UMASS Blog

Getting stuck into revision

Hi everyone!

Today I’m writing about revision. I’m now in my final year and it can be tough. At the moment I’m writing up my dissertation, which is due in a few weeks, but then shortly after the hand in date the examination period will begin. Therefore, it’s never been more important for me to keep on top of my work. I keep motivated by knowing that these are my final few months here at Manchester and I really do need to work hard and make the most of the time I have left.

The way that I tend to revise is by reviewing lectures notes and by making use of all the resources available to me. I use books to supplement my lecture notes to gain a much greater understanding of the topics. Whilst at first the thought of having to put all this information to memory is a little unnerving, along the way it gets easier and as anybody will tell you with regards to revision it is always better to start sooner rather than later.

Although the learning style at university is different to college – lectures are very different to classroom learning and there is a much greater need to be self-motivated when it comes to studying at university, when it comes to revision it’s usually pretty similar. At university, you will have two examination periods in January and May/June. The number of exams you will have during each period will vary, but it will usually be around 2-5.

Organisational skills really come into play during the exam period. You will need to know when your exams are and plan your time out accordingly. Make sure you have a good diary and timetable. Spend some time memorising when and where your exams are so that you are well informed and don’t get into a panic on the day.

Using a wide range of resources will help your revision. At university, some lecturers will make quizzes that are available to do online; these interactive resources are great to give you a break from reading over pages and pages of course notes. When I’ve been revising something that has been difficult to visualise, as can be the case in a lot of chemistry modules, I have often found online resources a great way to get a good understanding of the topic.

Extensive lecture notes can seem daunting to look at but can easily be condensed. If you write the necessary information on smaller revision cards, they are easy to carry around and make revision simpler. You can also stick notes up around your room; this is a particularly helpful thing to do if you are studying a language course. Put a sticky label on the objects around your room that you need to remember the name of. If visualising helps your revision make sure you are being as creative as possible.

I think that a top strategy for revision, and often one that is overlooked, is looking after yourself properly. A healthy body and mind will be able to revise much more effectively than one that is struggling and tired. Always make sure you are getting enough sleep, especially during the examination period itself. You may think that you should be revising all day long, but it is important to give yourself good breaks away from studying. Make sure you are eating well and drinking lots of water. If you do find yourself stressed, as I’m sure most students do, try to find something to help you to relax.

Hopefully I’ve given you some helpful tips for getting started and stuck into revision. Good luck with your upcoming exams!

For my next blog I will be discussing the minefield of graduate jobs and what I plan to do after university.