Smart revision … using time wisely

 “Those who make the worst of their time most complain about its shortness.” – La Bruyere

Time management is an issue everyone experiences and is by no means a problem born of the 21st Century. Looking at what some of the ‘wise’ have said about time management, I discovered that they had some great tips for smart revision. It clearly has been an issue for years!




“The secret of getting ahead, is getting started.” – Mark Twain

I know it might seem like a long way away, but really, it’s only a matter of weeks before the exam period begins, so it’s time to get planning. Don’t be the one in your class who gets genuinely surprised when your teacher says in April that the exams start “next month”. It pays  to plan ahead.


“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” – Tony Robbins

You need to grasp the nettle and sort your revision out to take advantage of the time ahead. The obvious first step is a revision timetable drawn up in the weeks prior to Easter. The easiest format to follow is a daily planner with 3 sections for each day (am/pm /eve). First, timetable in the dates of your exams, then divide the time up and allocate subject-by-subject revision slots.

“How do you eat an elephant? Answer: A bite at a time.” – Children’s riddle, author unknown

You don’t have to do everything at once.  The content you need to revise should be broken down into manageable sections. It is important you don’t overestimate how much they can do in a 3 hour session or else you’ll just burn yourself out and give up. Preparing mind maps or cue cards is much more do-able than reading non-stop. It is also a good idea to prepare these materials for any exams that follow on back-to-back, so the you’ve got something to remind yourself of the content during your break.


 “Nothing is a waste of time unless you think it is.” – Marty Rubin

It is all very well planning to do some revision but we know that there will be days that are less productive. It happens to everyone. That is when ‘slack revision’ becomes useful. Rather than completely wasting time it is good if you pull out a laptop and get onto YouTube. There are plenty of short films on relevant parts of the course on many subjects and it means you’re at least doing something related to the task in hand. It’s not ideal, but neither are computer games, Facebook, or tweeting about how you can’t revise!


“When you are tired, stop. Because if you are too tired, you are not productive.” – Christine Quinn

There needs to be some break though, even from ‘slack revision’. On the revision timetable  try to keep one of the three sessions a day free. You’ll then feel refreshed and positive. The best kind of student!



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