The hardest thing about revision is knowing where to start, but once you put pen to paper and actually get started, it becomes easy.
Revision is a point in our lives we tend to dread; just as we start to feel comfortable and kind of understand it, and finally manage to develop a great revision technique that finally works, it’s all over! It’s the period of time that we await with dreaded thoughts and panic, and after that first exam, it just flies by.
The hardest thing about revising is the uncertainty of where to start. Besides this you know exactly what you need to do, you know and understand where your weaknesses are, you know what you need to focus on.
You are more than aware of everything that needs to be done, but the biggest struggle you face is sitting down and getting on with it. Instead of actually starting, you tell yourself that you are currently mentally preparing yourself to begin, so you reorganise your books, try and find the perfect notepad and pen that makes your handwriting look amazing, and you clean your room because it is completely unacceptable that you should have to work in a messy room.
The procrastination continues and before you know it, your first exam is tomorrow and you’ve done nothing!
How to stop procrastinating
The only cure to procrastination and trying to start revision is to JUST START! Make sure you’re (healthily) fed and full, put your phone way out of sight, sit down, and just write something. It’s hard to believe, but the only thing putting you off and holding you back is the blank page in front of you. It represents your state of mind and how you feel; it mocks you.
All you have to do is write something down, whether it is the date or ‘Maths Revision’, it’s still something and it’s a start. It makes you feel positive and ready; you know the date and you know what you’re revising, so it’s time to start!
Choosing what works for you
So now you’ve started you need to try and understand what works best for you and what you feel comfortable with; you need to come up with a revision technique. Do you like to brainstorm everything and make a load of mind maps? Does it help you to rewrite and reword what the textbook says? Do you like to look at past exam papers and attempt the questions? Do you like everything to be really visual and colourful with loads of pictures?
Lists, flashcards, post-it’s; find what appeals to you and use it! When you have sorted out your revision technique everything will fall into place. But remember to pace yourself and give yourself regular breaks. Your brain tends to shut down after about 40 to 45 minutes so give yourself time to recuperate and then get back to work. When you feel comfortable about how you’re revising, it will feel natural and you may even enjoy it!
At some point you might lose motivation and feel like everything is pointless and going nowhere. You’ll start to daydream and think about all the TV and sleep you’re missing out on. This is nothing to worry about, it’s happened to all of us at some point! Try not to give in to these thoughts, and motivate yourself with the fact that it will be over before you know it.
Stay positive, just think about how it’s such a small sacrifice and the end result will be an amazing future. Don’t give in, the second you do, it will be a slippery slope from there and you will struggle to get back on track. Stay strong, and keep working. It will be worth it.
Now we’ve reached your first exam and you’re panicking a little (a lot, you’re panicking a lot!) Don’t worry! You’ve worked too hard to let yourself get stressed out now. In your mind, you’re thinking that you don’t know anything and you’re not prepared and you’re going to open that test paper to the first question and not have the wildest clue what they’re talking about.
Just breathe, have a good night’s sleep and don’t do any last minute cramming. It doesn’t help at all, which is why you should pace yourself through your revision in the first place. Wake up fresh and go into the exam hall feeling confident and mellow, and try to stay away from stressed out friends who want to ask you a tonne of questions about what you revised, what you remember and what will come up.
If you go in with a fresh and open mind, you will succeed. To sum up, revision is easy once you find what’s good for you and get started. So just start!