How to Study Smarter, Not Longer

 Recently, with exams fast approaching and exam season well under way,  I've been seeing a lot of videos floating around YouTube and social media with titles like: "11 hour study with me!" or even "15 hour study day". I don't know about you, but when I see these sort of titles, I instantly feel a massive swarm of regret and guilt, because my brain tells me that my measly 3-4 hour revision session is not sufficient enough.  
But then I realised that revision shouldn't have to be fixated on how many hours you spend a night, but rather how productive you are and how much you actually learn from it. I mean, I could sit there for 11 hours straight staring at a textbook just to class it is as 'productive' because of the time I spent on it, yet I haven't actually learnt anything at all. That's why I've to come to the conclusion that in order to be productive and actually understand something, I must revise smarter rather than longer.  What I mean by this is that instead of focussing on the time I'm gonna spend revising, I'm going to focus on the quality of my revision, by using the best and most effective ways. So, if you're looking for some inspo or just a little reassurance if you're feeling a bit unmotivated like I was, here's some of my fave revision techniques that I've found work the best for me ( of course, this is a personal preference, as I'm not speaking for everyone here or telling you how you must revise in order to succeed, but rather giving a little inspiration and motivation if you're still a bit lost or unsure :) )

1. Flashcards, flashcards, FLASHCARDS! 

Okay, so for me flashcards are an absolute life-saver right now, and they're pretty much the main thing that is allowing me to keep on top of every thing I've got to know before the exams. I'm that extra that I even have an entire drawer dedicated to my extensive flashcard collection, and I'm not even sorry. I pretty much have sets of flashcards for every subject now, and I spend a lot of my time making them and then going through them until I can say each one off by heart. Even if you're not a massive fan of flashcards, I would still strongly recommend making some for formulas, especially for Maths and Science, as they're so easy to look over right before the exam. Plus, because they're only tiny, you can easily pop them into your coat or bag for on the go, which I find especially handy if I'm going on a long car journey or I know there's gonna be a lot of waiting around. 

2. Mind maps for the win

I wouldn't say that mind maps are super vital in remembering chunks of information for me, but I do like to use them as a way of remembering any visual things, like diagrams or graphs. As I'm a visual learner, bright colours are super beneficial, and I find it easier remembering information if it's attached to a picture like a small sketch or drawing related to the topic. Therefore, I have lots of these mind maps plastered all around my room, so that way I remember the colourful diagrams and words better as they always catch my eye. I would definitely recommend making it colourful and bright, as it makes it a lot more interesting to look at, which will therefore help you remember it better in the long run.

3. Blurts!

You may have never heard of this technique before, I actually discovered it from Eve Bennett on YouTube, and I've found it be very successful as a way to test your brain on how much you actually know. Basically, 'blurts' or 'brain-dumps' are essentially a quicker and much less colourful version of a mind map from your own memory. All you have to do is give yourself 5 or so minutes to quickly look at whatever your trying to remember, and then grab a piece of paper, set a timer for 5 mins (however this can vary depending on the amount of information) and quickly jot down in brief note forms everything that you remember from what you just memorised. I like to do mine in a mind map type style, where the topic is in a bubble in the middle and then there's arrows for each point, but you could also do it in a list form or anything else you prefer. Then once the timer's up, compare your notes with the text book information, and writing down anything you've missed in a different coloured pen. Then repeat, until you get everything right!

And there you have it, 3 ways you can revise smarter rather than longer. I hope you enjoyed this post and found it helpful, be sure to leave any other revision techniques you use in the comment section below! 

Love, Jess x 

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