How to revise: Tips and techniques to make revision easier

06 April 2020

For a lot of people, exams can be a stressful time but it doesn’t need to be that way. Our undergraduate student ambassador, Zari shares her top tips on how to prepare for your exams and make the most of your revision sessions.

I think it’s safe to say most of us have been there before, having all-nighters, drinking a lot of coffee, and recapping every note you made from the previous months. Luckily, I have organised some handy revision tips to make this exam season easier to manage for everyone. In this blog I will discuss the methods I use when revising for exams which have proven effective for me, and I will also provide some revision tips that anyone can apply to their revision routine.

Review what you have been taught so far:

Firstly, I re-watch lectures to be refresh my awareness of the content and go over the seminar work that was completed previously in the term to double-check my understanding. Once I have completed this initial task, I review the revision lectures. If your revision lectures are due to be scheduled in term 3, you can formulate some questions that you may want to ask to clarify your understanding of certain topics.

Use your core textbooks and access past papers to prepare you:

Secondly, I utilise the additional questions in my core textbooks which are applicable to each chapter. I find that this is a great way to start if past papers seem a little too complicated. Once I’ve done this, I gather as many past papers for my modules from the Warwick Past Papers online platform to enable me to test my knowledge. Working through these past papers also gives me an idea of the format of each exam and allows me to highlight areas for improvement, where I need to focus my revision. I use YouTube for areas of knowledge that I need to improve, as there are lots of great videos which explain particular topics really well. I usually complete all of the past papers in date order and leave the most recent exam paper until last. I find that practising the most recent exam paper near to my exam date helps me to retain the information, and additionally, the most recent exam paper could be very similar to the exam I am about to be tested on!

Online group study sessions are great to help ease the nerves:

Thirdly, I would definitely recommend that you try to study in an online group session at least a few times throughout your revision period. Although I prefer to spend some time on my own reviewing the concepts and topics within my modules, I still find it really useful to reach out to my classmates and clarify my understanding by getting their perspectives. I have been following this method since before I studied for my A levels, and it has been very beneficial to me and my friends. It is really useful to share your knowledge with one another and give each other necessary moral support and motivation in preparation for the exam season. Also, by engaging in group revision sessions, I not only solidify my own understanding of the concepts within my modules but my classmates often highlight areas I may have missed. Group revision work is also a great way to help others who may be struggling with certain topics or concepts that you are stronger with and vice versa.

Find a good study space:

Fourthly, when it comes to finding a suitable space for you to study it is important to find a distraction-free area. I have previously found that the library can be very busy and would choose instead to study in the WBS building. Last year, I spent my evenings studying in the UG Learning Grid and presentation rooms as they were really quiet.

Plan your revision schedule based on your exam timetable:

Finally, I would recommend that you plan your revision schedule based on your exam timetable. Before I know my exam timetable, I try to allocate time across all topics to review my understanding and ensure I have a good grasp of each module. Once I know my exam timetable, I focus my studies around the exams that are scheduled first. If you have enough time between exams this is a good time for you to rest and recharge your batteries before you continue preparing for the remainder of your exams.

Overall, my top exam revision tips are…

  1. Create a study schedule – devise a schedule of the modules you plan to study each day and what type of studying you are going to do. For example, on Mondays I will study my accounting module in the mornings, focusing on seminar questions, and law in the afternoon, working through past papers.
  2. Take necessary breaks/sleep – to avoid burnout, ensure you rest properly so that each session is effective. I try to aim for 7 hours of sleep and make sure I break up my day by taking a long walk outside to clear my mind between my study sessions.  
  3. Eat a balanced diet with fruit and veggies, drink water and exercise  I usually eat the healthiest during exams and try to exercise as often as possible as it makes me feel more energised, gives me a break from my studies, and relieves any stress I may have.  
  4. Speak to students who have done the module before for advice  the best advice from a student’s perspective usually comes from students who have done the module before. Last year I spoke to older students for general exam preparation advice which was really useful.
  5. Limit your distractions  take only what you need when you go to study so that you focus. Try using the ‘Do Not Disturb’ feature on your phone whilst you are revising so that you don’t become distracted as easily.
  6. Start studying early  Procrastination will be the bane of your existence. Even if you make a slow start it's better than not starting at all. If you are struggling to start studying, try reading up on your favourite modules or interesting topics that you remembered throughout the term, which will hopefully give you motivation for the other modules.

I hope these exam revision tips were useful to you and best of luck with your exams!

Looking for more study advice? Check out our student blog about managing your University workload.

Discover more about Zari’s course and life at the University of Warwick by downloading our undergraduate brochure.

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