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Making the Most of Revision and Exams

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Presentation on theme: "Making the Most of Revision and Exams"— Presentation transcript:

1 Making the Most of Revision and Exams
RVC Counselling Service Making the Most of Revision and Exams Tips and techniques for surviving

2 Why Do I need a Timetable and Why Do they Never Work?
Be Realistic! Work with how you are, not how you’d like to be! Are You a Lark or an Owl? Do you work best early or late in the day? How Good is Your Concentration? Do you work best in 30 minute stints (for eg) or 3-4 hr blocks? Be Realistic! Work with your strengths and weaknesses Take Breaks! Otherwise your brain will take one for you and just ‘switch off’! Reward Yourself! Revising is often boring, tedious and a bit of a slog. Keep yourself motivated by ‘mini’ treats eg cups of tea, snacks, 30 mins of TV/gaming Have a Life! Keeping some work-life balance in mind will mean you return to your studies refreshed and less resentful. A night out /day off during revision time can work wonders.

3 Making a Revision Timetable: Part I
Print out the Revision Plan from slide 5 of this presentation. Ideally, fill out one for each week for 3-4 weeks before exams. Write in …………….. Dates from now until your last exam Exam dates /times/length Any time allocated to lectures, seminars, tutorials, placements Other standing commitments e.g. employment, chores (shopping/cooking) Relaxation time – as a guide, a 2-3 hr block each day plus one whole evening/afternoon midweek and at weekend

4 Making a Revision Timetable: Part II
For each module you need to revise, divide up into sub-topics. Allocate time needed to revise depending on whether topic is easy/hard, big/small Work out total number of study blocks available Allocate revision topics into study blocks Try to allow a ‘free time block’ for catching up/unforeseen problems A common mistake is overfilling your timetable , and getting disheartened – Be Realistic!!!

5 Revision Timetable Monday (e.g.) Morning Break Afternoon Evening Treat
(subject 1) Break Afternoon Evening (subject 2) Treat (see film) Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday GOAL REWARD

6 Where Do I Begin??? You cannot learn everything Be Selective
Make Educated Guesses Look at Course Outline Look at Past Exams Ask Lecturers Study and Summarize Lecture Notes Use Note Cards Do Practice Exams

7 How Do I Learn? Active Study: Look, Listen, Write. Break your notes up using underlining, highlighters, boxes around etc Concise Notes - reduce your lecture notes to memorisable key words and phrases Use Your Own Words to describe concepts/theories etc Test Yourself – write your own ‘mini’ questions Make Prompts – use spider diagrams, mnemonics, rhymes

8 Do you work best alone or with others?
When trying to decide, think through….. What helps you concentrate the best? When do you feel more or less anxious (alone or with friends?) If you want to work with friend(s) be clear together aims of each session Be clear about what is right for you

9 How to use past exam papers
Find out if there are any available. If not, ask your tutor for advice. Make a note of commonly occurring questions/topics from the last 3 years (and revise well!) Use for ‘mock’ exams, and timing/testing yourself Becoming already familiar with the ‘look’ and ‘style’ of the exam you will be taking will help reduce your anxiety on the exam day

10 Reassure Yourself Check and Double Check your Timetable
Check the Length of the Exam Check the Pattern of the Exam – multiple choice/ essay/short answer/mixed Find the Room – be aware that this can change, so keep checking and be prepared for this possibility Visualize yourself in the Room

11 The Night Before…Part 1 Prepare your Materials: You don’t want a last minute panic in the morning! Double-check requirements: do you need a calculator? Student ID? What else? Pack everything you will need: extra pens, pencils, highlighter, approved calculator Review: Review notes on basic concepts, formulae, basic principles Review revision notes Don’t Study Anything New Looking at new things makes you worry abut what you don’t know instead of building up your confidence about what you do know! Studying new things the night before leads to panic!

12 The Night Before…Part II
Don’t discuss the exam with friends! They are bound to have revised something you haven’t, or set off your anxiety with their own! Treat Yourself and Look After Yourself! Avoid stressful situations, people or conversations. Do something that makes you feel good Try to get a good nights sleep! A warm bath, relaxing music, reading through notes one last time can all help. Do not worry if you can’t sleep – allow yourself some ‘snooze time’ post exam to catch up.

13 The Big Day Arrive On Time Listen to the Invigilator’s Instructions
Give yourself plenty of time to get there: you don’t want to arrive in a panic. Don’t arrive too early: Exam panic is contagious! Listen to the Invigilator’s Instructions Read the Whole Paper Carefully: Be aware... How many questions do you have to answer, and in what sections? How many credits each question is worth If there is a choice, decide which questions you are going to answer, and in what order Make an Action Plan and allocate start and end time for each question

14 Take A Deep Breath and Begin
Make A Plan for Each Question. Allow your mind to freely associate around the question. Jot down hard-to remember key ideas, concepts, theories, formulae etc. Keep Checking Back to See Whether You are Answering the Question Be simple, direct and to the point: you only get points for answering the question, no matter how much else you know Watch your time: DO NOT GO OVER allotted time for each question Leave a Space Between Questions …You can always go back and add things MAKE SURE THAT YOU ANSWER THE QUESTION! What is it actually asking you to do…..? Make it Readable: Skip lines if your handwriting is hard to read Stop writing as soon as you are told, otherwise the invigilator will log this

15 What If I Go Blank???? Brainstorm Jot down any ideas that come to you or move onto another question if you are stuck Think yourself into a Calm Place Take Deep Breaths Avoid Negative Thoughts Don’t Look Around! You will be sitting next to someone who is writing furiously!!! Remind yourself that you do have the information there, it just needs to be found

16 After The Exam Don’t Discuss the paper Reward yourself! Have a Break
You can never be sure of the right answers Its too late to do anything about it You need to keep yourself thinking positive Panic is as infectious after the exam as before and is as bad for you! Reward yourself! You deserve it! Exams are difficult and stressful Have a Break You need a short break even if you have an exam the next day (or even the same day ) just to clear your mind for the next thing Hooray – you did it!!!!!

17 Some more study skills tips for BVetMed3 students
Vicki Dale, Learning Support Officer

18 Veterinary clinical resources
Mosby review books In Practice quizzes Revise notes from DLs Write your own EMQs Computer-aided learning e-cases QM perception quizzes Vet learning resources WikiVet




22 Test yourself Place post-it notes around the house with a single concept/disease/treatment on each one ... Each time you walk past, ask yourself: What do you know? What do you need to clarify? Change the post-its on a weekly basis Ask your friends/family to test you Ask yourself, making use of dictaphone

23 Make the most of EMS EMS will allow you to put theory into practice
Identify misunderstandings or gaps in your knowledge in advance of EMS Offer to do as much as you can Ask lots of questions

24 Make connections Make use of BlackBoard: Inspiration mind-mapping software



27 Be creative e.g. suture materials e.g. drugs e.g. jurisprudence
Affix samples to your notes Create flashcards with diagrams and photo on one side and information on the other Use the clinical skills centre e.g. drugs Make flashcards with (photos of) drug boxes Make up virtual cases e.g. jurisprudence Scan/copy articles from the Vet Record or keep a copy of RCVS s on vets being struck off

28 Other sources of help Your tutors
RVC student support and counselling services VetLife ( NightLine ( and each other!

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