Studying is an essential part of education – love it or hate it, that’s life. Everyone has different methods of studying too, so as exam season rapidly approaches, we should take time to assess what really works for us. Unless you’re one of the lucky few with a photographic memory and no need for revision, you’ll likely find yourself staring at a pile of information with a block in your head stopping it from entering. This is a good sign that you need to switch up your revision methods, and I’m hoping to give you a few ideas with my personal revision strategies!
1 – Use Flashcards
Flashcards are a must-have for any student. They’re a lifesaver when it comes to remembering short bits of information, such as definitions, dates and key facts. They’re easily bought or made out of paper/card for those who like a physical copy of their materials, but my saving grace through study sessions is the app Quizlet.
Quizlet is a handy website and app that allows you to make virtual flashcards. It even has fun games to play with them, such as timing yourself to match the definitions or typing definitions to shoot away asteroids before they hit your virtual planet. To make it even better, these cards can be shared, meaning you can look for others’ cards and share your own.
2 – Have a Colour Scheme
The readings in my course can be pretty heavy material, occasionally leaving me staring at what is essentially word-soup in confusion. I find that highlighters make this so much better. By reading, highlighting and annotating all at once, meanings become much clearer and it’s a lot easier to find the important bits later on.
A colour coded system works brilliantly in notes as well. Throughout my studies, I have used the same scheme – blue for titles, green for names, yellow for key information. This makes it so much easier to find what you need.
3 – Reward Yourself!
If you’re trying to revise for 10 hours a day without a break, you’re fighting a losing battle. To reward your hard-working brain, give yourself frequent breaks or things to look forward to. For example, you could get some of your favourite food and say you’re allowed some every time you reach a certain milestone or cross something off your to-do list.
By rewarding yourself, you not only give yourself a break but motivate yourself to work harder. Humans are simple creatures at heart! Much like giving a dog a treat after doing a trick, treating yourself for being productive trains your brain into good habits.
However, it’s important to note that rewarding yourself for being productive doesn’t mean that you should beat yourself up for having a less-efficient day! Everyone has ups and downs – if you can’t focus or are too tired, listen to what your body needs and put self-care first.
4 – Make Making Notes FUN!
Although admittedly not everyone’s cup of tea, I for one adore making my notes decorative and pretty. It makes me want to look at them more, and gives me a sense of satisfaction when I revise. This does indeed take a bit of extra time, but if it works for you, it’s time well-spent! I’m not quite as good as the so-called studygram accounts you see on Instagram with perfect calligraphy skills, but below are some quick suggestions of little things that can spice your notes up.