Students Staff

6 February 2018

Exam revision – top tips for students and parents

Filed under: Latest news — mh17332 @ 3:57 pm
Heather, left, and Manda, right, have both had children go off to university.

Heather, left, and Manda, right, have both had children go off to university.

Revising for exams is stressful for everyone involved.  Even as parents we can all remember our own exam times as if it was yesterday. I can remember feeling pretty helpless as my daughter prepared for A-Levels, my main show of support was sliding food under the door, but now they are at University, how far can you go?

Mick Kavanagh from our Talent Development Centre said, “Revision is not always fun. It may be an idea to do a little revision yourself on exam technique so you are ready if a student turns to you for help. Like A-Levels, though, maybe don’t interfere unless you are asked! Also, don’t over-communicate: If you’re texting or sending cheery images from home, this can be very distracting. Try to find a time of day when you know they may be relaxing rather than working on revision.”

Here are his top tips:

  •  Environment: Deciding where to revise may depend on the task at hand. Our learning hubs and libraries are well equipped for effective revision, with lots of quiet space available, but many students prefer revising in their room, especially as they can have all their resources to hand.
  • Planning: Careful planning is crucial to successful revision. A revision timetable helps with allocating sufficient time to revise each topic in depth.
  •  Organising: Arranging lecture and reading notes helps with an overview of the job at hand. Prioritised topics can then be fed into the revision timetable.
  •  Techniques: Different students learn in different ways, and the methods used at school may need updating for this higher level of study. Revision cards and last-minute cards (to look at just before the exam) help to make everything manageable. Vary the tasks by reading, writing, drawing diagrams, and discussing.
  •  Personalise: Adding questions and comments to texts/notes, and using colours and graphics, makes them more individual. Sticky notes around the room helps in absorbing key information.
  •  Ask for help: Lecturers are here to help and if you don’t understand an area of study, ask for support. The TDC and the Library are also good sources of advice.
  • Take regular breaks and get some exercise.
  • Keep hydrated and eat well – this BBC article has lots of good ideas.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The University of Essex will moderate comments and there will be a delay before any posts appear.