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Revision and exams

Revision planning

Creating a realistic plan for your revision is key to exam success. You need to build a clear picture of what you need to revise and where you may be less confident. It is also useful to create a revision timetable to help you manage your time.

Choose what to revise

What you choose to revise will depend on your subject, type of exam and how much time you have to revise.

Here is some guidance you might consider:

  • How many topics are usually covered in the exam and what can you realistically revise in that time?
  • If you have a choice in what to revise, identify the topics you have understood the most.
  • Look over topics you have covered in more depth, eg as part of an assessment.
  • Are there any topics you are less sure of? If you are short of time you may decide to not prioritise revision in this area.
  • Identify and revise any key concepts/equations/theories.
  • Identify and revise examples, authors, research, evidence that you can then recall in your exam to gain the most marks.

Refer to past exam papers

Looking at exam papers from previous years for your course can give you some indication of what to expect.

However, courses do change, so it's worth asking whether the format or content is the same.

Plan your revision timetable

Making a realistic timetable and managing your time for revision is crucial to exam success. You may want to study as much as possible in the weeks leading up to your exams, but if you try cramming too many study hours into the day, you will struggle to maintain focus.

Watch how to create a revision timetable, taking into account the time you have left, and your subject strengths and weaknesses. See a scenario of planning for three examinations happening in one week.

View video using Microsoft Stream (link opens in a new window, available for University members only)

You can also use this blank revision template to plan your revision as suggested in the video.

My Study Life allows you to timetable, create to-do lists, and schedule reminders. You can access My Study Life online or download the app to your own device. My Study Plan automatically creates a revision timetable for you. It keeps track of how long you have spent revising each subject, so you can see which areas might need a little more attention.