Student Team Tips: Easter break and revision
Easter’s finally here — woohoo! While we’re sure you’re all hopping mad for a break, even the Easter bunny can’t save us from the exams that come after it. However, it’s still vital that we look after ourselves over the break, especially after this past year. So how can we manage our time effectively so that we can tackle our assignments and exams while taking time for our wellbeing? Read on for some tips from our student team to find out!
Time Management during Easter holidays
- Create a revision plan — it’s very easy to lift your foot off the gas for too long over the Easter break and before you know it, it’s over and you’ve barely glanced at your lecture notes. Prioritise your assignments and exams and build in flexibility to give yourself some leeway when things (inevitably) take longer than expected.
- Catch up on missed lectures — this is the perfect time to do this as you can then focus on new content after the break without worrying about things you need to catch up on.
- Use the Pomodoro technique to help you focus — if you struggle with procrastination, which — let’s face it — is all of us (!), dividing study sessions into 30-minute chunks followed by 10-minute breaks can be useful. It’ll not only keep your eyes from turning square from constantly staring at a screen (if revising on a laptop), but you can also reward yourself in those breaks!
- Experiment! — Not sure when you work best or in what sort of environment? Try revising in the morning and afternoon on different days and see what effect it has on your motivation and productivity. Also try having some music on in the background and compare with when you’re studying in silence
“Since there aren’t immediate deadlines hanging over your head during the easter break, spend some time experimenting what times of the day you work best and do a small amount of work everyday around that time. If you listen to music while working, use your playlist as a casual timer.” — Fatima, Material Science
How to revise with “incomplete” notes
- Organise and go over your existing notes — order your notes and filter through them, changing things that you wrote that in haste and that you now can’t read even though it’s your own handwriting (we’ve all been there!). Then refresh your memory so you have time after Easter to go over new material instead. Not only that, but it’ll help you to make sense of them and hopefully make it easier for you to connect with what you’ve already learned to the new content after the Easter break.
- List all the topics you have covered so far — then use this list to plan your revision. The know, want to know and learned KWL tool can be useful for this purpose.
- Take a ‘sneak preview’ of upcoming lectures — if you have time, you can get a head start on material that will be covered after Easter so that you will essentially be ‘revising’ them when the lecturer gets round to delivering them.
“Most of the subjects have lecture notes uploaded in advance so it’s good to go through these during the Easter break and make yourself familiar with what will be taught after the break. Youtube is a great place to know and learn more about the topic that will be taught after the break. This also allows you to complete a module without having to wait for the actual lectures to take place.” — Naman, Mechatronic Engineering
How to prepare for exams during Easter holidays
- Go over lecture material.
- Study with a virtual buddy! — It can be helpful to study with a coursemate as you can both share your ideas on different topics and therefore help each other understand something the other is struggling with.
- Practise past papers — These are a good way of testing your understanding as the questions will be a similar format to what you’ll face in the real exam. It’ll help you identify any gaping holes in your knowledge. Do it under exam conditions to test your ability to focus when time pressure is on.
- Make a mind map or summary sheet of all the key words relating to an important topic.
“Test your understanding by practising past papers or seminar questions, if possible under exam conditions. Check your answers against the suggested marking guide and polish your knowledge on areas that you are not confident about.” — Fiona, Law
Assignments and essays during Easter holidays
- Make a timetable to ensure you complete the assignments within the expected time scale — it helps you to be motivated and organised with your work.
- Make progress with assignments that are due for after the breaks.
- Organise and plan your essay before starting, this helps you during writing.
- Ask a family member, your study buddy or another friend to review your assignment and get feedback and revise your assignment accordingly before submitting, however be aware of collusion!
“The Easter holidays are much shorter than the winter break, and only part of your modules have been taught, meaning that when you get back you’ll have to learn new material whilst trying to revise for your exams. This can be a stressful time, so it’s important during your Easter break to try and ensure that you’ve completed, or at least made a significant effort on your coursework early. This will allow you to focus on just lecture material in the few weeks before exams start.” — Kane, Computer Science
Student wellbeing and self-care during Easter
- Don’t spend the whole of Easter break under a self — imposed revision lockdown — find a balance between university work and socialising.
- Continue your hobbies and ensure you continue whatever you like doing during the holidays.
- Exercise is very important for both your physical and mental health — have a couple of hours allocated just for this if you can.
- Have breaks between your revision sessions, have a cup of tea or perhaps go for a short walk.
- Spend some time with your family and friends.
- Create a list of activities other than university which you would like to complete in Easter and try to get them completed when you have free time.
- Try to have a good sleep schedule.
- If you are having difficulties, make sure you speak to someone — it can be a family member, a friend, your counsellor or anyone you trust. Don’t hesitate to get help.
“Self care and wellbeing are an important part of your break and it’s vital to not forget about yourself during this time! Practicing your hobbies or something that you love that is something other than your degree and studies is a good mind-break from all this tough work that you have done during the semester. Whether it’s online cooking classes or perhaps you would like to exercise.”. — Jakub, Physics
Thank you for reading and have a good break over Easter!
Written by the Library Student Team