As we reach the end of second semester and final assessments are finished, it is time to start focusing on exam preparation, therefore I thought it would be helpful to offer some advice. However, with exams still being a little different this year, I have decided to focus this blog on preparation, rather than on how to revise, so that this can be helpful during any style of exam season (or essay season too!).
Firstly, plan, plan, plan. I have experienced times during exam season where there are multiple exams scheduled within days of each other, truly mounting the revision pressure! Not to fear – time management is your best friend. My biggest tip would be to either download apps like Trello or nTask, or just download a free monthly template planner from Google. Then just colour co-ordinate your break-down of different tasks throughout the month and set this as your laptop background. This provides a visual that allows you to distinctively see when you need to complete tasks by, so you know if you are on track or if you need to work a little harder to hit those planned deadlines.
Along with planning monthly, I also like to schedule my hours within days to make the most of my time – channel the Pomodoro Method. This famous technique has truly become a part of my exam preparation toolkit, purely because I work best within short intervals. I usually set my timer for 30 minutes (it is recommended that you do 25 minutes, but I have found an extra 5 minutes can really make a difference) to work on a task and then take a 5-minute break before starting the next task. Then after completing this cycle 4 times, I reward myself with a longer break of 20 minutes (or a little longer depending on if it is lunch time) and will then repeat throughout the day. Whether this be for making revision notes, reading, or even memorising, this technique has made a significant dent in how much work I am able to get done - definitely give it a try.
Now, another big thing is distraction, which is all too common now with social media. During exam season I usually delete all social media phone apps to focus solely on my work, however I know this can seem a bit extreme! So, in place of this, there are apps that are really helpful to limit distractions. My favourite has to be Forest, whereby a tree grows whilst limiting phone use, so the longer you stay focused the more your tree grows! However, with this costing £1.99 it is important to consider other free options, like Offtime or Flora, which are also really handy, and you should absolutely give them a try to limit those phone distractions.
So, in conclusion, I know these tips are common knowledge, but I cannot recommend them enough to become a prepped exam champion – you’ve got this. Good luck!