Tricia: Five top tips for exam revision

28 May 2021
Two international students, one at Cardiff Central station and one at home in Pakistan

One of our current students, Tricia from Singapore, is studying the Health, Medical and Life Sciences International Foundation Year. Read her best revision tips and tricks to get you through the exam season here.

The exam season is upon us again, and I guess many of us are already familiar with all the best ways to prepare. There are so many methods out there and it’s important to remember that when it comes to revision, it’s not one-size-fits-all. Here are my five top tips that I find particularly helpful and important for exam preparation:

  1. Have a revision schedule with breaks built in. Breaks are so important! Plan out some time to do things that you enjoy, such as watching an episode of your favourite series or playing games. Remember to also add in mealtimes and some exercise time too.
  2. Know what you are being tested on in the exam (e.g. format, topics) so you can form an exam strategy – plan out which section to do first, time management in exam etc – as well as knowing which topics to revise for.
  3. Get an adequate amount of sleep at night! I find that having too little sleep makes my memory poor and I cannot properly retain the things that I studied.
  4. Have a clean and tidy study space. A messy study desk makes me feel off somehow, so having a clean space and knowing where my stationary, books and notes are kept really improves my revision.
  5. Make your own notes the way you like it, with colours, pictures, mind maps and more. There are many ready-made notes online, but I find that making my own notes helps me to learn better.

Technology tactics

There are many apps on smartphones lately to aid studying as well. Many people recommend using flash cards, but I personally do not use them. My phone is a huge distraction during revision – I am sure many of you will relate – however, one app I find really useful when revising is Forest. This app plants a real tree for every period of time you can stay focused; it sets a timer, during which you can’t use your phone or else you’ll ‘kill’ the tree you are planting. It really helps me to focus and I have been using it for many years. Also, at the end of the timer, you can see your planted tree virtually, which I find really cute. Another alternative suggestion would be to turn off your phone or notifications completely, so as to reduce the amount of distractions when studying.

As I mentioned earlier, revision tips are not one-size-fits-all, but I hope that some of these will work for you. All the best for your exams!