Why the best day to start revising is today … and how to do it

If you have exams coming up this summer, you have probably been thinking about starting to revise.

You might have wondered when is the best time to start revising. Will you peak too early if you start too soon? What if you start too late and can’t cover everything?

My advice is TODAY is always the best day to start revising. You might be reading this article in February, or you may not come across it until October, but NOW is always the best time to make a start on your revision.

Why? Because revision is something you need to do a little of each day. Start now and you will have the maximum number of days available to you. Don’t waste emotional energy thinking that you could have started last week. Instead, pick a subject and get stuck in.

Keep planning your revision simple to start off with. It’s all too easy to spend hours on a fabulous revision chart, without doing any revision at all.

If you are studying for GCSEs you have lots of topics to cover. Start with just one subject. Perhaps it’s Monday, so make every Monday the day you look at this subject.

Study in bite sized chunks: 5 minutes revision is better than no revision at all. Some studies show that we work best in 20-minute blocks. However you divide up your time depends on what suits you best.

Set yourself a timer on your phone, with an alarm that tells you when your chosen time period is up. Take a break, then get back to it. 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off might work. Try it and see.

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Pick times of day that work well for you. If you have a dull bus journey to school or college, go through your notes on that journey. If you are a night owl, pick a later time to start – but remember to still get enough sleep to feel good the next day.

Help yourself by making revision cards. Whether you write in a notebook, on actual cards or on scrap paper doesn’t matter. Just make short notes on each topic you revise to remind you of key points. Keep them together so you can go back over them as your exam gets near.

Use a mix of methods to revise. Combine going through notes and textbooks with doing exercises and past papers. Getting familiar with the types of questions asked will help.

Ask for help. Partnering up with a study buddy can make it easier to revise. Or, if you find it hard to stay focussed ask a parent or teacher for support. If your bedroom is too full of distractions, ask if you can revise at school or at the kitchen table. If you phone is your main distraction give it to someone else to hang on to until your revision session is done.

So, don’t panic. Pick a subject and start revising today. Do one bit of revision today, one more tomorrow. Stick at short, focussed periods of revision every day and you will soon have covered all you need to know.

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