Summer’s Here! Top tips for tip top revision

I am not about to tell you how to revise — some people stick colour coded charts all over their walls, others like flash cards — do whatever works for you, but I do have a few top tips to help you focus and stay focused.

Mens sana in corpore sano, or, as I like to say, Healthy body, healthy brain¹

Looking after yourself during stressful times is very important. Firstly, have a proper breakfast to set yourself up for the day. Eat whatever makes you happy, be it porridge or bacon and eggs, just have breakfast!

Secondly, remember to take brain breaks. Stop working and get some exercise, even if it’s just a stroll in the fresh air. Moving your limbs will get everything flowing again, taking deep breaths of fresh air will relax you and if it’s sunny you get your healthy boost of vitamin D too. You will work better if you take a break and come back to it.

Multum in parvo — less is more²

If you are trying to learn lots of vocab or lists of facts, quotations, whatever, little and often is best. Work in short bursts and come back to it. The more often you return to a topic, the better. As above, however, remember not to overdo your studies but take brain breaks.

Varietas delectat — variety is the spice of life³

You might have one subject that you love, but you will have others that need time as well. Equally, you might have one subject that you feel needs lots of time spent on it, but you mustn’t neglect the others. Mix it up. You will benefit from the change of topic and change of approach that different subjects often require.

Finally, good luck in all those exams!

¹ Literally, mens sana in corpore sano means ‘a sound (or healthy) mind in a sound (or healthy) body’. It comes from Satire X of the Roman poet Juevenal, in which he lists what one should desire in life. He apparently felt that ‘virtue’ was the thing. Go on, look up Juvenal’s Satire X.

² Literally, multum in parvo means ‘much in little’ or ‘much in a small space’. It often refers to conciseness, but is also, delightfully, the motto of Rutland, the smallest county in England.

³ The Latin reads ‘variety delights’. My loose translation is in fact a misquotation from the English poet William Cowper, who wrote in his lengthy poem of 1785 entitled The Timepiece, from The Task, Book II, ‘Variety’s the very spice of life, That gives it all its flavour’. Cowper was also famed for his translations of Homer. Cool, hey?

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