4 unproductive revision methods to dodge

Even though exam season might seem like ages away, sadly, it’s not. And you know what that means? Revision, a.k.a everyone’s favourite way to spend their life. Here at UNiDAYS we want to make studying as easy and pain-free as possible for you, so we’ve gathered together our top tips and tricks for avoiding unproductive revision. Holla at me, A*!

1. Just rereading your notes

Even though it might feel like you’re being super productive by skimming over all of your notes, it’s unlikely that anything is actually going in. Rereading is not an active enough process and unfortunately, in order to nail your studying, you need to be as active as you can. There’s nothing wrong with rereading your notes and then doing a follow-on activity like writing down as much as you can remember or practising an exam question, but steer well clear of the ‘I’ll just read my notes again the morning of the exam’ technique. Life would be so much simpler if that actually worked. Typical, huh?

2. Trying to cram it all in

So, it’s the night before an exam and you still have three meaty chapters of your textbook to recap. We’ve all been there, right? Absolute nightmare. Even though it might seem like a great idea to pull an all-nighter and cram, it’s actually one of the worst things you could do. Just think of how much extra strain you’re putting on your brain! Studies have suggested that students who have timetabled their workload sensibly will have a much greater chance of success, so why not make it easier for yourself and do little and often?

3. Winging it

‘Fail to prepare, prepare to fail.’ You’ve probably heard it a million times before - it’s harsh, but it’s true. If you’re going to sit down and do some revision, make sure you plan what you’re going to do. There’s absolutely no point trying to revise if you have no idea what you need to look at or how long you’re going to be studying for - give yourself an end goal. There are tonnes of online revision timetables you can download or print out, so there’s no excuse. Structured revision is the key!

4. Avoiding exam practice

So, revision is all about getting fully familiar with the exam material, right? Well, in a way, no. Spending too much of your time going over something can actually detract from the skill you’re going to be tested on - writing answers in exam conditions. Put it this way, footballers aren’t going to practise for a football match by never playing football, so you need to make sure you’re continually testing and marking yourself using materials from the exam board. Nail the practise, nail the exam! Simple.

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