Changing your Daily Routine
A good way to find time for revision is by changing your routine:
Note down your typical activities.
Make changes that enable you to revise for 1-2 hours per day.
Estimating Your Revision Time
Multiply the time that you intend to revise on average each day by the total number of days between now and your first exam. 15 weeks until my first exam 15 x 5 = 75 weekdays x 2 hours = 150 hours on weekdays 15 Saturdays x 3 hours = 45 hours on Saturdays 15 Sundays x 3 hours = 45 hours on Sundays
Add these three totals together. 150 hours + 45 hours + 45 hours = 240 hours
Subtract the number of days when you know that it will be difficult for you to revise. Unavailable on 5 weekdays x 2 hours = 10 hours Unavailable on 5 Saturdays or Sundays x 3 hours = 15 hours Unavailable for a total of 10 hours + 15 hours = 25 hours. Total time unavailable: 240 hours – 25 hours = 215 hours
Assume that you have underestimated the number of days when it will be difficult for you to revise by reducing this figure by 10-20 hours. Total revision time: 215 hours – 15 hours = 200 hours
Distributing Your Time Across Subjects and Topics
To make sure that you don’t spend too much time revising certain subjects (e.g. the ones that you find easiest), it’s important that you share out total revision time across all the subjects you’re studying. As there are more topics in some subjects than others, it’s also helpful at this stage to make a note of the number of topics you need to revise for each subject. You can then use these figures to work out roughly how much time you need to spend revising each topic within each subject. Having calculated how long you need to spend revising ‘typical’ topics, you can decide whether particular topics deserve special attention.
Creating Revision Timetables
When creating revision timetables, rather than trying to revise all of your subjects every week, focus on revising half of the subjects you are taking one week and the other half the following week, etc. A revision timetable tells you what you need to revise each day and puts you in control of your revision. Don’t worry if at any point you get behind. By working towards revising all topics by your first exam, you can catch up between exams.
Students typically need 30-90 minutes to properly revise each of the 200-300 topics in the subjects they’re taking. This means setting aside at least 200 hours and revising for an average of 1-2 hours per day from 3-6 months before your exams start!
“Set out your revision as if it was a school day, with same breaks and lesson times etc. So my school runs from 9 till 3 and that’s how long I would revise for with each lesson being a different subject. It means that at 3 I can stop revision and do more fun things so the revision is not too intensive. It also gives you enough time in between the subjects to have breaks so you don’t lose concentration. If you did 6 hours of revision a day then that would obviously be very successful!”
“To motivate you to revise, use a simple egg timer and place it in front of you with your revision work; set it to 30 minutes. You will find it easier to revise as you are being timed. This is especially helpful if you are struggling to get started.”
“Make sure you have (and read!!!) the syllabus for each subject you are taking so you know what to revise for each exam. Break the syllabus up into sections and revise a section per week/couple of days (give yourself some time at the end to go over it all and to do past papers). If there’s anything in the syllabus you haven’t learned, ask your teacher/lecturer ASAP! If something’s in the syllabus and it hasn’t come up on previous exam papers, that doesn’t necessarily mean it won’t come up this time!”