With teaching now finished at my University, it’s the time for intense revision and final deadlines to come rolling around scarily fast. As I try to cram in as much revision as possible in the next few weeks, here’s my top tips for a stressed out student like me!
Plan, Plan, Plan
Usually university doesn’t just leave you a few exams to deal with at the end of term. There’s always a good few pieces of coursework conveniently slotted in too, such as a 3,000 research proposal which I’m currently attempting to tackle. It’s important to find the balancing act between doing this coursework and still setting time aside to study so neither side suffers. I tend to write down at the start of the week when I’m working, if I have any other things planned and then set aside a good few hours a day for uni work. This way I can wake up knowing what I need to do each day and find it motivates me to actually get it done.
Find a study space
It’s so important to find somewhere where you can actually concentrate when it comes to revision. I find studying in my bedroom far too distracting, so I tend to sit in the dining room and leave my phone upstairs or at the opposite side of the room to stop me scrolling Instagram endlessly. Everyone focuses in a different way so find a space where you feel most comfortable, whether that be outside in the garden, on the sofa or in the local library. We have a 24 hour study lab available on campus which is also fantastic for getting yourself in the zone.
Study in groups
Chances are your classmates are stressing just as much as you about the dreaded final exam, so why not put together a study group to revise together? I find this to be so helpful to cover any topics you’re all struggling with, as you can help one another and give each other any quirky tips you’ve got to help you remember it. My friend Jade makes up stories to try and remember legislation, something I’d never have thought of before!
GCU have private study rooms located in the Student Association which are great for getting a group together. There’s also study rooms available in the Saltire centre which can be booked via the library desk. I’ve used both and find them fantastic for group studying. Have a look on your Universities website for similar study spaces available to you.
Find what works for you
Everyone takes information in in a different way, so it’s important to work out what works for your brain. I tend to write my notes out in my own words using coloured pens, which I then stuck to the walls in my room. I also really like making flashcards for each topic which I can then ask my dad or a friend to run over with me.
You could also record yourself saying a particular topic or key points on your voice memos on your phone or iPod and listen to it back whilst commuting. I’ve done this before and as much as I detested the sound of my own voice by the end of the week, it really helped pass the time when I was stuck in traffic in the car. You might just do past papers or tests online, or by simply looking at your notes. If you’re a visual learner and like mindmaps, try MindMup which was recommended to me by my friend Amy. This allows you to create as many mindmaps as you wish which can be shared on social media with friends or converted from PDF so you can print it.
Use a playlist
I find sometimes a bit of background noise helps me focus more on what I’m studying. As much as I’d love to be able to blast Beyoncé for motivation, I end up spending more time perfecting my vocals and doing the Single Ladies dance than actually studying. Spotify have a whole “Focus” playlist section specifically for studying and concentrating, with my favourite being the Music for Concentration playlist.
Take a break
I’m definitely the kind of person who will spend hours trying to cram stuff in, but there comes to a point where your brain will just hit a wall and won’t take anything else in. Make sure to take regular small breaks for snacks and study fuel, and if possible go get some fresh air to get a break from the laptop. By stepping away from the books for even just half an hour it can give you an instant refresh when you come back to restart. Taking a break is also so important for you mentally if you feel you’re getting stressed or anxious. Coursework is of course important, but so is your mental health, so look after both.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
If there’s a particular area you’re struggling with or you just can’t find the materials you need in your notes/online, ask for help! Your uni lecturers are there to help you pass your coursework and exams so send them a quick email or head to their office for advice. Or, create a chat with people from your course where you can all share any queries you may have. Chances are you won’t be the only one struggling with that topic, so you’ll be doing everyone a favour by asking it. You all have the same goal at University, and that’s to graduate with the best degree possible, so help each other get to end.
Just remember that the end is in sight and all this hard work will be worth it in the end!
What are your top study tips?
*Blog supported by Soap and Glory. All opinions are my own.