How to manage your exam revision

Get organised and be productive with our top tips for revision success. Whether you're sitting your final A-levels or you've already joined us here at Nottingham Trent University (NTU), help is at hand!

Revising for your exams can be a stressful time. Holding a conditional offer from a university is a great motivation, but it can also add to the pressure you feel to perform well in your exams. We've put together our top tips on how to tackle exam stress, create a logical revision plan, and perform at your very best in your important final exams.

Our top tips to help you revise wisely

Plan your revision sessions

Break your topics down into manageable chunks, then work out a logical order in which to tackle each section. You might want to look at the harder subjects – or subjects you're less familiar with – first, before skimming over the subjects that you're more confident on. Make sure to look at the harder subjects again nearer the exam time, so that they're fresh in your mind.

Write down the dates of your exams and prioritise your learning to address the subjects that you'll be examined on first.

Give yourself credit when you make progress

Make a plan and stick to it. Ticking off revision sessions will make you feel satisfied that you're making progress - use websites like Get Revising to build a custom revision timetable for yourself.

Remember to block out regular rest breaks and give yourself a day off every now and then to relax and refocus. And if you're stuck in a bit of a rut? It can help to revise with another person, so invite your mates around and get testing each other.

Find the right space for you

Make sure that you have somewhere quiet to work, where you won't be disturbed – whether that's at home, a local library, or a coffee shop. When the sun shines, get outside and soak up some rays while you get yourself exam-ready.

To make sure your revision sessions are as productive as possible, keep your revision materials in order, so that you know where everything is. Some people learn by drawing, some by making mind maps, and some by creating flashcards. Find the 'thing' that works for you!

Look after yourself in five simple steps

  • Take regular breaks

    This might be anything from watching your favourite TV show to having dinner. Time away from your books will help you refocus, improving your concentration levels when you return to work.

  • Get a good night's sleep

    Around eight hours of sleep a night will leave you feeling refreshed and ready to learn. You might feel that you work better late at night or early in the morning, but make sure you compensate by going to bed early or allowing yourself a lie-in!

  • Stay hydrated and eat well

    The effects of dehydration include reduced memory function, slower cognition and issues with focusing. Make sure that you're performing at your very best by drinking water often and filling up on healthy, nutritious meals.

  • Take the time to stay in touch with friends and family

    Whether it's a simple phone call, a quick coffee or a text, spending time with others is a great way of taking your mind off work for a while.

  • Make sure that you're taking regular exercise

    If you're feeling tired and stressed, exercise can be a huge help - so get out there! Sunlight is a proven mood booster too, so when the sun shines, go and take some time off!

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