Exam Life: Staying Motivated
Amy studied at the University of Bristol and is our revision blog guru. She only graduated recently so understands the pressures of being a student better than most, and is here to share her wisdom so that you revise effectively, smash your exams, succeed at school and write cracking university and job applications.
Keeping yourself inspired and motivated to revise can be a task in itself, and will probably require some conscious effort. Here are our top tips for keeping your head in the game (even when it’s the weekend!) so that you give yourself the best possible chance of nailing those exams.
1. Take it a day at a time
If thinking about the many days of revision ahead puts your head in a spin, the solution is simple. Don’t think that far ahead! The important thing is to be as efficient and productive as you can every time you sit down to do some revision. So rather than wasting time getting yourself in a tizz, just focus on what you want to do that day and get it done.
If you take things a day at a time and break your revision down into day-sized chunks, it will be done and dusted in no time!
2. Don’t lose sight of the bigger picture
When you’re balancing equations or memorising biological processes, it can be difficult to remember what it’s all for!
Remember that the commitment and focus required to excel in exams demonstrates lots of impressive skills which will set you up amazingly well for later life.
Rather than thinking it’s all pointless, remind yourself of the bigger goals you’re working towards, and try and view exams as one small stepping stone in your path to success. Your older self will seriously thank you for your hard work!
3. Switch up your techniques
If you’re getting bored and distracted, it’s time to change up your revision techniques. Chat to friends to find out how they revise and get some tips, and use our resources to give you something new to look at.
Sit in a different room or in a different seat around the table; go to the library; try making mind maps rather than writing pages and pages of notes; try some past papers; make flashcards and test yourself; get creative! If you need more ideas, refer back to the ‘Revision Techniques’ section of this guide.
Think of your memory as a muscle that gets stronger the more you push it and test it. Therefore, the more ways you can revise a certain thing, the easier it’ll be to remember. Variety is the spice of life, and the same applies to revision.
4. Remember that you’re not alone
When you’re feeling as though everybody else is out enjoying life whilst you’re stuck indoors revising, just remember that that’s totally not true. Thousands of GCSE and A Level students across the country are doing the exact same thing, so you’re all in it together! You’re all opening doors for yourself, so make the most of it and don’t let yourself get left behind!
5. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself
We all have days when the inspiration runs dry, we’re tired, we’re distracted, and we’re not firing on all cylinders.
If you’re genuinely having ‘one of those days’ (and know when this is genuine, rather than just an excuse), don’t beat yourself up about it. Do what revision you can and accept that today isn’t your day but that tomorrow just well might be.
Give yourself a break to do something you enjoy, and be ready to start afresh when you’re feeling better. You’re only human after all!