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Exam time ... how to revise effectively

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Natalie Moore, student nurse editor for mental health nursing, lets us in on her top revision tips …

  1. It goes without saying that you should start as soon as possible, giving yourself enough to time to cover all you need to. Cramming can be extremely stressful and there is nothing worse than going in to an exam feeling like you don’t know what you need to.
  2. Find a method that works for you. I’m a visual learner so I colour code my topics, use lots of diagrams and break things down in to index cards. Writing down things over and over can be tedious but I also find that helps, as well as recording your revision material and listening to it on the way to placement.
  3. Revise in a quiet, comfortable place with no distractions. I never revise at home as I always find myself on the computer or fiddling with my phone, so I head to the library.  It’s much more difficult to procrastinate there!
  4. Give yourself regular breaks, ideally every half an hour. Information overload can do more harm than good so it’s important you give yourself a rest every now and then.
  5. Allow yourself time to do something other than revision. This is difficult with a stressful exam looming over you, but if you start in plenty of time than you can plan in a social life as well.
  6. Look after yourself. Staying up all night and having marathon revision sessions will be no use if by the time you get to your exam you are completely worn out. Get enough sleep, eat well and drink enough so that you are well rested and able to get through your exam.
  7. Most importantly, don’t panic!

Natalie Moore is the student nurse editor, mental health branch for

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