You could argue that everyone is a perfectionist in at least one area, and for those who find this trait being attached to their academic efforts, it is both a blessing and a curse.
Whilst my obsessive nature made revision, dare I say, ‘enjoyable’, don’t expect me to listen to your rant about some students “being naturally better at everything” without rolling my eyes at least twice when you proceed by telling me “revision is unnecessary”.
Don’t get me wrong, on many occasions I found myself sat in mathematics grimacing at the whiteboard as if etched in Egyptian Hieroglyphs.
Whilst I had initially blamed this on my “natural inability”, this sensation only lasted as long as my procrastination did.
“Revision for Stalin can wait… I must find out if Phil Spencer manages to convince Jerry to buy this crap bungalow”.
Anyone who knows me personally understands the inevitability of an article of this nature, so lets ironically carry on procrastinating together with my tips on getting good grades and surviving the fallout.
1 – Work with your crazy sleeping pattern, not against it.
We all have that moment before we go to sleep where we construct an idyllic plan of the following day. After a while though, I figured that it was pointless fantasising about the perfect work schedule if it were never going to materialise.
With this in mind, I scheduled my work to fit in with the early morning hours and I always stuck to this.. Whilst this may have damaged the efficiency and effectiveness of my revision, at least it was getting done, which for me and my evolving techniques of laziness, became the only option!
You will find yourself far less stressed and restless if you’re in a work-friendly zone. Revising outside of your bedroom allows a sense of escape, so when you do eventually stumble to bed, the space isn’t associated with stress.
Doing so also takes you away from all the distractions you’ll find there too.
The usual procrastination suspects involve the fridge, anything comfy, the fridge, Lego, and probably the fridge…
Don’t expect yourself to commit to working 24 hours a day, no matter how high your target grades are. If you know that there is an activity or a tv series that is too addictive to simply ignore during the exam period, then incorporate it into your schedule for your leisure time.
Just make sure that you commit to this activity during your breaks, otherwise your procrastination will eat into that necessary study time.
4 – Venture beyond the textbook.
Topics were much easier to remember in my exams when I’d found out additional information independently.
You begin to grasp a greater understanding of the context, especially in subjects such as history, and whether or not you actually apply what you find, it’s always useful to read around.
This is especially helpful when you have a tendency to drift away into more interesting websites rather than focusing on your topics. If you’re drifting, at least drift into the more interesting topics that you actually need to know about.
5 – Every milestone is worth celebrating, no matter how minor.
During my sociology revision, I would tick off each chapter I had completed. Although the chapters varied between two pages and twenty pages, by celebrating even the minor milestones with another digestive biscuit, I felt far more motivated to go on.
Invest time in your studies but not at the expense of your wellbeing. The extent to which you suffer from the fallout is dependant on the pressure you put on yourself. Rules are made to be broken. Give yourself a break and aim high but where possible, work to keep your spirits even higher.