With online time limited assessments (OTLAs) coming up, we thought it would be a good idea to re-post some revision tips that Leeds students shared with us a while ago.

Whether you’ve revised for a lot of exams in the past, or are finding it tough, there should be a few tips here to freshen up your approach. Have any exam or revision tips of your own? Let us know in the comments and you might be included in our next blog!

Revisit your course notes and start revising as soon as possible:

If you’ve written essays or created other pieces of work for the module that you’re revising, go back to those too.  Re-reading your work will give you a good idea of how much of the module you’ve really engaged with, and whether there are topics that you need to do a bit more preparation on before the assessment.

“Don’t wait until the last moment! Start revision now, even if it’s going to be just skimming through your notes 10 minutes a day. It still will help keep your brain ready for further learning.” Weronika, School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultures.

If your lectures have been captured, they can be a really good source of inspiration.  You might be able to identify specific sessions to re-watch, or it might be good to start by watching the first lecture and the last, as these will probably give you an overview of what was covered in the whole module.

“To prepare for exams, my number one task is revisiting lectures either by re-watching on lecture capture or reading through my notes and then adding to them more, sometimes with extra reading.” – Namrah, School of Chemistry.

Make revision fun (as fun as it can be!): 

Making your revision notes look different to your regular written notes can be a good way of making them stand out, not just practically, but in your memory too.  You might find that using more colour or different paper can help you to retain information more effectively.

“Use coloured pens, buy cool/nice notebooks, coloured paper, quirky flashcards if that would give you a little bit of enjoyment whilst working. Draw, sing, and dance out revision topics if appropriate to help you remember material.” – Shreya, School of Mathematics.

Checking in with other students on your course can be motivating and great fun, and help give you some perspective.  Remember though that sometimes you’ll have different revision priorities to the others in your group.  If you find your group more of a distraction than a positive influence, don’t be afraid to mute the chat and follow your own path!

It can be helpful to use a technique such as Pomodoro where you study for a set time, usually 25 minutes, stop for a short break, followed by another 25 minutes and so on.

Find the revision techniques that work for you:

Use different techniques that work for you. For example, flash cards are great for learning concise material such as definitions, key concepts.

Trying out new revision techniques can keep you engaged in your work.  Even if you can’t revise alongside other people right now, you could ask friends for their revision ideas and make time for sharing these.

Finally, whatever techniques you use to revise, make sure that you plan your revision time carefully.  We’d suggest switching topics at intervals to keep your mind fresh and interested, so factor that into your planning too.  There isn’t a magic formula for revision, but making and sticking to a realistic revision plan will give you a great head start.

And don’t forget to see our full revision and exams guide on revision planning and strategies and exam preparation and writing on our website, as well as our new guide to online time limited assessments.