Exams are an extremely stressful period for any student. There’s no question about that.
It’s easy to let the exam pressure start to grate on you and let the procrastination bug kick in. After weeks or months of revising in preparation, you’re nearly at the end… but it doesn’t feel quite like that.
Because of this, it can be difficult to keep motivated through the arduous exam timetable. Before you can get ready for your summer plans, you have to get through this final step.
It’s really important that you stay at peak performance at this stage!
Just think about what you’ll get out of putting the time in here; your dream university place, the perfect job, a new car, whatever your heart desires!
Here are 5 tips and tricks to stay motivated in this challenging exam period and achieve your goals.
Switch up your revision strategy
You’ve been stuck doing the same routine now for weeks.
Wake up at 9AM at the weekend. Open up your textbook. Re-read the same paragraph 6 times. Read it a 7th time, then realise none of it has gone in. Let’s try reading it one more time, maybe that’ll do the trick…
One very smart man once said:
“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”
Okay, so you might not be going insane, but you’re close enough and the results are still the same. This calls for a change of tactic!
Trying varying your revision methods. Do something completely out of the ordinary for yourself.
That paragraph that just won’t get stuck into your mind? Set your phone on record and read it out loud.
Now listen back to it.
Sure you might hate the sound of your voice, but I’m willing to bet you remember 70% more of what the passage actually says.
If you really, really hate the sound of your own voice, try someone else’s. Find a podcast on your given topic and get listening. Usually, there are revision podcasts aimed at the A/AS level specification so it will be relevant. This website is a great resource to help find… well, resources: https://getrevising.co.uk/
More of a visual learner?
Take a risky trip to YouTube, avert your eyes from what you normally watch, and find a video on your revision topic. There’s guaranteed to be a great one out there. Check out this one for AQA Biology revision below.
Be creative and look for something that works for your learning style.
2. Incentivise yourself!
Nothing good comes easy. Good things come from hard work. Hard work should be rewarded. These 3 statements are the basis of this motivation strategy.
Yes, the end goal is getting the A* grade you want, but what about all the hard work in-between?
You should reward the smaller steps you take on reaching your overall goal. Incentivise yourself with little bonuses for little achievements!
If you planned to smash out 3 hours of Chemistry revision and did exactly that, then treat yourself with a visit to some friends or play a game for a bit.
These small victories are what will keep you going through the stressful exam period.
3. Get a study buddy
A problem shared is a problem halved. This is something we’ve mentioned on the blog in the past. It’s completely true.
If you’ve got a friend sitting the same exam as you, then why not get together and knock out some revision together?
You’ll be able to work through difficult topics with each other. You’ll be able to explain things you get to your partner, improving your understanding and helping them out at the same time.
It also helps to know that you’re not the only one in this situation. Scrolling through Facebook or Twitter might give you the impression that others are out having fun when you’re stuck inside revising. In truth, this probably isn’t the case. Facebook has a nasty habit of creating this impression.
Throw yourself a curveball
If you’re really struggling to get yourself motivated at all, then it’s time for something completely different.
Similar to switching up your revision strategy, do something completely out of the ordinary for your revision.
Do you usually work at home on your desk? Move out to the garden or a quiet coffee shop!
Usually start revision at lunchtime? Set your alarm to get you up at the crack of dawn and do the same amount of revision but finish much earlier.
Changing things up completely can have a great effect on your mind and body. While you may be used to starting revising at 12PM, psychologically your mind is already thinking “time to switch off!”
Changing your schedule and environment drastically will refresh all of these thoughts and help you make the most of the time you have.
5. Get those endorphins flowing
One thing about revision is that you’re generally stationary for hours at a time. This isn’t great for your mind, it likes a bit of movement in your life.
Every 45 minutes – 1 hour get up out of your spot and get some blood flowing. You could go for a short walk, do a few push-ups or play with your dog.
These little breaks do a world of good for your mind and body. They’ll feel good while you’re doing them, and you’ll reap the benefits when you return to revision afterwards.