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Debamita Banerjee

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Revision Strategies before Exams

Everybody has a different pace and commitment to studying. The stakes are high when you've only got a month left before a life-altering exam because time is limited and the syllabus to cover often feels enormous.   

The last month before a major exam is excruciatingly stressful as you might experience fear, panic, and anxiety over what is to come. But, if used rightly, you could also escalate your performance to new heights within a month. The key is to make the most of the time you have and not bring about burnout.    

The tips mentioned below will help people who've already covered their syllabus, but it's going to be a boon especially if you've left all your studying for the last moment.  

Revision Tips for Exams  

Revising what you've already learned helps you reproduce the information proficiently on the exam day because, despite all the wonders the human mind is capable of, most of us can't remember everything at first glance.  

Everybody has individual learning methods that are best suited for them, so pick and choose from the given tips as per your needs.

Decide Your Approach  

Look over your course material and exam pattern to determine how you're going to tackle the situation at hand. Set a realistic goal for yourself during this process. If you haven't studied anything all year, then trying to learn 100% of the syllabus extensively within a month is going to deter you from focusing on the topics that actually constitute the majority of the marks.    

Your exam pattern plays a huge role in how you gear up for a test too. If it's an MCQ pattern exam, chances are that the average time you have per question is going to be very less, hence you need to put a greater focus on speed. For exams with essay-type questions, you can save time by not mugging up every minute detail of your syllabus but rather getting a strong grip over the material as a whole.  

Begin Early  

Leaving all your work for the night before the exam will never yield you the results that you desire. You need to start preparing early and go the extra mile if you want to outshine your peers.  

By beginning early, you have the freedom to invest your time in making comprehensive notes while you go through the text. This way, you can just refer to your notes before an exam to recapitulate all topics within a jiffy. It'll improve both the quality and quantity of your learning. 

Make a Plan 

Draw up a detailed revision schedule for yourself. It'll help you systematically go about studying the necessary material and you can make sure you finish all your chapters within a pre-decided date. Additionally, writing down your goals makes you much more likely to achieve them because ticking an item off a list gives our brain an instant rush of accomplishment that drives us to do better.    

You can plan your revision primarily in two ways. 

  • Make a daily timetable for yourself and specifically mention the time slots where you wake up, sleep, study and take a break. 
  • Make a To-do list for each day the night before so that you know exactly what tasks you're supposed to finish off. This way you do not waste time wondering what you should be studying at a given moment.  

Tidy up your Study Space  

If you want to concentrate on your assignments, then you need to have a clutter-free environment that facilitates your focus. Clean your work area and only have your study essentials around. Organizing your space creates a positive and motivating setting. Also, try to not sit on your bed while you study because there's always a chance of dozing off.

Time Management  

A good student works hard, but a great student works smart. Smart work requires you to squeeze the most out of the time you have. Spend your time mindfully. Taking breaks is necessary but the time you spend aimlessly loitering around can cost you precious marks. If you're excessively stressed because of your exams, then time management can help you ease down by putting you in direct control of your situation. Read our article https://www.iamears.com/blog/Time-Management-Strategies-to-Reduce-Stress-1c383cd30b7c298a to learn about a variety of time management techniques you could deploy for greater productivity.  

Teach Someone Else  

Spotting the shortfalls in your understanding becomes a lot easier when you have to teach someone else what you just learned. When you can express the content you've read into the spoken word, it's a clear sign that you've grasped the material ably. Ask a parent or friend to just listen to you explain a topic or pretend to do it by yourself. The end goal is to enhance your grip over the syllabus.

Get Rid Of Distractions  

Mostly your phone, laptop, and television make up the perfect recipe for disaster when it comes to centering your attention on work. Due to unforeseen changes in the mode of education recently, it might be necessary for you to have such devices around so that you can access your coursework, online lectures, and practice papers.   

Make an effort to have these resources around you only when necessary. Do not text or pick up calls while you're supposed to focus, designate a particular time of your day to keep up social activities. You can also switch off your internet connection while you're studying and keep all your notes downloaded. This will help you get the best of both worlds.   

Summarize as you Learn 

When you're trying to retain information, just reading through texts won't be very useful on the final day. You need to summarize what you learn periodically on your own for the details to really get into your brain.    

After every page you read, jot down all the important points in a concise manner by yourself without looking at the study material. You can then go back and compare your understanding with the original text to find out the gaps in your comprehension.    

The 80/20 Rule  

The Pareto Principle, popularly known as the 80/20 rule, took the economic world by storm. Its implications are widely mentioned in discussions about productivity as well. The 80/20 rule suggests that 80% of a student's success hinges on just 20% of their exam preparation. This 20% usually includes the weeks just before their exam and the topics which contain the maximum share of marks.  

Invest your time in identifying what topics are relevant to the test you're appearing in and put greater focus on those that year after year has bagged high weightage. As a result, you'd be able to secure more marks in a small amount of time.

Do Practice Papers  

The best way to check if you're at par with your desired scores is to solve practice papers. Doing practice papers are especially beneficial if you have a lot of syllabus left to cover but not enough time. This is so because when you do practice papers, you start to learn the type of questions that actually appear in the exams and hence you get accustomed to the most essential parts of a topic. Try to do at least a fair amount of practice tests with a clock by your side so that you can assess your speed as well.  

Stay Calm

Let's be honest, studying and memorizing are not the most fun activities out there. To do well on your test, you need to get rid of panic and do things that relax you. Listen to music, take walks, spend time with your loved ones or watch an episode of your favorite TV show. When done in moderation, recreation can boost your productivity and pull you out of a stressed mindset.  

You can also practice meditation and deep breathing to calm your mind.  

Adopt a Healthy Lifestyle  

Studying for long hours every single day takes a toll on both your body and mind. To keep up your efforts, you need to be well-rested and your nutritional needs must be met.  

Avoid junk food and caffeine before an exam, it can give you a momentary energy rush, but it'll lead to a collapse eventually. Eat regular meals that fulfill you and make you feel energized. Get 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night so that you remember all the facts that you learn and your brain feels ready to tackle difficult problems.

Take Breaks  

Give yourself regular breaks to keep your mind fresh and open to new data. Studying with a fatigued mind is only going to waste your time because you'll remember nothing of it when the time comes. Instead of just hopping onto social media when on a small break, take a walk around your room or talk to a family member. It keeps you in the study zone while rejuvenating you all the same.

 

It's possible for you to get overwhelmed by the mental and social pressure to do well. Panic is the biggest adversary to a great performance on your exams. Hence, you need to stay grounded and let some steam off. Visit iAmEars to vent out your fears and negative emotions. The platform guarantees total anonymity so you can pour your heart out without any dread due to judgment. You can interact with other people from the community and support each other by sharing stories and providing advice. In case your stress seems to be weighing too heavy on you to bear, you can sign up for an online counseling session. Our panel of professional psychiatrists and counselors will listen to your issues and help you pinpoint any underlying causes. Ace your exams and life with iAmEars by your side.    

CONCLUSION

We're tested in life so that we can prove our talent and credibility, but remember that one mark sheet is not going to define who you are. Do not sacrifice your overall health and well-being to compensate for time lost. Nonetheless, they are an important determinant behind the way our careers proceed so always give it your best shot.  

Consistency is key. You could put all the above-mentioned tips to use with full force for a day or two, but that won't work. You need to show equal rigor each day and you will get your well-deserved rewards. Remember, your dedication is directly proportional to your success.