The five stages of revision you will definitely go through

How many can you relate to?

Revision season is here, and you really should be busy soaking up all that knowledge you've learnt over the past two years.

But it's not always that straightforward. Here are the five stages of revision you'll probably go through in the run up to exams...

1. Determination

You've bought that brand new stationery that you can't wait to use. You've tidied your desk, printed out your study planner and pinned it to your wall. You can't wait to get started and get those A*s and 9s you deserve!

AntMan200 has shared his 'ultimate GCSE grade 9 strategy' and in it he says: "Timetables don’t work for everyone including myself, so I’ve started off by making a loose one, with goals rather than strict deadlines.

"I’ve given myself two hours of revision to complete every day until 7pm, and if I fail that then it has to be three by the time I go to bed, this gives me motivation to actually study. On weekends, I can choose to study three hours on Saturday or four hours on Sunday, again to motivate me to get it done earlier."

When you're feeling determined to succeed, setting goals helps you turn your drive into results.

2. Procrastination

Except studying is actually a bit boring. And a bit hard. You still have that determination, but maybe you should start after just one episode of that new netflix show?

Your desk is already tidy, but how about you do that really important task of clearing out your... underwear drawer? Or maybe the back of your wardrobe? 

Jotterab says, when you can't get out of your procrastination rut, "as unhelpful as you may find this, just do it. Once you do an hour of a subject, it's easier to start the next. You will already be focused on work and you will be more prepared to do it."

It's normal to procrastinate a bit, but once you get started you should get into the flow of revision.

3. Stress

And then suddenly, it's two weeks later and you've only gotten halfway through making a mind map. Oh my god! Time to start stressing out and actually do some work.

Except when you try and start on one topic, you remember there's another topic that's more important. Actually no, better start on the MOST important one! Before you know it you've jumped around 10 topics and remembered nothing.

MrMarks has some sage advice for when you're feeling pangs of anxiety: "Saying it’ll be OK never works – it makes me worse sometimes, the same as 'Don’t stress'. Nothing is more of a pain in the backside than comments like that. But I just want you to remember that we’re not defined simply by the letters on a piece of paper on results day. I can’t begin to count the amount of times I forget this when I’m in a spiral of panic!"

Put your exams into perspective and read our guide to handling revision and exam stress.

4. Dread

Great. There's a week left to go before your first exam. You've gotten into the swing of doing revision, but it's so slow. What's even the point? Still you keep slogging on, and every now and then feel that wave of panic rising in your chest when you picture walking into your exam hall.

AliceV_647 says that even with a limited amount of time, you can still boost your grades: "You can do SO much in a few hours at GCSE! In a day I went from scraping a C to an A* (I did past papers at the beginning and end of my day of revision) in chemistry... just do lots of questions, revise the content and you’ll be fine!"

Keep going; your effort will be worth it.

5. Acceptance

Looking through your revision cards, you realise you might have actually gotten the hang of this. Whilst testing yourself, you're actually getting most of the questions right! You might actually do well in this exam.

Anyway, it's too late to do anything about it now anyway. May as well just get a good night's sleep and try your best.

sinfonietta recommends, the night before an exam, to "give yourself 8-10 hours to sleep. This is to accomodate for time to spend tossing and turning and the amount of times you might wake up."

Here's our list of things to do just before an exam.


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