It’s that time of year again – it’s revision time! With the exam season upon us, we know you’re all dreading those long revision sessions and those monotonous days in the library. Revising doesn’t need to be boring though – there are plenty of ways to keep things interesting, and even fun (yes, fun!).
In the hope of making the spring less grim for you, we put together a list of seven fun ways to revise.
1. Charade It
Get some friends studying for the same exam as you together and play charades. Not any kind of charade though. All words or phrases you use will need to come directly from your textbooks. This game will help you test your knowledge and find new ways to remember things – by listening to the clues given by other players, you’ll find out how they remember those figures, concepts, or facts.
2. Get Arty
Bright colours and drawings can help you remember concepts visually. Try colour-coding when highlighting important passages in your books – it’ll give you visual cues when revising.
Creating drawings, cartoons, or diagrams of the events or concepts you’re studying can be rather powerful too, whilst also being enjoyable. If you can, hang your illustrations up in your room or the space where you study – they’ll make their way into your head if you occasionally look at them or catch glimpses of them.
3. Get the LOLs
If you enjoy a good comedy show or a joke, this method is for you. A great way to remember facts or people is to come up with a joke or funny nickname for the ones that really don’t stick.
For historical figures, you can either change the person’s name slightly or describe what they’re most known for in a humorous way. For example, Henry VIII could be “the womaniser”. For historical periods, facts, or concepts, you can use amusing expressions to describe the key features that identify them. Revising using inside jokes and witty expressions can be a lot of fun, especially if you do it with a coursemate or two.
4. Sing It
Hair brushes at the ready. Have you ever considered singing while you study? It’s not as crazy as it sounds. Assign famous songs, or tracks you like, to people or facts you need to remember. For example, to remember Bill Clinton’s re-election you could sing “Oops!... I Did It Again” by Britney Spears and maybe even change some of the lyrics to include key related facts.
Using this method will make it easier to remember events and people’s personal stories; it will also establish a positive connection with the subject you’re studying.
5. Play Board Games
Can’t be bothered to pull an all-nighter? Why not play board games with your coursemates in the evening instead? You’ll be allowed to play any game you like, but there’s a catch. Every time it’s your turn, you’ll have to state a notion from your textbooks that hasn’t been mentioned in the previous rounds. The pressure of the game and your peers will help you dig deep in your head, which will unveil just how much you already know on the exam subject.
6. Watch a Movie
Not any movie, though. If you’re starting to find the subject you’re studying boring and you’re dreading looking at your books, try watching a film, documentary, or video about it. The Hollywood version of the historical figures and period you’re studying is often much more memorable than a long book chapter.
7. Text It
You’ll inevitably frantically check your phone and text people while revising, even when you really shouldn’t. So why not take advantage of it? Make a deal with one or two friends who are preparing for the same exam as you. You’ll need to add facts from your textbooks to all the texts you exchange with them in the lead-up to the exam. This method will force you to open up the books and dig up new facts; it will also “drill” these into your brain.
If you easily get distracted while revising, try the Pomodoro technique – put away your phone and tablet, and work solidly for 25 minutes (this is one “Pomodoro”) and then take a five-minute break. Once you’ve done four consecutive Pomodoros, take a longer break (around 15 or 20 minutes). By taking regular breaks, you’ll feel less overwhelmed by a whole morning or afternoon of studying, and you’ll be more motivated to really focus during each Pomodoro.