15 Simple & Effective Revision Ideas for Beating Exam Stress

As exam time draws near, stress and pressure become constant challenges for students, parents and teachers alike.

Follow these 15 revision ideas before, during and after your study leave:

Before revision:

1. Create a “Study Zone”

A comfortable, well-lit and distraction-free environment helps you study better, but avoid getting too comfortable. Instead of studying in bed, set up a desk or table with a straight-backed chair in a quiet place.

2. Make a Timetable

Using the exam timetable as a guide, draw up a study plan and revision timetable. Decide which subjects you need to start early, and allocate enough study time to ensure you’re fully prepared.

3. Set Reasonable Goals

Set daily and weekly goals you can actually achieve, and avoid spending too long on a single subject. Mixing up your study sessions helps you remain alert, retain what you learn and concentrate better.

4. Eat Well

Skipping meals (especially breakfast) hurts your concentration and memory, so eat something, even if it’s just a bowl of cereal. Keep snacks and drinks handy, so you don’t have to keep leaving your desk.

5. Go Offline

You wouldn’t believe how much time and concentration you can lose to social media and phone calls/texts. Put your phone away and log out of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram before study sessions. They’ll wait, but exams won’t!

During revision:

6. Don’t Procrastinate

Avoid putting off study sessions, since you’re more alert and active early in the day. An early start also gives you more time to achieve daily goals, and then relax or hang out with friends later.

7. Make Notes

Summarizing and writing down what you revise is more effective than just reading. After each session, make notes or flash cards to recap lessons. Compare these against your study material to fill in any gaps.

8. Keep It Quiet

Background noise, such as loud music or a TV playing in the next room, affects your concentration. If you like music while studying, pick something that has no words and play it on low volume.

9. Take Breaks

Short breaks can help you retain what you learn, so step away from your books and notes every hour. Moving from subject to subject without a break will just leave you tired and muddled at the end of the day.

10. Move Around

Sometimes, a change of environment can help stimulate and refresh your mind. Move to another room, the library, a friend’s place or even a coffee shop when studying at your desk gets too monotonous.

11. Test Yourself

Revision guides and practice test papers can help you understand how much you’ve retained. They also improve your time management skills for the real exam, especially if you set a timer for each test. Solving practice test papers is the best way of revising for subjects which are generally perceived as difficult, such as math, chemistry and physics. For instance, if you struggle with math, then this tip will surely help you score better in your math exam.

12. Ask for Help

Your family and friends can provide emotional support and help you revise too. Study with classmates, ask family members to quiz you after study sessions, and “teach” someone what you just learnt.

13. Exercise

Fresh air and exercise reduce anxiety, leave you refreshed and boost the quality of your revision. Go for a swim, walk your dog or just stroll around the park if you’ve been stuck indoors for too long.

14. Sleep Early

You may think all-nighters help you cram for a test, but they really don’t. Your body and mind need rest to function efficiently, so close your books and start going to bed early instead of staying up late.


15. Exam-Day Tips

Self care during study leave can only take you so far if you’re a nervous wreck on the day of the exam. Get a good night’s sleep, eat breakfast, and avoid paranoid classmates who make you feel stressed out.

The right revision techniques can help you make the most of your study leave. Breathe, relax and remain confident — you’ve got this!

About the author: Making education simple and easy to comprehend is Dana Jandhyala’s forte. She’s had a long career as an educator where she has taught in several different schools and institutes in multiple countries. Today, she helps students with personalized online tutorials by SchoolPage that help make concepts easy to understand, making learning fast and fun. She writes to help students study better, and to coach parents so they can facilitate the success of their children.