Posted on 21st May 2024

The Art of Planning: How to Make a Successful Revision Timetable

Exams. They have a way of sneaking up on you and leaving you scrambling to cram in all that knowledge. But have no fear, overstressed student! We’ve got your back. If you still need to start your revision timetable, or you’re feeling a little lost as to where to start, don’t worry! Our blog will give you all the tips on how to make a revision timetable that works.

So grab a pen and paper (or your go-to digital planner) and let’s start building your revision timetable.

Get familiar with your exam schedule

Before you grab your highlighters and colour-code your calendar, you need to take a step back and start off by getting to know your exam timetable.  This is key in how to make a revision timetable that will guarantee success. 

Jot down all your exams, including the dates, times, and specific topics covered in each one.  By having all your exam information laid out before creating your revision timetable you have a clear layout of what you need to help you best dish out your study time and make sure you won’t be missing out on any topics.

Set realistic goals

Now that you’ve got all the important bits laid out, the next step in how to make a revision timetable is to set some goals. 

The best way to set your goals is to use the S.M.A.R.T technique, which stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. For example, instead of a vague goal like “revise everything” for a particular subject, set a specific and achievable goal like “complete 3 practice papers on Unit X by Friday.”  By setting realistic and measurable goals, you’ll stay motivated and on track.

Remember, it’s about steady progress, not cramming a term’s worth of knowledge into one night.

Choose a format that works for you

Everyone learns differently, which is why you need to pick a revision timetable format that works best for you. 

Do you thrive on the tactile satisfaction of pen and paper planning? Or do you prefer the flexibility of online tools?  There’s no right or wrong answer, so you need to take a bit of time out to try different methods and see what helps you stay organised.  

If you prefer digital tools, you can try your phone’s calendar app or online planners like Notion that allow you to customise and organise.  You can even create them using online platforms like Canva or searching for how to make a revision timetable that looks great.

Colour code your timetable

Here’s a fun way to add a bit of visual interest to your revision plan: colour coding!

Pick a colour and assign it to each topic and then use highlighters, and pens to colour code your timetable, notes and study materials.  This is a great way to visually differentiate between different subjects and topics, which makes your timetable easier to navigate.

Break it up into manageable chunks

Staring down a mountain of information, you’ll most likely feel overwhelmed. That’s why it’s crucial to break your revision subjects down into manageable chunks.  

Instead of trying to tackle an entire textbook in one sitting,  focus on smaller, more achievable goals.  Divide each subject into specific topics, chapters, or even key concepts.  Then, pick some time out to dedicate study time for each chunk.  This will make your revision less daunting and help you focus during study sessions. 

Give yourself rewards

Setting milestones and rewarding yourself for achieving them is a fantastic way to stay motivated throughout your revision journey.   

Break down your larger goals into smaller milestones – for example, completing a chapter review or finishing a set of practice questions.  Once you hit a milestone, reward yourself with something you enjoy,  whether it’s catching up on an episode of a show, grabbing a coffee with a friend, or scrolling on your phone (within limits of course!).

These little rewards will help you stay positive and motivated as you work through each section of your timetable.

Add time for yourself

Marathoning revision sessions seem productive, but they can backfire. Our brains function best in focused bursts, so it’s crucial to schedule regular breaks into your revision timetable.  

Aim for short breaks (around 10-15 minutes) every hour or so to get up, move around, grab a healthy snack, or simply clear your head.  Taking these breaks will help you stay focused and retain information.

With a well-crafted revision timetable in hand and a commitment to focused study sessions, you’re well on your way to making the best of the exam season! Remember, consistency is key. Stick to your schedule, celebrate your milestones, and don’t be afraid to adjust your plan as needed.

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