Revision hacks that will help you remain focused this term
Now that Easter is over, the exam period is on the horizon.
Whether you have exams or coursework, it's easy to lose motivation after the Easter break which is usually packed full of chocolate, alcohol and relaxing in the sun. However, these tips will help you remain focused this term and help you to organise your revision:
Utilise the library
Although I can't say the library is my favourite place, I can see the appeal. Surrounded by every book you could possibly need, the library is the perfect hub for students. With a cafe for your coffee and snack needs, and a printer only a short walk away, you can study in comfort; there are different floors for silent areas or group study, and you can even book out rooms to study with your friends. This building is specifically designed to support students at their most stressed, so make sure that you use it.
Don't be afraid of asking for help
The library has staff available for any of your study needs so don't be afraid to ask for information or for a hand finding a book. Don't suffer in silence; if you're struggling with your work, ask a tutor or a friend for help. Don't let the stress of university take a toll on your physical or mental health, there are plenty of support resources and networks on the university website or at the medical centre. Also, Mind—the mental health charity—offers heaps of support.
Use a planner
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One of my favourite things to do is plan out my week, decide which days I will revise or work on certain topics and how long this will take to get done. I feel a lot calmer doing this than just going with the flow and it stops me from just sticking to the easy and more enjoyable revision subjects so I don't neglect certain areas of work. Bullet journals are a fun way to keep on track, but an academic planner will do just fine.
Study with a friend
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// i've been using the MimimaList app for a week or more now and i am really loving it to track my time on certain tasks — although i can't set it's sounds to silent, so i've been accidentally annoying people in the otherwise silent library when i've forgotten to set my phone on silent #awks! (#notspon, i just wanted to share this app i'm loving rn!) 🕚 it's another dissertation writing day today and i've really got a clear idea of what my sections need to articulate and what i want to get done today, so hopefully i'll make some progress! ~ also it's iced coffee season but i'd like to transition away from buying one-use cups etc! would you guys recommend keep cups and travel coffee mugs for iced drinks, and if so, which brands? 🌼 ~ #studygram #studyblr #studyspo #studyinspo #studying #university
You don't always have to isolate yourself in order to focus. Organise group sessions or ask your friend to make sure you keep focused so you don't get tempted to stray from your work. This can be a fun way to revise and will help you feel less alone in carrying the workload.
Use flashcards, post-it notes and mind maps
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I find it so helpful to have all the information I need to know in one place. You can use colour coding techniques or turn your revision into a fun quiz to make the learning a little bit more enjoyable. They're convenient to pop in your bag so you can revise anywhere. Additionally, mind maps and post-it notes can also help if you pin them to the wall. Being creative can help you get the most out of your revision.
Don't compare the amount of work you do to other people or let others make you feel bad
As an individual, you may have a completely different work pace or work load to another student. You can only do your best, so don't feel guilty if you don't feel up to working as much as other people as you have no idea what level they even work at. This works both ways; don't let people try to tempt you away from your work, you're the only one who knows how much work you have to do so stick to your guns. If your friends are going out for drinks and you say no, don't give in to peer pressure or let them make you feel guilty for prioritising your work. If they're worth it, your friends will understand what you're going through and will still be there waiting for you to join them once you've finished your work.
Use online resources
Sometimes, lectures are recorded and uploaded to Echo. This is perfect for refreshing your brain and getting the most out of your lecturers. It's actually my favourite way to revise as this does not take much effort. Additionally, some modules on Moodle will upload suggested reading and additional resources that are always worth checking out, as well as the suggested reading at the end of lecture slides. You never know what helpful information you might find.
Support your friends
Offer support to your friends struggling under the workload. Ask if they need help if there's anything you can do and respect any space they may need in order to concentrate. If you're living in the same house, offer to do some cleaning for them, make them some dinner after a long hard day. Small gestures can help your friends feel less alone and stressed.
Give yourself an incentive
While it may be enough to think of the great grade you'll receive for your labours at the end of the semester, it might be a nice idea to give yourself that extra bit of motivation. If you do a certain amount of hours of work, why not treat yourself to that new top you've wanted or go out for a nice meal as a way of rewarding yourself?
Take snacks and save money
Sometimes a long day at the library, or even an all-nighter, is unavoidable. The last thing you want is a grumbling stomach while you're sat in the silent area. Taking your own snacks also avoids buying too many snacks from the expensive library cafes, so your wallet will be thanking you. Additionally, using a reusable coffee cup can save you money as discounts are offered in return for this small, environmentally friendly choice.
Give yourself breaks
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Even five to 10-minute breaks every hour will help you to stay focused and manage distractions. Give your eyes a rest, go for a quick walk, grab some food or watch a video for a while to recuperate. Otherwise, your temptation will eventually win, you'll cave and not do your work at all.
Remember this is temporary and will be worth it
At the end of the day, summer is just around the corner. Your degree will stay with you for the rest of your life, and while you definitely shouldn't pass off every single opportunity for fun, all your hard work will be worth it in the end.
Remember, whatever grades you achieve, you can only do your best and that is more than enough.