How to get organised for exams

Getting organised

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Have you ever reached the night before an exam and realised that you have missed out a chunk of revision? Do you find yourself using excuses such as 'I don't have the notes, so I can't revise'? If so, then you probably need to adopt a more organised approach to your revision. The best way to start being organised for your revision is to think:

What do I need to start my revision?

The resources that you will probably need for each exam will include:

The materials that you will need to help with revision include:

Activity: List and collect everything you need for your revision - 1 hour

1. Make a list of all the exams you have to take in your upcoming examination period. (If you have other coursework or assessments due in at the same time, include these in your list.)

2. Working through your list of exams, write down a list of resources (notes and books) you will need for your revision.

3. Now that you have decided which resources you need for your exams, write down a list of materials that you require for all your exams.

4. Now go and get everything on your list. Beg/borrow/download/photocopy all the lecture notes. Order/pick up all the books and journal articles and go to a stationary shop and buy everything else you require (pens, paper, wall planner etc.)

Organising all your notes, books and other revision materials is important and will help you to start your revision in an ordered and positive manner. The following activity will help you to get organised before you begin your revision.

Procrastination alert! Organising everything you need for your revision should not take long: One day at the most. (Hint: you don't need to colour code your paper-clips. This is not effective use of revision time!)

Activity: Organise all the material you need for your revision - 1 hour

1. Organise all of your resources into folders, one for each exam. Order and label any notes or journal articles in a clear and easy-to-read way.

2. You may find it helpful to divide these up into themes or sections. For example; divide science into biology, chemistry and physics.

3. For each folder spend some time flicking through and writing down a list of the main themes or subject headings.

4. Keep this list in the front of the appropriate exam folder as a reference.

Recommended Further Reading

You should now know how many exams you have to take, have all the resources and materials you need and have organised these into exam files which have been divided into themes and sections. This process will help you to focus on what you need to learn for each exam, and help to separate the topics in your mind. This will be especially important if your exams are on closely-related or overlapping subjects.

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