With the start of exam season coming up for a many of us, it can sometimes be daunting when starting to think about revision and the best way to approach all the content you have to learn. When I was studying for my GCSE’s and A-levels I always found revising so tedious and quite often would find my mind wondering off. However, since then, I have learnt some revision and general studying techniques that have really helped me stay focused and achieve my goals.
The biggest problem I find during studying is my attention span. I am sure like me; most people get easily distracted away from the work in front of them and sometimes it is hard not to give into the temptation of opening up Instagram or scrolling on tiktok for hours! However, there is a way to overcome this problem of procrastination and become the most productive you can be.
This technique is called ‘The Pomodoro Technique’. Before I explain exactly how this method works, I will firstly explain the science behind it. For years at school and throughout our lives we are taught that we should study for a few hours at a time and quite often we spend hours sat at our desk, not actually getting as much as we need to do. This is because our brains work the most effectively for about 25 minutes before our performance starts to drop. The graph below shows how our performance (the blue dotted lone) decreases over time, but if we have a break after 25 mins then our performance levels increase (red line).
This concept is incorporated into the ‘The Pomodoro Technique’. So how does this work? We study for 25mins, 5 mins break and repeat this 3 times before having a bigger break. I found this really helped me as 25mins doesn’t seem like a long time to study for, so it felt achievable. During this time, I put all distractions such as my phone in another room so I wouldn’t be tempted, but I knew it wouldn’t be long until I had a 5 min break and could go on my phone and catch up with any messages etc. This technique is very effective as it keeps your mental energy levels up high but also lets you have frequent breaks, therefore you are not distracted because it’s never too long until the next break. There are many apps you can download on your phone, or websites and even YouTube video’s that can help you keep to time, so you don’t even have to think about it!
Although this is my favourite study method! Here are some more tips:
Use lots of colours, colour coding and highlighting important words really helps make everything look more engaging and also helps you see exactly what the most important things are you need to learn.
Take a break, this is the most important one! Make sure you look after yourself and your hardworking brain by taking breaks away from your desk, studying is all about balance so make sure you make time for things you enjoy.
Although our world looks a bit different at the moment and school life is not quite what it used to be, we must remember that we are not alone in struggling to find the motivation to study or feeling overwhelmed by schoolwork! Work hard and play harder and remember to take care of your mental health.
Written by Saffron Dholakia