Can you believe that we only have four weeks left of first semester?!
Excitingly, that means it’s almost Christmas. However, it also means that you probably have assignments and exams coming up soon, so I decided to write this week’s blog post all about tips on studying and revising that have helped me in my time at UCB.
Create a comfortable space to work in
For me, this is always my desk. I know some people would rather work on their bed, or even on their bedroom floor, but I find I can concentrate best at my desk as it puts me in the mind-set of work. I’m much more likely to get distracted lounging on my bed. I like to make sure my desk is as clear as possible with only the essentials on it (again, to reduce distraction). I also make sure I have everything I need with me, including a cup of tea, a glass of water and a snack if I want one. That way I won’t keep going downstairs to get things and interrupting my work flow.
Set yourself achievable goals
For example, I like to set myself time goals- I’ll work for an hour and a half then give myself a 15-minute break. If I’m revising for an exam, I’ll give myself a section of the module to write notecards for. When you’ve been studying for a day, I find this can give you a sense of satisfaction and achievement and encourage you to do the same again the next day. It also means (if you plan it out in advance) you’ll know that you will definitely cover everything you need to in the time that you have. If it helps, you could give yourself a reward for achieving a goal- make yourself a hot chocolate, for example, or watch half an hour of your favourite TV programme.
Study a little bit each day
Doing a little over a long period of time will help to reduce stress, as you won’t be cramming last minute. If you plan what you’re revising in advance, you can go over topics multiple times and you’ll know that you’ve definitely revised everything instead of rushing 3 days before your exam. For assignments, the same applies- you don’t want to be rushing to finish the night before it is due. Start collecting research as soon as you get the assignment brief and write it over a few weeks, giving you time to edit it and submit at least the day before the deadline- you don’t want to face computer issues and not be able to submit it the day it’s due.
Understand how you learn best
It would be easy for me to list tips on how I revise and work, but everyone is different. Not everyone will find flashcards helpful, others will prefer putting things to song or working in a group. Hopefully, at school during GCSEs and A-levels or at college you will have figured this out, but if not- it’s not too late! Trying a variety of study methods will only ever improve your learning – so go and give plenty of different ones a go.
Finally, make sure you don’t burn yourself out- take plenty of breaks and try to get at least 8 hours of sleep each night. This will make your study time more productive and you won’t have run out of energy or motivation by the time it gets to your exam/assignment deadline.
I hope some of these have been helpful. If you have any more tips, please leave them in the comments and we can all help each other out!
Until next time,