It seems that our favourite time of the year is soon to be upon us. Summer?! No.
It’s a vicious cycle that most of us go through every semester. We start learning new content and think to ourselves “I am totally going to do what the lecturer says and do work regularly!” Sure enough, you do fulfill a couple of weeks of work, until slowly your social life takes precedence over notes and reading (because going out, seeing your friends and having fun is far more appealing than staring solemnly at your £80 textbook and praying for a better tomorrow). Then a few months later, it’s revision week (this week), and you panic.
Nonetheless, giving up on your notes and reading isn’t always because you’ve found more social activities to do. As a psychology student, some friends and I are subject to the ‘assignment rut’. This is when you don’t have to worry about any form of assessment for the first few weeks of the semester, so you do all your notes and reading like a good egg. However, after the 2 week period, you realise that you have two assignments due in the next two weeks that you haven’t even thought about. From there, all of your ‘revising’ time becomes focused on doing your assignments and perfecting them to achieve the best mark possible. It’s only after all your assignments are done (plus a couple of weeks later, for being proud of yourself for getting all the assignments completed) that you realise how little you’ve done elsewhere, and you panic.
Or, you may just not care less about revision until a time when it suits you. Maybe you think you know all the content already, or think that it won’t take a lot of time to complete, or just don’t care. As somebody who had this foolish mentality in first year, you are wrong – AND, you will panic.
So, if you are one of those people that hasn’t yet thought about (tut tut) or started revising, I’m here to tell you that you still have time to achieve an awesome mark. But, how to use that time effectively is the issue – so here are some things that may help ease this process:
1. Active vs. passive revising – this is so important when revising with a limited time frame! A passive process of revising (i.e. reading a textbook and lecture slides alone) will NOT absorb or mentally challenge you, therefore it is useless to waste your time doing this. Now, I’m not telling you to not rely on these resources at all, because they are there to help you. Instead, use them in an active way – such as only writing down key bits of information in your own words (as word-for-word copying is a repetitive process, therefore making it passive), or making flash cards etc.
2. Test yourself constantly – at the end of the day this is an exam, and you will be tested. Therefore, use lots of past papers or make your own essay questions in order to understand the wording of the questions (a flaw that a lot of us make – if you are someone constantly affected by this try this website for help).
3. PLEASE TAKE BREAKS! – look, I know I said that you don’t have a lot of time, but that is no excuse to work in the library for 36 hours straight! If you don’t take breaks, you won’t achieve your desired marks (even the Daily Mail agrees with me [for once]). Taking a five-ten minute break every hour, for example, is just enough time for your brain to cope with the information you’ve thrown at it (which is definitely needed).
Finally, good luck to all of you taking exams this semester and I hope you all achieve what you desire. I will leave you with this meme just in case any of you are procrastinating though. x