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How Much Revision Do I Need to Do?

By: Kate Simpson BA, MA - Updated: 23 Aug 2012 | comments*Discuss
Revision Revision Timetable Planning

Whilst putting in the time is an important part of revision, the way in which you revise is more important than how much you actually do. Tiring your mind and your body with hours of revision that has not been carefully thought through is guaranteed to cause stress. Before you begin your revision, ensure that you know your learning style and have a detailed knowledge of the revision methods that work best for you. It is vital to ensure that you revise in a smart manner that is tailored to you as an individual.

Do What Is Right For You

Whilst revising with friends can be effective and fun, try not to get caught up in conversations about how much revision each of you has done and which areas you have already covered. Every individual needs to revise in a different way and will need to spend different amounts of time on various subject areas. Just as a runner will only scare and stress themselves if they ask about their opponents' speed before a race, speaking to your fellow students in this manner will only cause you to doubt yourself. Plus, the time spent chatting could be put to use in revising effectively! There is no definitive answer to the question, “How early do I need to start revising?” Some students work better when they are under more pressure whilst others' performances are improved when they give themselves more time to plan and prepare. Many students choose to begin revising six weeks before their exam, starting off with the odd session and increasing the frequency as the weeks progress. A good tactic is to plan your revision two months in advance. This will allow you to asses what work needs to be done and when it needs to be done by. You may not start revising at that point, but it will give you the opportunity to take a look at the big picture and to devise a revision strategy and timetable that suits you.

Revise Smart

Remember that your brain can only take in so much information at a time. Break down work into smaller chunks and never revise for longer than an hour at a time. You might find that even shorter sessions, such as twenty minute bursts, are best for you. Ensure that you give yourself time to have a short rest and to refocus in between sessions. Revising for shorter periods, more frequently, is far more effective than sitting at your desk for hours on end.Focus on the areas which you are least confident with. In this way, you will be able to prioritise your revision. You might like to briefly test yourself on each revision task before you begin, in order to ascertain how much time you need to devote to it. If you use this method, you will be revising to fill in the gaps in your knowledge rather than needlessly going over old and familiar ground.Keep your revision sessions varied. You might find that focusing on one subject at a time works best for you, but try to make use of a number of revision methods within each study session. Ensure that you are spending time on both easier and more difficult tasks.

Try not to panic about your revision schedule. Remember that you have already been to the relevant lessons and done the associated homework tasks. Revising well will build upon this, helping you to refresh your memory and to be more confident in the exam. Overloading your brain unnecessarily will not help you to succeed in the exam. Ensure that all revision you do is carefully thought through. Focusing your revision sessions and maintaining a variety will hold your interest and guarantee that your mind is constantly alert and productive, allowing you to get the most out of the time you put in.

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