetable


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