Revision

Image of students at an academic book fair

Some of you have already had exams and have been revising for weeks, or even months.  Others will only just be getting to that stage in earnest now.  Bristol SU is here to help with revising tips, ideas for what to do when you need a break and advice on staying healthy and happy throughout this difficult and stressful period!
It’s important not to just focus on revision technique – you need to get the right balance of work and play and maintain a healthy lifestyle to ensure that you’re working at your very best.  

How to Revise

There are loads of ways to revise - the trick is to find the methods that work best for you.

Revision can be hard because it requires a lot of self-motivation and concentration.  It is important to be sensible in your approach and not overdo it. Make a revision plan with time allocated to each topic; but leave some room for flexibility so you can make changes and take breaks. 

Once you have your plan, here are our top tips:

  • Start! No matter how late you’ve left it – there’s no time like the present
  • Collect all your notes together – make sure there aren’t any gaps in your information. If there is, look for it in another source or ask your tutor/friends for help
  • Set yourself short-term goals for each topic, so you can check that you are on target and to give you a confidence boost from achieving and making good progress
  • Don’t try to revise too much in one go – most people struggle to concentrate for more than 2-3 hours at a time. Take breaks!
  • Don’t ignore the topics you don’t like or don’t find interesting
  • Actively revise – don’t just read your notes: write down key points, try to recall important issues on a separate piece of paper, make mind maps. Whatever works for you – just make sure you’re taking the information in
  • Use past papers – practice answering questions (and assessing your answers). Timing yourself is  a great way to prepare yourself for writing under exam conditions.

Don't forget that the Library has lots of books and eBooks to help you with your exams.  Some examples:
Cottrell: The exam skills handbook
Becker: 14 days to exam success
McVea: Exam skills for law students
Tracy: The student's guide to exam success
The University's  library services also have resources specifically for international students - see the International Library page.
You can email Angela, the International Librarian, for more advice: angela.joyce@bristol.ac.uk

Where to Revise

Different students need different spaces: some need absolute quiet; some like to be able to chat to friends; some like to listen to music. But every student should find somewhere they’re able to concentrate, with plenty of space to spread out and access to all the resources they need.