Revision tips

1. Study consistently and don’t cram

It’s definitely easier said than done, but cramming at the last minute will only increase your stress. Research indicates that cramming doesn’t improve long-term learning; consistent study habits lead to better retention of material. Understand the exam format and scope so you know what to revise, including the number of questions and exam duration. Check the marketing criteria on the module page on SurreyLearn to help plan your study approach.

2. Time management is key

Although making a plan takes time, it saves hours in the long run and provides clear goals. Eliminate distractions such as phones or Netflix. Try changing your study location to places like the library, a coffee shop, or a park where your mind is less likely to wander, allowing you to focus better.

3. Find a revision method that works for you

There are many study techniques, and it’s important to find one that suits your unique learning style. Flexibility is key as techniques may change depending on the subject or type of material. Trial and error will help you identify the best methods for you. Some popular techniques include:

Flashcards: Small cards with information on both sides; one side has the question or term, while the other side has the answer or definition. You can create these by hand. Alternatively, you can create them on digital platforms such as Quizlet or Anki. These platforms use spaced repetition algorithms to help you focus on the questions or terms that you got wrong.

Mind mapping: A powerful visual technique that involves creating a diagram to represent ideas, concepts, and information. This is great for connecting interrelated concepts logically.

Pomodoro technique: Focused work blocks traditionally set to 25 minutes, followed by a 5-minute break. This concentrated period aims to maximise efficiency and reduce the likelihood of burnout. However, you may find shorter or longer intervals more effective.

Blurting technique: Quickly read over a textbook or lecture notes, then close the book and write down (or create mind maps from memory) as much as you can remember or already know. Once you have done this, reopen the book and compare notes to see what areas to identify strong and weak areas. It is worth mentioning that blurting is quite an intense revision method and asks your brain to work extra hard, so make sure you take breaks in-between. 

4. Use past papers

Past papers are invaluable for simulating the actual exam. They help you understand the format, structure, and types of questions you might encounter. This practice identifies weak areas and familiarises you with question patterns, guiding your preparation. Surrey provides an online past exam paper resource, but please note that content may change yearly.

5. Seek feedback and support

For coursework-based assessments, asking for feedback during your professor’s office hours can help you identify areas for improvement. Fore MCQs or SAQs, ask lecturers to clarify concepts you struggle with. This feedback will help you prepare more efficiently.

6. Prioritise self-care

Maintaining good sleep, nutrition, hydration, exercise, social time with friends and family, and rewarding yourself, is crucial for mental and physical well-being. Self-care is essential during exam season to manage stress and pressure effectively.