If your semester has been anything like mine, you will be finding that revision and exams have sprung up out of nowhere, and all your good intentions about starting revision early have yet to materialise. As exams begin, The Stand is here to guide you through making the most of it.
- Make a to-do list. Work out everything you want to cover and write it all down, but try to keep it as broad as possible – eg. “Do biographical research of all the authors on your course.” Don’t be too specific, as an overly-long list will be off-putting. You want to cover the basics, and then you can be more specific when deciding what you need to do each day. If you’re looking for a digital to-do list tool I can recommend Trello. It allows you to easily keep tabs on what’s being done, what’s finished and what you still have left to do.
- Stock up on snacks. There is nothing worse than being hungry when revising, and chocolate makes for an excellent motivator. If you self-cater, make sure you do a big shop at the beginning of the week so you don’t interrupt your flow. Avoid just eating junk food, and try to focus on getting in healthy fats like avocados to aid your brain function. Make sure you take proper breaks for meals – you need to fuel yourself well if you want to succeed.
- Try studying in different spots. Spending 14 hours a day in the library will kill your motivation like nothing else, so make sure you switch it up. Revision week is the perfect place to explore all of St Andrews study spots and find the place that’s best for you. Check out our article on the best places to work in town.
- Go for walks. Everyone knows you need to take regular breaks whilst studying to give your brain a rest. However, scrolling through social media for ten minutes whilst still sitting at your desk doesn’t quite cut it. Instead, pop outside, even if only for a couple of minutes. The Scottish winter may not make this an appealing prospect, but a breath of fresh air does the world of good, and is exactly what you need to refresh yourself before getting back to studying.
- Try to get up early. I know it goes against everything students stand for, but it’s not actually compulsory to sleep in until 1pm when there’s nothing scheduled in your diary. Getting up early and being productive at a time when you’d normally be sleeping makes you feel great about yourself, and actually motivates you to work harder for the rest of the day.
- Download a productivity app. It happens to the best of us; you’re happily revising and go on your phone to reply to just one message and suddenly its half an hour later and you’re two years deep in your crush’s Instagram. Productivity apps are ideal for motivating you to work for a set amount of time without getting distracted. My personal favourite is Forest; you grow a tree whilst studying, and if you leave the app the tree will die. It gives you coin rewards and motivates you to build up streaks, so is ideal for anyone who likes a challenge.
All that remains to be said is good luck! Don’t work too hard and try to enjoy the last couple of weeks before the holidays!