12 Top Revision Tips Recommended by Uni Students

GCSE/A-Level students: as you come up to your final exams, you may have gotten into the swing of revision, congratulations and bookmark this article for a year's time. However, you may have developed an unreal loathing of highlighters that is preventing you from studying any further, or you could pull a next-level breakdown and cry when you can't get your scone out of the toaster (sorry, sis).

So as a little bit of end-of-the-week, end-of-exam-season motivation, I've compiled a collection of revision advice, tips and tricks from some top 10 university students. Have a skim read, absorb the 7 years worth of expertise from a range of subjects, and go into your final revision sessions with a fresh head and absolutely no toaster drama.

  1. “Start it way earlier than I did? Maybe separate things into categories or topics - you remember things better with links between them - and colour code them. I think it helps to have things written in different colours, like theorists in red, dates in green etc. It helps them to stand out and your brain to separate them” - Nicola Cresswell, Criminology

  2. “Procrastinating? Get a pad of post-it notes, every time a distracting thought wanders through your mind – WRITE IT DOWN! Once you get to an appropriate break in your text, take a break. Then, read through the post-it notes - often what seems urgent or important mid-paragraph is actually neither. And if it is important, then now is the time to do it.” - Ellie McCann, Georgraphy

  3. A revision playlist was a lifesaver for me. A playlist of chill tracks that keep you focused for when you revise, then when you're in an exam and can't think of something, just go through the playlist in your head and I could usually remember what I needed to” - Ryan O’Hara, English Language and Literature

  4. "Sometimes when people start revising, they forget that taking breaks can often be just as crucial as the actual revision time. With most people, if you lock yourself in your room or the library for 12 hours straight without a break, you'll find that the information stops going in. There is nothing wrong with going to get a coffee or meeting friends for lunch during revision, as these small time-outs can help your brain to relax and refocus for the next round of revision" - Kirsten McPhail, Biomedicine

  5. “I've always found rewards after meeting certain criteria helps, like making a cup of tea after reading two sections, or two biscuits every paragraph you write. Also, rewriting out your notes as summaries or in different phrasing to ensure you actually understand what you're reading. You don't truly understand something until you are able to explain it successfully to an idiot” - Esther Potter, Ethics, Philosophy and Religion

  6. “For maths-based subjects, just do as many past papers as you can. And use mnemonics. And flash cards” - Joseph Walsh, Physics

  7. “Doing past papers is really useful. It allows you to understand the format of the exam, to note any subject trends on questions and practice your timing so that you don't overrun in the real thing” - Alice Callaghan, Mechanical Engineering

  8. Timed past papers is probably my number one. And colourful flash cards. When you’re at the end of your revision, create mind-maps to just blurt out all the info that you know on a certain subject” - Ellen Rimmer, English Literature

  9. “This is actually a thing as it’s actually helped me. When you’ve made your notes, the material you’re going to revise from, read them over and over and over again and imagine that when you’re reading it, you’re going to have to teach it to someone else, or relay it to a different person. I’d envisage myself in the exam trying to teach my dad and it just stuck better” - Lewis Smith, Biomedicine

  10. “When reading articles only remember author name and year. Make bullet point abstract of main ideas when studying workshop material. Always give notes a skim over before sleep, you'll absorb them better” - Holly Smith, Law

  11. “Listen to different genres of music when revising different topics so then when you are trying to recall the information, the type of music can help trigger it. This probably won't work for everyone, but it really works for me” - Jake Heaney, English Literature

  12. “Handwrite all your notes and any relevant information out again. As much as it's a slow and boring process, it's really worth it as the process of writing has been proven to help your brain remember the information more easily. When you feel confident enough, revise with a friend and explain it to them. Once you're able to adequately explain something to someone else in your own words, you know you have a solid understanding of that particular topic” - Alex Dale, Media and Cultural Studies