How to prepare for January exams with revision

How to prepare for January exams with revision

It’s a week before Christmas, the last thing on your mind is what’s going to happen in January. Revision is looming. However, unfortunately as students, January is our worst nightmare. Exam timetables are being revealed, and the last lectures of this semester are occurring now.

You owe it to yourself to enjoy the Christmas festivities but January exams will come around before you know it so it is better to at least start thinking about preparing.

There are a few keyways in which you can prepare. Also, no matter how distracted with Christmas you are, don’t wait until after all the festivities are done to start revising. New Years and Christmas are fun and it is great when family all get together. However, leaving it too late is when cramming begins, alongside panicking and late-night revision sessions.

How to prepare for January exams with revision

Key ways to prepare

To begin with don’t procrastinate, this is a very common student problem, one that I am also guilty of. However, by procrastinating, you are literally just wasting time. The best way to put off procrastinating is by getting an early start to get ahead of it, this involves getting up in the morning, don’t lie in bed until 12. After that you should have a good breakfast or have some coffee to get you alert and ready for the day and just begin. One thing you should try and avoid in order to limit procrastination is social media. It sucks huge parts of your day as your scroll mindlessly. Also no one really feels good after seeing all the perfect (staged) pictures.

Another factor that should be considered is that you need to take care of yourself. It’s very easy over Christmas to just let things go, let your routine go, let your regular exercise go, let your healthy food go. And although it’s fine to indulge a bit, if you take it too far and lose yourself, it’ll take a long time to get back to feeling normal again. Obviously, you may lose some sleep and enjoy the Christmas cake but ensure that on the days where nothing is happening, you enjoy an apple and go to bed before midnight. Lack of sleep and unhealthy foods can make you feel very lethargic and your work will suffer for it.


If your term time work was productive, then your January exams will be easier. Keeping consistent notes and ensuring that you read them often will help you in December time. Finding out a good place to revise on campus can be helpful too. We all know that sometimes home actually isn’t the most conducive place to study so therefore finding a spot where you are happy is essential. There are plenty of places online that tell you about rooms you can study in and places that will help you revise better. A lot of schools/ departments have dedicated study spaces too. Equally keeping your desk space tidy and organised will help your thoughts to be more organised.

When your revision starts, making sure you have a study space is useful, even if it is just your bed. However, to make sure that you maximise your productivity, get up early. This will motivate you to do your work if you start off doing well. Have a hot shower and focus your mind on what you are planning to do. Related to this as well is finding good study buddy’s, this doesn’t necessarily even have to be people on your course, although there are obvious benefits to that. However, the important thing is that the people support you and encourage you to study, meaning you don’t get distracted.

How to prepare for January exams with revision

Lists and apps

It is important that before you start revision, you have a list of what you’re planning to do because this will help you to use your time properly. Creating revision lists will help you cover all the topics effectively. It is also helps you to feel accomplished by checking the lists off. Then make sure you keep the phone away. This will stop you from getting distracted by messages from friends or researching anything random. Apps like forest are designed to reward you for spending time away from your phone.

Revision cards and highlighters are your new best friend. Revision cards help to summarise ideas, rather than staring at lecture notes, it helps to reduce them to a more manageable size which will help you to memorise them better. Highlighters work in a similar way as they force you to only pull the relevant information from what can look like an overwhelming amount of words.

Finally, positive thinking is the key to success. Don’t doubt yourself and remain happy about what you have succeeded already. You can achieve anything if you put your mind to it.

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How to prepare for January exams with revision

Helen Rodgers

Lifestyle / Employment Writer. Helen studies Ancient History at the University of Nottingham and writes a weekly article on balancing student and working life.