How to focus when revising

Can’t seem to focus on your revision and yet mastering all forms of procrastination? Don’t worry if you’re struggling to find revision motivation, you are not alone!

The thought of the mammoth task in front of you might make you feel nervous and your lack of social life is probably making you all kinds of grumpy. These feelings are really going to affect your ability to focus, which will have a knock on effect on your productivity and all round ability to smash those exams.

Here are our top tips to help you tackle your distractions and get on track for revision success.

1) Set achievable revision goals

If you try and just tackle ‘revising’ as one big entity you are bound to feel overwhelmed. Break down your revision to subject areas and modules within those subjects. What exactly do you need to achieve for each one? Is your work coursework or exam based? What are the order of your exams? 

Ask yourself lots of questions and then use the answers to help you set realistic goals with specific time frames. This will help you keep a clear frame of mind and will be a great reference point if you start to feel a bit lost.

2) Make a revision timetable

Now you’ve got your revision goals clearly mapped out, you can make a timetable to help you achieve them. It may sound daft but include your full daily routine in your timetable, not just study times. This will help you make sure you are getting enough sleep and waking up feeling rested and productive.

Listen to the advice of your tutors regarding how much time you should be spending revising each subject. You can always adjust this if you feel there are particular areas you struggle with that need a little more attention.

3) Find a revision technique that suits you

We all learn and retain information differently, so it’s only natural that we will all revise differently. What may work for your friend may not work for you, no matter how you hard you try and that’s OK.

There are so many different ways you can revise; colour coded notes, reading and repetition, mind maps or the Pomodoro technique. Trial a few of these early on in your revision, use the process of elimination to discover the methods that work best for you.

If you’re still struggling to figure out what kind of reviser you are, why not take our quiz?

4) Ditch the phone

You’re going to find excuses that you need to use it as a timer, or calculator or an app is helping you revise or you tell yourself that you’re only going to check for two minutes and before you know it two hours of your life just went by.

Put it down. Lock it up. Step away. If you do need to use it – strictly for revision purposes - put your phone onto airplane mode and do not let it sabotage your revision.

5) Timing is everything

While you might think you're doing yourself a favour by powering through seven hours of revision, your brain might not thank you for it.

Are you a morning person or a night owl? You're best to capitalise on your most productive hours of the day and make sure to allocate regular breaks. Try and do something productive or beneficial such as; have a healthy snack, go for a walk or read a book you enjoy. 

Doing exams can be stressful, so looking after your wellbeing is really important. To lend a hand we’ve put together our favourite wellbeing tips to help you stay positive and motivated throughout exam season.

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