Newcastle University London

Everything You Need to Know About Exam Revision

Everything You Need to Know About Exam Revision

I share my top tips to survive your Easter break revision as a Master's student

As a Master's student who is planning to follow a career in academia, studying is kind of my thing. However, I must tell you that everyone struggles with reading and preparing exams. Procrastination is real and studying takes lots of time, discipline and focus; as you need to absorb, in little time, what you have been learning for months

Get all your materials ready

Have you ever sat down to study, started studying and then realised you lacked the materials you needed and then lost a whole study day? It is crucial you have everything you need before starting to revise. In my case, I start the revision period with a “material gathering day” where I just go to the library, see the syllabus and requirements, and get the books or print the journals (if needed). I even check if I have highlighters, pencils, pens and other stationary to do my summaries. Once I have everything I need, the planning starts.

fluorescent stationary

Plan, plan and plan!

After you got all your materials, my advice is to plan your time for the exams you need to take. Go out and buy or make yourself a calendar where you can see all the days and mark your exam and assignment due dates. Then, stick it to the wall of your room, I find it is easier to visualise everything in one place.

Once you have put the dates, make a revision strategy. In my case, in this period I have 4 unseen written exams, 2 assignments (a group and an individual) and dissertation. Also, I am looking for job opportunities for after my Master’s, so I’m definitely busy, but I will be able to manage so long as I plan. My strategy for this was the following:

You can do something similar or list all you need to do with dates. Whichever strategy you use, make a plan or establish clear deadlines because if not you will just leave things for the last minute.


Find your study place but try not to lose focus

Once you know your dates you need to find where to study: your home, library or wherever you feel comfortable but, remember it has to be a place where you can concentrate.

That said, you can use Newcastle University’s library (which in my view is very quiet, helping you to concentrate) or find one near your home. The University offers access to many libraries through the SCONUL scheme where you can find the library that suits you. In my case, I have tried: the British Library, LSE and SOAS. As SOAS library is the one nearest to my house; I chose that to save as much time as possible. I am the kind of person that finds a study place and sticks to it, but if changing studying places motivates you there are more than 170 libraries that you can access via SCONUL.

Last and most important of all: enjoy this unique time of your life

Even though revision and exams are hard times, I believe you must not lose perspective. Being a student is one of the most wonderful times of your life, it is hard but it is a time you will cherish throughout your life. So my advice is: enjoy this! Enjoy the struggle of revision, study groups and late hours, because you cannot repeat those moments. And, of course, good luck!

group of friends with city of London backdrop