Revision works best in short, intense sessions. This doesn’t mean cramming as much as you can in a short session and then stopping, though!
Instead, check your timetable and pick a topic that you can revise non-stop for around 20 to 30 minutes. If possible, stick to the same topic for that entire time.
Why? Most people find it easier to concentrate for a short period of time, then take a break, and go again. This is also called bite-size learning, which you’ll probably know about already.
For example, if the topic is plate tectonics, spend that entire time focussing on subduction zones, or convergent boundaries, or another smaller topic. If the topic is Henry VIII, spend your whole session time revising the dissolution of the monasteries. You can always come back to the same topics twice, three times or however many times you need.
- Those up to Year 8 should revise for 20 minutes before taking a short break.
- Anyone older than Year 8 should revise for 30 minutes before taking a short break.
When you take a break, get some fresh air and a glass of cold water. Avoid taking a longer break until you’ve repeated this process another two to three times.
The goal of revising in short sessions is to keep your concentration levels high. Taking regular breaks also gives your brain time to rest and absorb information.
Once you get into the habit of getting up and down from your desk or table to work and rest, you’ll get into a nice regular rhythm.
In addition, breaking up subjects into smaller topics makes them more manageable and easier to organise.