The last-minute collection survival guide

It’s literally Wednesday, sort your life out


Chances are you’ve spent the Christmas holidays obsessing over the unlimited supply of free food (thanks Mum), catching up on the EastEnders drama and ignoring anything remotely academic. With the approach of 0th week, this leaves one burning thought in everybody’s mind:

“Oh Shit. Collections.”

This simple step-by-step guide to last-minute collection revision will help you survive the week and hopefully leave you with results that don’t completely disgust your tutors.

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Ignore the haters

There’s going to be at least one person who comes back to college reeking of “I’ve spent my entire holiday shut away revising,” and it’s more than likely they’ll want to tell you exactly how prepared they are. Ignore them. They’ll only cause you unnecessary stress and you need more than anything to approach the week as calmly as possible.

Know your enemies

Oxford exams, particularly for humanitarian subjects, usually last around 2-3 hours, and in that time you may be required to write 3-4 essays, or answer several questions. You need to know your exam structure in order to know how best to revise for it in a limited amount of time. (You can find past papers on OXAM.)

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What you don’t know, steal

Gaps in your notes? Chances are somebody in another year has already done the collection, or even exam, on the topic you are revising for, and they will have made notes. Revision notes will be more useful than full subject notes as they will be more to the point and easier to approach. Steal them. If all else fails, stop ignoring the haters and bribe them with chocolate.

Plan your time wisely

It’s time to figure out how much time you have and how much you have to do in that time. If you know exactly when you’re starting and finishing revision each day you can maintain a regular sleeping pattern, which helps to avoid a late night crisis. Collections usually take place on Friday or Saturday of 0th week, so that gives you three – four days. More than enough time. Don’t panic yet.

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Factor in planned breaks

So you may have to speedily cover two to three main points a day in order to cover enough material in time for your collection. But if you don’t plan your breaks properly, that ‘half hour lunch break’ could easily grow into a four hour catch up on the walking dead and before you know it you’ve procrastinated away your chances of covering an extra topic for your exam. Instead, plan something to do in those breaks; leave your revision space, get a Taylor’s sandwich, come back and get back on it

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Use your friends

Throw a revision party. (Not literally.) But getting together to discuss particular questions or topic can really help to embed things in your memory. Quiz each other, argue about key points, draw enormous spider diagrams that you can stick on your ceilings and stare into until it starts to make sense. Doing things together can help to relieve the stress of impending doom ahem collections, and help you to walk into the exam feeling much more calm.. or at least in the same boat as everyone else.

Party (literally this time)

Rumour has it Emporium are hosting a massive post-collections party and by Saturday you will have never have deserved an alcoholic drink more. If that isn’t motivation to get you through the week, we don’t know what is.

Note: The Tab does not accept responsibility for the outcome of your exams. But good luck anyway.