It is important to think about your study skills when starting to revise for your exams. Reflecting on the way you learn, revise and retain information are important things to think about in order to prepare for your exams.
Study Reflection - Why is it important?
Reflecting helps you to develop your skills and review their effectiveness, rather than just carrying on doing things as you have always done them. It is about questioning, in a positive way, what you do and why you do it and then deciding whether there is a better, or more efficient way of doing it in the future.
In any role, whether at home or at work, reflection is an important part of learning. When we learn we can become stuck in a routine that may not be working effectively. Thinking about your own skills can help you identify changes you might need to make.
Reflective questions to ask yourself
- Strengths – What are my strengths? For example, am I well organised? Do I remember things?
- Weaknesses – What are my weaknesses? For example, am I easily distracted? Do I need more practice with a particular skill?
- Skills – What skills do I have and what am I good at?
- Problems – What problems are there at work/home that may affect me? For example, responsibilities or distractions that may impact on study or work.
- Achievements – What have I achieved?
- Happiness – Are there things that I am unhappy with or disappointed about? What makes me happy?
- Solutions– What could I do to improve in these areas?
Find out what learning style best suits you before you start your revision.
- Visual – learning best by seeing
- Aural/Auditory – learning best by listening
- Read/Write – learning best by information displayed by words
- Kinaesthetic – learning best by doing
Top exam tips
Don’t leave it too late to start your revision. Make sure you give yourself enough time to plan your revision, so you are not rushing to fit everything in.
Draw up a revision timetable
Research has shown that working in 20-30 minute blocks can help keep your concentration high. It’s good to take short, frequent breaks to keep your focus. Make sure to test yourself with past papers so you are familiar with the format of the questions asked.
Find a suitable study space
Make sure you find a study space that means you can work without getting distracted and can work without being interrupted. Using friends and family to test you and give you feedback on your answers.
This is the best way to memorise lots of information, sitting and reading textbook after textbook won’t help you to retain the information you need. Use bright coloured pens and notelets to help you identify key pieces of information.
Making sure you take time for physical activity is important. Exercise will help ensure your brain gets oxygen and keep your blood pressure low and is a great release for any exam stress.
The night before the exam
Try not to revise the night before the exam, you will stress yourself trying to cram in last minute revision. Try to relax and get an early night’s sleep.
The day of the exam
Don’t think about passing or failing, try to stay calm and keep a clear head. Now is the time for all your hard work and revision to pay off, stay calm in the exam and the information you have studied will be easier to remember.