Exam revision is one of the most personal and important processes from the life of every college student. It matters so much because it consolidates all the information you’ve been trying to accumulate during a semester and it’s an excellent way of making sure that your final exams will end with good grades. Prior to getting started, it’s critical to know yourself. Spotting both your strengths and weaknesses is a good way of discovering your best study tools and practices.
How much information do you know already? What is your best revision strategy? What tools work for you during an exam study session? These are just a few question you must know the answer to before starting a revision.
Felling overwhelmed is easy, so whatever you choose to do you never assume that you’re trying to aim too high. It’s extremely important to asses first. Is your task too big to achieve? Is it vital? If the answer is ‘yes’ then you need to find a strategy that can help you study more efficiently. Exams and revisions are stressful, but they’re not impossible to attain. The key to successful study sessions is to be realistic.
Learning a 100-page study guide in one day will never happen. And even if you manage to read the whole text in a hurry, the information gathered won’t stick. Time is of the essence when it comes to exam revisions, so the best advice is to start ahead. Allocate at least 2 weeks for an exam that’s more challenging and don’t study like a crazy person 10 hours a day. Take control of your life and wake up at 9. Study until 2 pm every day, and you’ll see that in 2 weeks you’ll be fully prepared.
Focus on quality not quantity
If you want to make it alive from an exam revision, you need to prioritize. Don’t try to learn everything as you’ll create a chaos in your head, and the result could be disastrous. Take things step by step, make a list with the most important subjects and start with those. During your study session, try to stay concentrated and don’t let anything and anyone distract you.
Quality learning is an excellent way of answering questions you don’t know. For example, you know the answers from subjects 1, 2, and 3, but 4 is a complete blur. You can use what you know to your advantage, and even if it won’t be the best answer, your teachers will surely appreciate that you’re tried. A word of advice: never ever leave empty blanks, and try to answer all questions.
Step it up
You may be used with a specific type of exam revision technique, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take things to the next level. Tactics you used in the past should be changed, modified, and extended to make you reach your fullest potential. Start by analyzing your revision habits and see where you can make improvements. Is Facebook distracting you? Log out! Of course this doesn’t mean you can’t use technology and social media to study; but you need to do it the smart way.
For example, apps like Evernote, Flashcards Deluxe, Student Pad, and iHomework are excellent for college students struggling to stay organized. They’re extremely easy to manage, they’re cheap, and above everything else, they can motivate you to study. Rather than allow technology to distract your attention with games and social media platforms, choose to use it to your advantage.
Test what you’ve learnt
Testing yourself is the best way to see if you’re prepared for exams. Make a list of questions but don’t start right away. Leave them for the following day. If the information you’ve read for the past week has synced in you’ll be ready to give the right answers. If you’re having difficulties, you know what subjects still need revisions.
Exam revisions can have so many different approaches that it’s impossible to know for sure which ones work best for students. For some mind mapping and timetabling work best, while for others flashcards and post-its are lot easier to digest. Whatever method you choose to work with, always have in mind that the goal is to pull through an exam session with flying colors.
Photo Credit: Flickr/Djenan Kozic