How to Survive the Exam Period How to Revise, Look After Yourself and Where to Go for Help

We are coming up fro a stressful time in the School Year. Exam Time.

Here’s a survival guide for you on top tips on revision, where to go for revision help and how to look after yourself.

How to Revise

There are lots of different studies into how to study and revise. With lots of different techniques. The major trick is – find a way that works for you. However the research all agrees that simply reading over your notes is not effective. You gain nothing from it apart from looking like you are revising. You need to do something with the information.

How Should Students Revise? A Brief Guide

This guide here is really good at giving you different ideas as are a few examples below. Basically the simple method is practising past papers. Don’t spend money on a fancy book either. They are all here 

Work through a past paper without notes. Mark it. Go back through the questions you didn’t get full marks on and reattempt them with the marking instructions/ your notes. Write out the answer you should have written. Go back and try that same past paper in a few weeks. Compare your results!

SQA Study Plan

The first place to start is planning. Have a study plan. Put time in it for ‘fun’ activities too. But get the balance right.

Revision Techniques

There are so many techniques for revision. This here is a great guide to help.

How to Revise – BBC MindSet

The BBC Bitesize guides are good for summaries of notes. Alongside this there are also guides on all things revision and support. These are a good wee selection of videos. 


Mind Maps are a great idea for Revision. However I know a lot of people hate Mind Maps because they are too messy. There’s apps for that! Mindly and Popplet are 2 that I recommend!


If flashcards are more your thing, but the effort of making them is getting you down. Try out Quizlet. It helps you make Flashcards in minutes to print out and revise.

There are so many more different methods and apps, the massive key is finding one that works for you!

How to Look after Yourself

Exam Season can get you down and if you don’t look after yourself, it can make you unwell.


Here’s some Top Tips

  1. Exercise 

It is the last thing you want to do, I know! But it really helps, it’s mindfulness. You are focusing on the exercise, you are sweating out the bad vibes. Whether it’s 30 mins of a run, a walk or 5 a side with your pals. Please take time to do something.

2. Eat Properly

Another thing you want to do when your stressed is eat your body weight in Pringles/ creme eggs or the like. It’s great to treat yourself but also give your body good food. Try and eat breakfast each day, before your exams! And try not fuel yourself on caffeine!

3 – Make SMART revision goals

They will keep you focused. Often you may try and sit down to revise but you end up doing nothing but feeling overwhelmed by all the stuff you have to do. I use smart targets all the the time when undertaking tasks and it really does help.

Be Specific – what exactly are you going to revise (4 Noble Truths, deterrance)

Measured – How will you complete your revision (finish a past paper, complete a mind map)

Achievable – is it something you can do in one sitting or does it need chunked?

Realistic– Do you have all the resources, can you do this in the time you have. Don’t stress out. If not change the goal.

Time Limit – is it writing a 10 marker essay in 20 minutes or a whole section in 1hr?

4 – Write a To Do List

I write to do lists all the time. Some are for that lesson, day, week. I chunk everything up into simple tasks. It makes everything more manageable. It could be

  • answer 20 marker from 2017 RMPS paper
  • put washing away
  • complete non calculator paper
  • text John back

5- Talk to People

If you feel like it’s all getting too much talk to someone. It might be your pals, family, guidance teacher or teacher. Do not suffer in silence. There’s always a solution, teachers are happy to talk things through, listen to your rants and help wherever possible.

6 Take a Break

Don’t feel guilty if you need a break. Factor in some down time to relax. Also if you do feel like you need to relax but also want to revise… there are so many docs on YouTube and Netflix that are basically revision for your exams.

7 Use the Support

Use your support network whether it’s your teachers for exam tips, revision guides or for feedback. The internet for videos, BBC Bitesize or de-stressing or your friends and family for listening to you, being your fitness buddy or being there for you

8 Use meditation apps

I felt a little strange at first when I first used a meditation app. I felt really awkward but after the first few times it really did help clear my head. And if your learning about Buddhism it’s basically revision. Headspace is a really good app to try.

Where can I get extra help?

If you need extra help speak to your teachers. They may point you in the direction of more subject specific help. Or take some time to go through things with you. Do not leave it until the last minute though. If something is bugging you speak up.

Speak to guidance, just because you are on study leave does not mean the school is not supporting you. The school is there for you.

Other places to get advice or support, I suggest Twitter is going to be full of top tips leading up to the exams. The SQA posts daily helpful tips to help you. Talk to people in your class you are all in this together and you can do it!








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