1. Start early
It is always good to start early. It could be a CBSE Board Exam or NEET - an Entrance Exam for MBBS or JEE Main for engineering; these are tough exams and one needs to tackle them with a strategy. Thus you will get more time to revise and thus be more prepared. It is always good to time in your preparedness.
By starting early, you will get time to really learn the materials and understand it – and it means you can cope with any factors that may unexpectedly disrupt your revision. Try not to cram as it is not very effective for everyone and will often only create more stress.
2. Make your Revision Timetable
It should be detailed by writing exactly what you need to do each day with time allocated to each activity. Please schedule in regular study breaks too. These breaks are mandatory: otherwise you will be stressed and that never contributes to exam success.
3. Create the Perfect Learning Environment, which works for you
It is always good to know or find out what surroundings work for you. For some library is more productive than working from home. Others lock them selves in their rooms and that is the way they are comfortable. Some are comfortable on their beds and for others a desk is required.
For me a dark room, with a desk and a table lamp worked very well. I would keep instrumental music on most of the time and a cup of tea every few hours was magic for my revision. Varying your environment can sometimes also help to keep your revision interesting too. An hour spent in the living room with my books was a pleasant change. Nothing else worked!
Most will tell you that music or the TV is too distracting, but this is entirely down to personal preference. Music can provide the gentle background noise I needed to help me focus.
For others, silence will be the only thing that works. Also, make sure you wear comfortable clothes and have plenty of water and healthy snacks to hand. Please work out your learning environment early and it will be very helpful.
4. Which Learner Type are you?
We all learn in different ways. I used to underline all important lines in the book. I would add additional information in the empty spaces on the page with a sharp pointed pencil.
Everyday I would call my friend and we would skim the chapter by asking each other questions. I would spend almost 90 minutes on this exercise everyday and worked wonders for revision.
Thus one may be able to learn simply by reading and copying or listening to others speak. That would be meaning finding your types and then arranging group revisions.
Revision are a highly personal process and its worth testing out a few different methods before using that suits you.
I was an early morning person and had best revisions in the morning and pre lunch. Again figure out when you learn best. This may be early in the morning or late at night – again, each person is different. Plan your revision to utilise the times when you think you are at peak productive levels.
There are many. Essentially it means giving up your social and personal addictions. Revision isn’t the most enjoyable of pastimes and I’m sure there are millions of things you would rather be doing. But one has to be strict with oneself and remove all distractions. Try to stick to your revision timetable as best as you can.
Social media and sports on tv for sports addicts are a big no no. Phone should be on flight mode during studying hours and the internet and wi-fi off, if laptop not required; and make sure you have everything you need before you begin, to stop yourself having to get up.
5. Practise, Practise, Practise
It is important to ensure that all these revisions are done properly and the numerical sums and equations as well as chemical reactions along with biology diagrams are all practiced again and again. Lot of notebooks and pens will be required. There is no replacement for repeated written practice. This written practice doesn’t go to waste and one is able to apply the knowledge in an exam situation. Past papers are very good for revision and the usual trend is that almost 60% of questions are repeated from previous ten-year question papers. Taking repeated mock tests too help in revision; they also help you know your deficiencies as well your speed of attempt.
6: Chits, Tips and Notes
As revision is done almost near the exam days, at times one cannot read the textbook chapters in detail. Thus the memory notes made during the earlier learning sessions come in very handy. One should always prepare these notes or slips and keep the handy for the last minute revision sessions. Of course you would have made these notes knowing that the information is critical and often asked or you are relatively weak in that part and want to keep revising it a little more often. As I stated earlier, my empty space noted helped me revise fast as well skim the chapter again; I didn’t have to go looking for my chits!
7. Bizarre and strange methods might work for you ....
A few things my friends did while revising and it worked for them. To reiterate these just might work for you. One would keep recording one’s own recitation about key points and would listen to them during spare time. Another one used two colours for highlighting text in the books. The one in red meant that he would need to revise those. I recall a boy in my hostel, who would take a bath and wear a particular shirt before he embarked on his revisions. Another loved to nibble on sweets during revision. The loud readers were not very popular, but probably worked for them. Then we had the walkers, who would cease to revise, if they stopped their sole crunching march. Another would make huge charts and stick them to the walls of his room.
Needless to say, revisions are the key to do well in exams and thus one need to prepare well for them as well follow one’s own style to get the best out of them. As they say, if you revise well you will always do well!