Failing to give up: Ursula’s view (Part 2)
Why is it that whenever I have exams to prepare for, ALL my favourite TV shows start again, but whenever I DON’T have exams, there’s nothing on I even want […]
Why is it that whenever I have exams to prepare for, ALL my favourite TV shows start again, but whenever I DON’T have exams, there’s nothing on I even want to watch?!! It can feel like the universe is conspiring against you at times, just providing tempting distractions to encourage you to miss another planned revision session.
Yep, it’s one thing clearing your schedule for the weekend, telling friends your unavailable for that Sunday afternoon in the pub and asking your partner to make plans without you… But when it’s just you and your books for company, even that Spring cleaning that needed doing since last Spring becomes an attractive alternative.
This is often how I feel when I’ve cleared my weekend for revision time – let’s face it, I’d rather be doing anything else. But I do find that once I actually get stuck into exam questions, take one at a time with breaks in between – it’s not so bad. I’ve been guilty in the past of “bad revising”. You know, just getting my notes out and re-reading them, maybe colour coding them or even just re-writing them. Then when I eventually did break out the exam kit, I’d pick a question read it and then ‘oh I’ll just read the answer to see if that’s what I’d have written more or less…’ It’s this sort of lazy revision that really made me dread the prospect of sitting at my desk all day on a perfectly nice Sunday, because really I knew this was a waste of my time.
Your brain does actually want to be engaged, otherwise guess what – it gets bored! You stop concentrating and start thinking about other ways to engage it, even if it is that overdue spring clean.
That’s why it’s best even at the early stages of revision to just do question practice. Even if you don’t have a full grasp of the topic yet. Throw yourself in and let your brain actively engage with the material. It can be frustrating at first especially if you’re sitting there not having enough to write, but this way you can spot your knowledge gaps more easily and this will focus your revision more effectively. If you know what you don’t know, then you’re more likely to remember it when you do learn it.
Over the past week I’ve been using my commute to work to revise a topic, usually I read a technical article on the train to work and then I’ll brush up on some of the finer details on the commute home. Then once I’m home I’ll sit down and see what I can produce in the same time I’d have in the exam, so that’s 45mins at the most. Manageable.
It may have taken me the hard way to appreciate it (ie scoring a frustrating marginal fail on the first attempt), but there’s really no point in revising badly. It’s a waste of your time, even worse, a waste of your precious free time that could have been better spent spring cleaning.
Ursula 🙂 xo.