can we end this studyblr ideal that you should be eating fruit for every snack and revising on the bus and studying whilst you walk and learning whilst you eat lunch and staying home at weekends and using every single minute of the day to be productive ??? like ??? no !! eat that chocolate that you’ve been keeping in your kitchen !! listen to your favourite song whilst on the bus !! play games on your phone at lunch time !! meet your friends and have a hella fun adventure !! its obviously okay and good to have a balance between your chill time and your study time but please for the love of god do not let studying take over your life. studying is great and its awesome and you should definitely work hard but you need to remember that your life needs to be lived
-You’ve worked your butt off for this. You will be fine.
-If you panic, tell an invigilator/teacher. They’ll know what to do. Sit at the front of the hall if you know you’re likely to panic.
-Sleep and eat. Your body will thank you and you’ll do better.
-Don’t talk about answers after the exam. That will stress you out, and then you’ll be panicked for the rest of the exam period. What happens, happens.
-What other people do is not important, as long as you feel like you’ve done all you could.
-Spend time doing things other than revising. Friends, family and pets will all be grateful and it will stop that pre-exam stress everyone gets.
Remember, if it’s an A* or a D, your grades do not define your worth. Do your best and remember there’s always second chances. I love you all.
firstly, never ever ever just read through your notes!!! this is only good if it’s like the morning before your exam, otherwise never do it- it won’t work (unless you have a photographic memory or something)!
flashcards- they don’t have to be pretty, just functional! Write only key information down such as dates and places or formulae
don’t write notes for things you already know! Go through your folder/specification/textbook and make a list on everything you need to revise
bullet points- sit down with a black biro and some lined paper and read through your revision guide/textbook/class notes and make concise notes- you can make them look nice later using highlighters but for now just focus on noting down key information!
word documents- this is what I call my ‘panic notes’. I sit down with a revision guide (usually a day before my exam) and make very quick notes on a word document- I use shortened words/text speak to save time and make sure I get down key information
print off past papers- give yourself about half the time you would have in the exam and go through the paper, making bullet points for longer questions or plans for essays. Highlight sources/extracts you’re given as if you are in the exam as this is very good practice. Then use the mark scheme to roughly mark the paper and add to your answers
mind maps- don’t write down every single piece of information, or copy out sentences from a textbook- just put a key idea/topic in the middle and expand on it with key statistics/facts- use lots of diagrams if they help
notebook notes- get a small, lined notebook and write down key facts in it, also draw diagrams if needed. Then carry this notebook around with you- maybe go for a walk with it and test yourself as you walk (getting outside is very important and good for your brain!)
use word association/mnemonics/silly little tricks to help you remember things- for example I remember that barium ions burn green in the flame test because barium sounds like bear and bears live in forests which are green! Often the ruder the better as you’re more likely to remember them
ask a family member of friend to help you revise- ask them to test you on things from notes/a revision guide; I often ask my mum to test me and somehow it really helps me to remember things as she’s hopeless as science-based subjects so always mispronounces things and I have to explain basically everything to her!
If no one is available to help you, test yourself! Fold a piece of A4 in half vertically and write questions and answers on separate sides- then, a little while later on so you don’t remember everything word for word, fold it back so you can’t see the answers and ask yourself the questions!
also it’s vital that you get a good amount of sleep (all nighters usually do not turn out very well unless you’re superhuman), drink plenty of water, eat healthily (it’s alright to treat yourself a bit though!), and get outside at least once a day! Also give yourself a few breaks from studying- you and your brain will need to relax a little!
A lot of you have been asking me how I find time to exercise in the run up to exams, and what things I eat while studying, as well as how I generally balance health with revision - here’s a post that answers these :)
Blueberries, strawberries, blackberries - any berries really
Trail mix (you can buy it or put together your favourite seeds, nuts and dried fruit to make your own)
Smoothies (buy them or make your own)
Greek yoghurt (it’s best when topped with granola and fruit)
Pitta bread and hummus/dips
Rice cakes (topped with whatever you want)
Apple and peanut butter
Nakd bars and Trek bars
Graze - you can order a whole range of health snacks from this website
EXERCISE: I find that if I am very stressed out because of revision and approaching exams I can release and get rid of a lot of that anxiety by exercising - going for a walk, run or cycle. Even if it’s just for a few minutes.
It can be hard to find time when you have a lot of studying to do throughout the day, so I generally exercise first thing in the morning before I do anything else. It helps wake me up and makes me feel good and energised for the day ahead.
I don’t have a gym membership, and a lot of people can’t get one due tot he cost or that there;s no gym near them - here are a few links to youtube videos and ideas of home workouts that require no equipment and are also very quick:
It’s really easy to just do a quick 10 minute workout at home, you could do it in one of your study breaks. I think it’s also good to have prepared your food the day or morning before, or know exactly what you’re going to cook that night - otherwise it can just be a lot easier to go out and get a takeaway. There are loads of quick and healthy recipe ideas on tumblr and buzzfeed etc. a lot of which can be prepared in advance, so you don’t have to spend time cooking during the exam period. You can’t always eat healthy though; so if you want a big piece of chocolate cake then give yourself a big piece of chocolate cake because you deserve it!
