Ten revision tips that Lancaster students can use
Locking yourself in the bathroom and crying just won’t cut it at this point
Regrettably, it’s that time of year again and for many of us, exams are upon us or soon will be.
This can be a confusing, nebulous and frankly upsetting time for many a Lancs student and so in your collective hour of need, it makes perfect sense to come to someone whose last proper exam was GCSE German for revision tips.
Fear not though; what’s lacking in uni exam experience, is made up for in frenzied overthinking of any situation, so instead of revising ourselves, we offer ten potentially useful revision tips that Lancaster students can try out if they feel like it.
Unfortunately, there’s no legal proof of these techniques bringing you a first-class degree, but they’re worth a shot regardless.
1. Regular breaks
It’s a classic to start with and one that is often dismissed with plenty of eye-rolling – why should a revision schedule be hindered by pointless interruptions? It’s difficult to see the value in setting time aside to take a breather as it takes you out of the zone you try so hard to get in. It can, however, improve concentration and give you a more positive mindset by breaking revision down into digestible bites. You can spend the five to ten-minute breaks stretching your legs, getting some food or maybe rearranging your desk layout (a procrastinator’s goldmine). We discourage using the time to browse Tik Tok or the BBC Football website for instance as it can lead you down a rabbit hole and the next thing you know your entire day is gone.
2. Tricking the system
If you’ve spent time in the library recently, you might have noticed some handy do not disturb signs being offered up by the entrance or the security desk in case you’re doing an exam in your room and need your flatmates to keep quiet. This advice is to duck into the library, grab one and hang it on your door for those days where you need to get a serious bit of revision done which is being prevented by flatmates having loud conversations in the hall or crashing several dozen pots and pans in the kitchen. It might not deter them from continuing to distract as it is after all just a piece of paper but it’s worth a shot.
3. Funky colours
Now we reveal the mixed and complicated views on the humble bit of stationery known as the highlighter. They can of course be highly effective at making key information more concise and clear to read. However, we warn against excessive use as making sure notes look aesthetically pleasing can become an entirely too big portion of your life; marking out subheadings and key dates for instance are adequate enough occasions to bring out the highlighters; making your mind-map look like a pastel-heavy Jackson Pollock painting is less useful for your revision.
4. Hydration > procrastination
Another frequently suggested but frequently overlooked tip is the ever-important consumption of H2O. You might consider yourself above such practices or simply forget to do it but being well-hydrated can improve concentration, minimise headaches and put you in a more pleasant mindset, ready to absorb knowledge. Keeping a bottle of water on you could be greatly beneficial and be the difference between a 2:1 and a first (maybe).
5. A healthy night’s sleep
This might be as rare to many of you as a unicorn sighting but the benefits of a good night’s sleep are well-documented. The reality is that the majority of us will continue with our monster-fuelled one-way ticket to a breakdown but, introducing a regular bedtime and maybe an hour beforehand where you don’t look at screens could be the solution that allows you to revise more effectively.
6. You shouldn’t have to sacrifice outings
It seems like a cruel joke that as soon as we’re able to head out again, exams arrive and we feel as if we should instead be inside revising. However, the importance of taking breaks has already been stated and this extends to trips out with your flat or other friends. This isn’t an endorsement to go out on the lash every night or attend a bin social the evening before an exam but seeing friends and getting fresh air can break the week up nicely and motivate you to get all of your revision done in a certain period of time.
7. Tables are handy
An efficient way of storing and memorising information is to tabulate it and hope for the best. Dividing up modules or lectures into useful categories that can be referred to on the day of the exam has been a preferred method of taking down notes and as we’re confident that we’re not the only people in the world that does this, it is our duty to pass the knowledge on to everybody else.
8. Forming alliances
Finding like-minded people off of your course can prove an effective tool in preparing for an exam; asking in course group chats whether anyone wants to form a study group is certainly worth a shot. There’s a more than likely possibility that everybody airs you and you’re left feeling inadequate but the potential rewards justify the risk.
9. Distinguishing between work and rest
A highly important component of staying relaxed in exam season is keeping a calm and clear mind; a useful way of obtaining this is to make your place of study and place of rest separate. Your bedroom is hardly going to be a safe haven if it’s the place that you mentally associate with long, painful hours of work so why not utilise the library or Work Zone and keep your bedroom as your happy place?
10. Switch up your method
Someone who clearly never appreciated rests properly once said “a change is as good as a rest”. While this is contentious, there is some merit to the phrase as mixing and matching your revision methods could be advantageous to your exam preparation and help you determine what kind of learner you are; this might include tables, mind-maps, having a go at past papers, using YouTube videos or if all else fails, redecorating your entire flat with post-it notes with noteworthy information on them.
Good luck everybody.
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