So it’s nearly exam time and the panic is starting to settle in… how can I possibly revise all of this stuff before my exams?! Breath. It’s going to be okay.
Nobody likes exams and for most people even the thought of them brings fear and dread! For the few months of awkwardly sitting in an exam hall wondering why no one else has noticed the invigilators doing a funny walk up and down the front of the exam hall, the world might as well be over, right?
WRONG! Exams are awful and there is no pretending that they aren’t. There are some ways to make them easier and less horrific than you think they are going to be.
First of all, just sit back and breathe a little, look at that never-ending to do list from a distance. Panicking isn’t going to help anybody and it certainly won’t help you.
A big part of even starting revision is being organised. That may seem like a lot of effort but it really will help you in the long run. Make yourself a revision timetable which tells you what subjects you’re going to revise and when, and for how many hours you’re going to do it.
But be realistic… you will still have to go to school or college or uni in the days and probably stuff in the evenings. An hour of revision a night is probably a good place to start when you’re busy in the day.
The worst thing you can do is let yourself burn out. Take at least a day off a week where you do no work, take a whole day to yourself… you deserve it!
Working out how to revise..
Work out what way of revising is best for you. Everyone revises best in different ways. For me, writing out flashcards and summarising all my notes is really useful.
I also find that practising essays helps me out and calms me down before my exams. At least then I know that I can actually write about a topic for an hour and maybe, just maybe, I know something!
If you can get hold of them, look at some of the past papers for the topic that you’re studying. Even if you don’t answer them all in full, at least plan some of the questions.
It sounds counter-productive, but make sure you pay attention to the things you’re unsure of. A big struggle for me is not revising the things I know because this gives me a lot of security about the fact that I maybe know something, even if it is little!
It might not feel good in the short term because you’ll worry you don’t know anything, but it’ll help you so much in the long run.
Just believe in yourself
My final piece of advice is that you believe in yourself. There’s that famous quote which says “believe you can, and you’re halfway there”. I’m not one for soppy or inspirational quotes, but that’s something I try to live by and it’s got me this far.
Sometimes having faith that you can do it is the biggest struggle, not just in starting to revise but also the whole way through it. Believe that you are brilliant, that it WILL all be okay no matter what happens in August.
Just know that everything you’ve done, you have given your 100% and leave no doubt in your mind that you can do everything you put your mind to.