If you are sitting exams this summer and worried about the amount of revision you’ve done so far don’t panic! It’s never too late to start revising, but the more time you can give yourself the better your preparation will be and the more confident you’ll feel in your exam.

This post has been created with you in mind to help you tackle revision with ease and work towards exam success.

What is the best way to revise for exams?

The best way to revise comes down to personal choice but there are a number of methods that can be explored to see what works best for you. Some different methods include using past exam papers in order to test your current knowledge and skills, using flashcards to quiz yourself on subject questions and trying to teach topics to others as a way of enhancing your memory.

How many hours should you revise for an exam?

The number of hours you wish to spend on revision can depend on subject level and how difficult you find the subject. If you find a particular subject difficult, you may want to dedicate some extra time to gain confidence in the subject ready for your exam.

In general, it is recommended that at least 2-3 hours of focused revision a day is dedicated in order to feel knowledgeable when your exams take place. Remember to take breaks in between to give your brain a rest and to prevent feeling burnt out. 

Using the Pomodoro technique can help you commit to focus time.

It involves 25-minute stretches of revision or study, followed by a five-minute break. After four stretches of 25-minute study, take a 15-30 minute break.This is proven to help with focus, and breaks down tasks to feel much more attainable.” – UCAS

Is it better to revise in the morning or at night?

Whilst some individuals prefer to study and revise in the morning, it’s also common for others to feel more motivated and alert later at night. If you feel more energised and productive at a particular time of the day, this is the time to commit to revision as you will find it easier to keep your attention on the task and avoid distractions.

Is it better to revise one subject a day?

There are benefits to focusing on one subject at a time when it comes to revision as this can encourage you to completely absorb the information without any confusion or disruption from other subjects which can lead to overwhelm.

However, if you find yourself losing interest quickly and feel changing your focus to another subject is beneficial, that’s perfectly acceptable. You revise in a way that feels most natural to you.

Can AI help with revision?

With technology evolving every day and AI (artificial intelligence) becoming more and more known, it’s no surprise that students are searching for methods where AI can help assist during the revision period. AI can be used in a number of helpful ways throughout all stages of education. If you would like to know more about how to best use AI, take a look at NEC’s free short AI course.

Looking for more advice?

These tips from our Student Support Team on the actions you can take will help you to make the most of your revision time.

  1. Looking at your subject syllabus and working your way through the content is a good starting point. It will give you a good overview of the course content and the topics required for your exams.
  2. Drawing up a revision timetable will make sure that you are fully prepared for your exams. Remember to include extra time for anything unexpected that might come up and avoid last-minute cramming the night before your exam.
  3. Actively engaging with your learning materials and using different ways to study will make it easier to remember content. You could try:
    • reading material out loud;
    • learning using flashcards;
    • discussing the course content with family and friends and getting them to ask you questions about it;
    • drawing colourful maps and sheets – using colours and images will help you to memorise facts.
  4. Looking at your materials and revision notes will help you to remember, so make sure you include time to revisit them more than once.
  5. Finding somewhere quiet to study where you will be uninterrupted will help you revise. The library or your room are the best places.
  6. Exercising increases your productivity by reducing tiredness and stress. By increasing your heart rate your brain gets more oxygen, so go for a bike ride, a run or to the gym, or even just take the dog for a walk!
  7. Familiarising yourself with exam questions and exam techniques is really helpful. Make sure that you do plenty of past papers, check out revision guides, and understand the key terminology you will need to use in your exam.
  8. Making summary notes will help you learn and remember.
  9. Rewriting notes from memory helps to memorise the information and highlights where more work and revision is needed before your exam.
  10. Rewarding yourself is important. It’s not all about studying. Set yourself study goals, give yourself breaks between study times, and when you’ve met some of your goals spend time with friends and family.

If you have any questions or need guidance to help with your revision and plan for your exams, remember that your tutor and the Student Support Team are here to help you so do get in touch.

We could arrange for your tutor to mark a past paper for you, or for a tutorial to discuss a particular area you need to focus on with your tutor. To find out more about purchasing these services, and to discuss what’s on offer please get in touch on 0800 389 2839.

We have worked with UCAS to prepare a series of study skills guides which you may find helpful with your revision and your exams. You can find these on the UCAS website.

From everyone at NEC, good luck with your revision and with your exams!

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