Just remember, these are only suggestions and I am by no way saying my method is perfect, but this is how I’ve been taking my notes for almost two years and it’s the method I’m most comfortable with. The best thing to do is find a method that matches your learning style and needs.
1. Do yourself a favor and go and buy an entire shop worth of different coloured pens. For me, coloured pens are my best friend. I have dozens from various brands - mainly staedtler, papermate and bic - which are always used and abused on a daily basis.
2. COLOUR CODE! this makes reading your notes and finding information in a flash so much easier. The second picture is a photo of the notes I took from my school website about my Politics course. As you can see, I’ve used blue for the titles, purple for the basic information and green for all important dates and percentages. I usually use at least three colours for my colour coding.
3. Always copy down the learning intention/objective or the point in your syllabus that you are covering in that class. It is essential for revising. I actually take my syllabus and write down the date during which I completed the work for that section and basic notes - essentially the bare minimum of what I need to know, like micro notes - this is easier to do if a learning intention is placed at the top of your work, or even the number of the point in the syllabus you are covering in that class.
4. Highlights are the best thing in the world. You’ll find this out fairly quickly. They go hand in hand with using pens. Again, I assign one colour for each different element of my work. For example, I used pink for the key points of my learning intention, orange for the most important terms that are likely to appear on a test or that may need to be used in an essay - think of what might be BUZZ WORDS for an exam or piece of coursework as you read through your work, this makes doing essays, homework or flashcards so much easier - important dates are highlighted in yellow and pieces of legislation are highlighted in green. The title of any parliamentary department is in blue.
5. For all my history or politics students I find that doing timelines are great. Again, I’ve used a basic three colour system. Additional/background information is in green; this is very similar to little ‘don’t forget’ notes and can be great to revise right before a test or exam to make sure you know the basic information. All dates are in blue so they stand out as soon as you open the page. The main events are then in brown. I suggest trying to stay away from complimentary colours such -such as like pairing pink and purple together - as you won’t get such a stand out affect as I have here.
7. Although it isn’t shown here, I always write down the chapter and page number for my textbook that goes hand in hand with my notes, this helps out a ton and saves so much time [You won’t be that student who spends half the class trying to find a page in their textbook!}
Best of luck! If you have any questions or concerns, drop me a message.
Hi, quite a lot of you have been messaging me about some of the best study apps for revision and making notes etc. so I thought I would give some recommendations of my favourite study apps. These apps are all free unless stated otherwise, but some do have in-app purchases :)
APPS FOR IMPROVING PRODUCTIVITY:
Pomodoro: There are loads of different versions of this app, but essentially they all do the same thing. The Pomodoro technique is when you work for 25 minutes, then take a short break of 5 minutes - then when you have completed x many pomodoros you can take a longer break (15-30 minutes). You can choose whatever times suit you (it’s traditionally 25 work, 5 rest). It doesn’t work for everyone, but is a good technique that aims to improve productivity
Forest (£0.79): This is an app that helps you work without the distraction of your phone. A seed is planted and then grows into a tree; this takes 30 minutes, and in that time if you go off the app and check twitter or Instagram etc. then the tree will die. This gives you the motivation and incentive not to check social media or play games on your phone, therefore helping you to study, and have a break from your phone
Coffitivity: Some people work better when there’s background noise. This app offers a range of ambient soundtracks of a cafe that you can play and adjust the sound of to stimulate you to work better.
myNoise: Similar to Coffitivity, myNoise is a website and app that will play a range of soothing sounds that may help you work better, help you sleep, or just be relaxing to listen to. It has sounds like falling rain, bells ringing, white noise etc. You do have to pay for some of the noises in the app though.
APPS FOR STUDYING:
Evernote: This app is a great all-round study app. You can make notes with Evernote, and add images etc. to make them more than just chunks of text. You can organise your notes into notebooks, and a great addition is that you can search the text in your notes if you can’t remember exactly where you wrote something. You can also make to-do lists with the app, which is a great way to organise your day and the tasks you have to complete.
Quizlet: This app allows you to make flashcards from you phone/iPad etc. I find this really useful because it’s a lot quicker than making flahscards by hand, and you can do it when you’re on the go, without having to take all the resources like pens/paper etc. everywhere with you. Making digital flashcards also means that you can’t lose them, as you could paper flashcards.
Flashcards+: This is a similar app to Quizlet. You can make your own flashcards using this app, but you can also download flashcard decks that others have made on cram.com. You can also add images as a prompt on your cards, rather than words.
Simpleminded: This is app that allows you to make mind-maps. This is really useful if you are out and about/on holiday without the resources to make a physical mind-map, and also for the people who find them hard to make, but find looking at them useful. You can add colour to the mind-maps to link ideas and make them stand out, change borders etc. There are certain things you can only do through in-app purchases though
Duolingo: This is an app in which you can learn a language. I think the great thing about this app is the variety of languages it has to offer - most apps that I have seen focus on: English, French, Spanish, German etc. but Duolingo offers languages like: Ukrainian, Swedish and Danish.
Memrise: This app helps you learn terminolgy, langugas, anatomy etc. - It’s a memory app - it tells you what a word means and then uses different types of tests/questions repeatedly to make you learnt he word. There are literally thousands of courses, and the ones I have done so far are pretty good.