JANUARY EXAMS ARE QUITE LITERALLY THE WORST.
As we all know, January exams are the worst thing to happen to students.
Christmas isn’t the same when you’re surrounded with textbooks, scrunched up revision notes, and the hair you’ve stressfully pulled from your head.
We still manage to drink an excessive amount of alcohol over the festive ‘break’, but we still have to seclude ourselves from activities with family and friends. While they’re out drinking mulled wine and eggnog, we battle on with journal articles, past papers and 5,000 word essays.
It’s hard to keep up with Christmas spirits when you have a massive work load.
1. They are straight after Christmas and New Years… who in their right mind wants to revise then?
2. You’ve done NO WAY NEAR as much revision as you told yourself you would…
3. The alcohol you used to numb the pain of revising has killed half your brain cells.
4. Some of your friends don’t have January exams. You sit there trying to figure out how that’s fair?!
5. It’s freezing cold. As soon as you return to your uni house you’ll probably get frost bite because no one wants to pay for the heating.
6. Any chance of sticking to your New Years resolution went out the window when you found out how much work you had to do.
7. The impending doom of ‘all-nighters’ that you have built up over Christmas.
8. No matter when they are, exams are horrible.
Christmas is a time where we see our true colours; it’s a time where procrastinators flourish. We don’t have to search for distractions, they find us. They arrive in the form of board games, bucks fizz, Harry Potter marathons and friends/family. But there are ways to manage revision to get the best out of our time.
You need to find an environment that suits you and your revision technique.
Sitting in a cosy bed with a laptop works for some students, but you never hear of those individuals getting consistently high marks in assignments. Put yourself in a space free from distractions where you have space to spread your work out, with all the tools you need. If you are at home for the holidays take your work to the kitchen table, dining room table, or conservatory; physically put yourself in an environment you know you’ll be productive. *avoid young siblings*
Make sure you know which technique works best for you.
Every individual has a different style of learning. You should know what yours is by now, but most of us fall into one of the below categories.
Visual – learning through reading, looking at images, using colourful notes and diagrams.
Auditory – learning through listening, speaking, or reading your work out loud.
Kinaesthetic – learning by doing. Kinaesthetic learners shouldn’t limit themselves to the library, include some physical activity in your revision.
Read/Write – learning through reading and writing. Reading theory and rewriting it, explaining it in your own way.
Over busy periods, like Christmas/New Year, work little and often
When you are taken away from your university campus and no longer have access to the library or a study room, it’s harder to designate a full day to revise. Family members, although considerate of your work, come as a distraction. Whether it’s coming into the kitchen to make a cup of tea, or grabbing something from the lounge when you’re working in there, there’s always a disturbance.
Work ‘little and often’, perhaps in the morning while your family are still asleep, a couple of hours again at lunch, then in the evening before dinner time. This works better for students who procrastinate at any chance they get, you can spend the other parts of the day however you like.
Make time for exercise or fresh air.
Ok, so it doesn’t have to be exercise, but take yourself out of the house for 30 minutes every day. It will wake you up, keep your brain active and stop you feeling lethargic whilst you work. Everyone’s lazy enough over Christmas, so working your muscles by walking or running for half an hour will be really beneficial. You’ll go back to your work with a clear head and a bit more confidence!
Keep focused, keep active and keep hydrated… think about how amazing you’re going to feel when you finish your exams and you know that you’ve smashed it! Reward yourself for your hard work wherever appropriate, even if it’s just an extra mince pie or glass or wine in the evening.
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