Study Hacks To Up Your Revision Game
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It’s never too early to start thinking about revision and getting organised! Here are some study hacks that’ll up your revision game and make you feel prepared to take anything on…
Eat a frog for breakfast
No, not literally (well, unless you’re partial to a frog leg or two, sure) but figuratively, this phrase means starting the day with something you’d rather not do so that you can cross it off before anything else. So, pick your most difficult task - whether that’s a piece of coursework, or a subject you don’t feel too strong in, and make that the first thing you start looking at. That way, once you’ve spent some time on it in the morning, you’ll still have an entire day to fill with easier things!
Bitesize chunks are the best way to eat, and the best way to study. No one wants to over fill their brain with info, so keep it simple! The average person can repeat about seven items back to someone a few seconds after being given a list. So, if you’re cramming hundreds of pieces of information into your brain at once, chances are you’re going to forget most of it. So, take a look at what you’ve got to revise and divide them into different chunky sections. Then, take one or two or three of them at a time to go through and get down properly. Then, when your brain has properly digested it, move on to the next section.
Study n’ sleep
It might seem counterintuitive to study right before going to bed, rather than when you wake up fresh the next morning, but, research from Notre Dame and Harvard has shown that actually, it’s the other way around. The research showed that subjects tended to remember unrelated word pairs better if they had learned them shortly before a good night’s sleep, rather than in the morning before being awake for twelve hours. Sleep is widely thought to stabilise the memories we make throughout the day, whereas being awake kind of does the opposite (!) as we’re taking in so much all day long that our memories get a bit mixed up. So, why not do some reading and revising and reward yourself with a kip!
Let’s get physical
This one isn’t new or groundbreaking, but it sure does work. Exercise has positive effects on both long and short-term cognition, as when you move your body, your brain is flooded with extra blood, rich in oxygen and nutrients, and the hippocampus is stimulated - which is important for reasoning and memory. It’s also been shown that exercise can lead to neurogenesis, which is the creation of new brain cells! So make sure you’re doing something active regularly to get the most out of your current brain space, and even make room for some shiny new cells that could take in more info!
Procrastination can be positive
Procrastination gets a bad rep most of the time, but it doesn’t have to be a negative thing. If you find yourself procrastinating from your studying, just listen to yourself. It might be that you’ve already taken too much in and your brain needs a break, or you’re just not quite in the right frame of mind for your subject at that moment. So, do something else instead - but make it something productive. Use that time to do some exercise, or tidy up your study space. This way, your time will be spent wisely (you could even cross some other things off your to-do list) and coming back to your revision won’t feel as daunting.
Do it together
It’s always good to find someone to help keep you accountable. So why not pair up with a mate and become study buddies - whether it’s IRL or virtually. Inspire each other, quiz each other, and push each other to keep going when the motivation dips. If you’re in it together from the start, by the time your exams actually come around it’ll feel even better going into them...and coming out after (!) with a friendly face by your side.