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5 Top Tips to Make Your Revision Timetable More EffectiveGuest post written by James Timpson (Submit your essay and get read by 26,000+ students like YOU!)
Making a revision timetable may be at the bottom of your list of priorities, yet without one you will find it difficult to utilise time efficiently. A good revision plan will help you identify material that needs a bit of extra work, which will reduce your stress and anxiety come exam time. If you don’t know where to begin, these 5 tips may help you out.
1. Divide time between subjects wisely
When making your revision timetable, the first thing you'll have to do is decide how much time to allocate to each subject as not all of them will require the same amount of attention. Break down each of the subjects into different categories based on your confidence. Allocate more time to subjects that you find more challenging, and less time to the ones that you are more comfortable with.
The natural thing to do would be prioritising subjects you like and alienating the ones you find more challenging. Address your weaknesses early in the revision programme to ensure your confidence is balanced across the subjects. In addition, it’s very important to not overload the brain with information as retaining could be a challenging task.
|If you’re feeling stressed give yourself a break. / PicCredit|
2. Mix up your subjects
According to researchers at Oaklands College, revising the same subject all day can negatively affect your concentration levels. Instead, mix up your subjects to keep yourself engaged as time goes on. Most students end up revising all their least favourite subjects together. Do not take this approach as it could prove frustrating and disheartening. Alternating between difficult and easy subjects will provide you a much needed mental break while you study.
Revision can be made more effective depending on the methods you choose. Balancing your weaknesses and strengths is ideal as mentioned above, mix up your subjects to compliment each other. E.g. your weakest subject is chemistry, therefore allocate a sufficient amount of time and follow the session with one of your stronger subjects. Repeating your weakest subjects hinders your focus and could become a detriment to your revision programme.
3. Allow for breaks in your timetable
Don’t make the mistake of cramming all your revision into one sitting. You’ll get much more done if you study in short spells and take frequent breaks. With shorter study periods, your concentration will be much higher. Frequent breaks will also give you time to walk around, stretch, and get yourself a nutritious snack, all of which are important stimulants for the brain.
By arranging a revision timetable like this, you will feel more confident going into the exam period and will have a fresh approach to the chaotic programme. Student’s perception of revision is the stereotypical design of cramming information in a short period, however the pro’s outweigh the con’s when devising short breaks between subjects in your timetable.
Use practical techniques to improve your memory. For example, make notes while reciting information out loud. Simply reading out of a book for hours on end may not cut the mustard. Making notes and summarizing facts while you read will help you more effectively retain information. While it may be tiresome and tedious, it will yield positive results. You could also use different colours to highlight facts and information that require extra emphasis.
The brain retains relevant information if certain layouts are highlighted or underlined to emphasize importance. Certain diagrams can become useful such as; brainstorms or mind-maps to categorise large amounts of information and enforce order to your notes. Evidence has shown that these methods are extremely effective with highlighting certain keywords in your choice of colour can be an advantage too.
5. Change your setting frequently
To keep yourself motivated and interested in studies, change your setting frequently. For example, if you usually study alone in your room, consider studying in a group with other students. In fact, studying with others could really help you stay motivated if you lack enthusiasm. If you just want to get out of the house then perhaps the library or a quiet cafe will help?
Even if you have a very short amount of time left before your exams, with a smart revision timetable you could still get a lot done. If you’ve got some time left and truly feel like you’re lacking in a particular subject you could even consider taking a part-time college or online course to strengthen your knowledge. Even degree-level institutions such as the University of St. Albans often offer additional short courses to help you improve your grades.
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