Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Revision Advice – Living in Exam Hell

As I may have mentioned once or twice, even though I’m about to turn 26 tomorrow (ahem…happy birthday to me) and so have finished school and university, I got a job which involves taking yet more exams, so revision is not a thing of the past! I’ve finished my exams – I actually get my results on Friday (keep your fingers crossed!) but I know some of you at school/uni might still have some coming up. As I have rather too much experience at this now, I thought I’d dispense some of my advice…

Revision work

Don’t get to the point where you feel hard done by

This is easier if everyone around you is doing the same exams, but if they’re not it’s easy to start feeling left out, and that can be really demotivating. Sitting at your desk surrounded by books is unproductive if all you’re doing is wishing you were at the party that all your friends are at. It’s good to remind yourself why you’re doing the exam – to better yourself, to move forwards in life, to get the job you want – and that this period of being a social pariah is only temporary. However, it’s good to plan your time so that you can go out and be social when possible. Go to the party – just don’t get so drunk that you spend the whole of the next day recovering. Don’t use this as an excuse not to work, but if there’s something you really want to go to, just go – take a break, and come back refreshed the next day! 

Quality over quantity

I know this sounds like something teachers say all the time, but basically, you have to learn the difference between ‘revising’ and ‘sitting with your revision.’ I used to sit with my revision all day long. I’d open a book, glance at it, then check my phone…get up and get a drink…sit back down, briefly look at the book again…you get the idea. It’s a waste of time, and it makes you feel miserable. Work out how long you can concentrate for – for me, it’s about half an hour. Then take a break – watch a Youtube video, go for a 15 minute walk, grab a snack. Either way get up from your desk. Come back when you feel ready to start again. There’s no point boasting ‘I revised for 10 hours yesterday’ when really what you mean is ‘I sat in my bedroom for 10 hours with my books open, watching Zoella and online shopping.’  

Revision work

Ignore boasters

On that note, do not compete with people who say ‘Ohhhh, how many hours have you worked? How much have you done? I’ve read the book six times and done 800 questions, haven’t you? Have you memorised the whole thing backwards yet?’ 
Most of the time these people are lying. Even if they’re not, everybody works at different paces. Don’t compete with anyone but yourself – push yourself as hard as you can, but don’t aim to do more than your friend, and often you’ll find you come out ahead anyway!

Work revision wine calculator

Make it pretty

I like beautiful things and I find it easier to revise when my revision is pretty. Go to Paperchase – they have the most beautiful array of folders, notebooks and other stationary. Writing with coloured pens on nice paper shouldn’t make revision more fun, but it does!

bubble bath relax

Don’t let yourself go

OK, so whilst revising nobody wants to be on a health kick. When dinner is all you have to look forward to, you don’t want it to be a pile of lettuce. That’s fine – have a good dinner, and enjoy it. But having said that, don’t use revision as an excuse to eat chocolate all day. Apart from the fact that it gives you spikes of energy followed by dips, making it difficult to keep your concentration steady, it also makes you fat and gives you spots. Do you want to go to your post exam celebrations feeling fat and spotty? No. Try to drink some water, and do a bit of exercise – the fresh air makes you feel better and increases your ability to work. Nothing crazy – I usually just go for a walk. Equally, there’s nothing to stop you keeping up a pared down beauty regime – you don’t need to stop to do a full manicure, but keeping your hair and nails neat and clean and wearing a small amount of make up makes you feel so much better.

tea toast yankee candle relax

Know when to stop

Your brain will reach saturation point. For me this usually happens on the day before the exam – there’s just only so much you can do. At this point, anything intense you try to do will be worthless. My advice: have a long bubble bath, get into your comfiest pyjamas. Get a warm drink, curl up on your sofa and just read through your notes, reminding yourself of what you already know – don’t try to learn anything new. When you’re done, just go to bed. A good night’s sleep will be so much more valuable than staying up till midnight cramming, trust me.  Before you go to bed make sure you’ve set two alarms or have someone who will wake you up, organise your travel plans for the next day, and pack your bag so everything is ready. Then tell yourself that it’s all up to fate now, and go to bed.

I hope this advice helps you out a bit, and good luck to anyone who is doing exams over the next few months!!


  1. I was in Paper chase yesterday and the amount of Notebooks i wanted to Buy was ridiculous

    Carrieanne x

  2. Great post! I'm hopefully finished with exams, but this takes me back x

  3. You are too cute. Goodluck with the exam . Happy Birthday in case I forget to mention it tomorrow, I'm on vacation.

    1. Thank you! Have a great time on holiday! x

  4. Great tips :) I've been out of exams for a few weeks now, but these are definitely useful pointers! I especially agree with making it pretty where you can. Having nice, colour-coded exam notes made me feel that much better about it! Happy early birthday girlie!

  5. Cute much? Love the photos. I push myself entirely too hard at exam time.

  6. Hey hun!
    I just found your blog and I love it!
    It is really amazing and the lay out fantastic!
    You look pretty, love your style!
    Check if you want my blog and maybe we could follow each other!
    I have also a Giveaway these days,where you can take part!

  7. Can't say happy bday 'cause here in Italy we think it brings bad luck to say it in advance!

    1. Ohhh well I definitely don't need that as I get my exam results on Friday!!! Haha xxx

  8. Oh my goodness I love this post
    I'm revising too at the minute so these tips are really handy!
    Thank you for your book recommendation, it sounds like such a good novel!
    Speak soon,
    Have a great day
    Much Love,
    Kate xo

  9. Like your blog, dear!)
    Follow you!) Follow me, if you want))

  10. thankyou so so so much for doing this post, it has literally saved me! I have 5 exams next month and your post has made me put a positive outlook on it all! Thankyou!:-)xx

  11. I am doing exams as well at the moment so I feel your pain! Great post though. I will be taking a few of these tips on board. Good luck with all your exams!

    Belle x
    Mascara & Maltesers

  12. hi honey! gorgeous post! I absolutely love it !!
    would you like to follow each other ?


  13. Good luck with your exam and results! These were great tips, may have had a giggle when reading the boating paragraph, I've done 800 questions hahaha I know so many people like this! Really helpful :)

    Ellen // A little bit Unique // Facebook // Bloglovin


  14. nice post. good luck! :)

    hoping we can follow each other. let me know :)

  15. Good luck with your exam!

    xx Karolina

  16. great post, really nice tips!
    good luck and Happy Birthday :) !!


  17. Happy birthday dear.
    Your post is funny and I love it very much.

  18. This post is great! I'm taking the GRE on Saturday and have been preparing for it a lot, so I totally agree with everything you're talking about! Fingers crossed for you, and happy birthday!


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