A* revision tips for business students

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Aiming for the top grades at A-Level? Here are some tips on how to get them

It's time to start thinking about heading to uni to start your business course. Ah, the freedom of higher education. The ebb and flow of international business studies. Managing your time. Doing your own laundry. There's the just the small matter of your exams to pass first, so we've prepared some revision strategies to help. 

Actually start revising

It all gets easier once you start, so take that first step as soon as possible. Where should you begin? Step away from the books and notes: your first tactic is to plan.

Stephanie Amor, domestic student recruitment manager at The University of Law Business School, Leeds campus, studied international business with Spanish. Get organised, she suggests. “Planning and organising yourself will be the best start to your revision process. You'll feel confident if this bit is done well.”

Get it on the wall

How do you get organised? TSR Member TeraKoma recommends going backwards. “Work out your exam dates and work out what you need to study each month to have completed revision before your exams!”

Then put it all in a timetable. This gives you something to refer to, as well as a way of seeing how far you've come. Stephanie recommends setting realistic goals – don't aim for 10 hour days - and ticking off the sessions you complete for “a nice sense of achievement.”

Top tip: give yourself a couple of hours to make your timetable, and stick to it. The Procrastination Goblin will stalk you throughout your revision, and taking weeks to plan your planning is one of its favourite time-wasting tactics.

Revision methods

There are lots of these (you can find plenty of suggestions here), from rewriting notes, to making flash cards or vlogs – nothing like presenting a business topic to an audience to make you get to grips with it – so the key thing is to know what suits you best, and what will help you not just recall stuff (although that's important), but really understand it.

“I did all the past papers for maths, roughly one a week, as well as questions from the textbooks,” says TSR Member Acsel. “You need to find methods that work for you.”

STUDENT REVISING

Talk to people

Another helpful technique, especially for subjects involving case studies or questions with more than one possible answer, is group study. “Arrange peer coaching sessions, where you each discuss an approach to a problem you're struggling with,” says TSR Member DPLSK.

Reach out to others if you hit trouble as well. “Your teachers and peers should be the first port of call if you get stuck,” says DPLSK. “If they can't help you then forums are quite useful.”

Healthy comparisons

As well as seeing how your knowledge measures up against past papers, you might consider looking up examiners' reports, where they set out what they're looking for in exam answers – then you can find any gaps in your understanding and fix them.

Beware unhealthy comparisons, though, namely constantly holding yourself up against others. “Don't compare yourself to anyone else,” says Stephanie. “Just because someone else can do seven hours of revision a day, doesn't mean it's for everyone.”

Stop and breathe

Quantity doesn't equal quality. One of the most helpful revision techniques is to recognise that revision sucks and to stop doing it on a regular basis. “Your concentration will drop after about an hour straight, so revise in short bursts, taking breaks to watch TV, play games etc in between,” says TSR Member Dark White.

You could even revise on the sly, by listening to business podcasts or watching TED talks, to get wider subject knowledge without hitting the books.

Get sleep too, and definitely get exercise, ideally leaving the house with it. “I enjoyed swimming,” recalls Stephanie. “It was a fab way to disconnect and get healthy at the same time. There's nothing worse than being chained to your desk.”

Manage your time

Perhaps the key to successful revision lies in just one word: time. Give yourself enough time to revise everything; plan your time; use it well and take breaks, and practice working to exam timings.

“If you are doing an essay subject you need to practice to time,” says TeraKoma. “If you're too slow you will not finish the exam! Practice, practice, practice until you can do it in the time required.” Give yourself treat time and rewards, too. “I scheduled in time in the day to just chill and do whatever I wanted. You won’t find revision such a chore if you reward yourself.”

Revision is a challenge, but bear these tips in mind and dig into the TSR forums and you'll soon find yourself at uni, doing that laundry. Final tip? Keep white clothes and coloured ones separate - good luck!

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