How to Study for Exams | Best Time Table for Studies before an Exam
In this blog, we`re talking about revision timetables. Isn`t that exciting? Now back in the day when I was in secondary school, I used to use the standard prospective essay writing experts online revision timetable method. You know where you plan out your revision in advance like 6 weeks but for the last six years or so I`ve been using the patented retrospective revision timetable method and I`ve never looked back. Anyone else finds that funny no just me never mind this video is going to be split up into three parts.
- Standard prospective
- Retrospective revision timetable
- How I use Google sheet
Firstly I`ll talk about what a standard prospective revision timetable looks like for most people and explain some of the problems that I used to have with this method when I used it back in my secondary school days. Secondly, I`ll introduce the idea of the retrospective revision timetable and explain why I think it solves all of the problems that the prospective revision timetable does needs in your name. And finally, I`ll show you using Google sheets exactly how I create my retrospective revision timetable and why I think that makes you’re studying more efficient by incorporating active recall and spaced repetition so yeah let`s just get started.
As prospective means looking forward and retrospective means looking back, and what most people think of as a revision timetable tends to be prospective so it tends to look something like this you`ve got your dates down one column and then you`ve got the subjects that you`re going to study each day. In your kind of rows and the idea is when you`re making these you`d predict in advance what kind of topics you want to be doing but this method has some problems and I used to use this when I was kind of pre GCSE. However, I recognized quite early that I was being quite inefficient and there are four main problems that I used to have with this method.
Emphasizes this method requires us to in a way prophesize look into the future and work out and at six weeks in advance what sort of topics we`re going to be struggling most, with six weeks from now and this for me was always tricky because there were always random days, where something would pop up and I`d be going out with some friends or you know sitting at home doing a raid on World of Warcraft. Therefore many times I just wouldn`t follow my study timetable or, if I did follow the cleaning service I`d realize that actually, I`m repeating subjects pointlessly or you know more often than not I just won`t end up following it at all. Furthermore, I think a problem with this method is that it encourages us indirectly to think of revision as something that is a function of time rather then a function of topics. So we`ve got the time access down on our kind of main access and therefore every day we think okay it`s a 7th of April I`d I`m going to consult my revision timetable and I`m going to therefore revise these three topics and that`s not really how studying should be done. I realized later that I think is better to think of it in terms of topics rather than in terms of time, so instead of thinking that each day I need to get three topics done instead I`ll be thinking in terms of subjects and terms of topics and thinking by the end of the exam period. I want to know everything about every a topic like academic writing help UAE therefore what do I need to do for that to take place and this is going to sound a bit abstract. Nevertheless, I explain it in more detail when we explain the retrospective timetable and you`ll hopefully see that that method solves this particular problem. Thirdly with this standard prospective revision timetable, there`s no real way of seeing how much of each subject you know pondering past papers and apart from having your separate record. Like if I were to glance down this list and it`s that say the 10th of April I can see that, okay well I studied physics electricity on the 4th, then I mean do I know the topic are there any supplementary topics in physics there`s no easy way of me seeing an overview of the subject and therefore working out exactly what I need to learn and finally there`s the whole thing of actually creating one of these timetables in the first place.
I always used to view this as an activity in procrastination I`d be like okay I need to get some work done you know what I`ve not made my revision timetable for the year yet I`m going to sit down and get all my pretty colors outback in the day before the iPod pro existed in the Apple pencil wasn`t a thing yeah my pretty color to highlighters out my felt-tip pens and make this fancy big ass revision timetable and I would never follow it equally. I had some friends who would regard the revision timetable as such an insurmountable thing that they had to do before they started studying that it put them off studying for like you know weeks two months because they had to sit down and make this timetable it was just couldn`t get around to you know overcoming the activation energy required to make one of these so those are just some problems with the prospective revision timetable these are all just my thoughts maybe it works for you.
Retrospective Revision Timetable
It’s important to explain what the retrospective revision timetable looks like now and hopefully, you might be able to take something away from that to make your own speech writing help UAE studying a little bit more efficient. Hence a retrospective revision timetable looks something like this; we`ve got the topics within physiology the six different topics we`ve got those down the main axis of our spreadsheet. This is the exact opposite to how it is with the prospective revision timetable where we had the dates down the front. So let`s say it`s the fourth of April and I`ve arbitrarily studied the heart and the kidneys using my retrospective revision timetable I`m going to note the fact that I studied the heart and the kidneys on the fourth of April then let`s say it`s the fifth of April I look at my retrospective sheet and I see oh I haven`t revised the lungs yet. Why don`t I do that, so I do that and then on the sixth and the seventh I do the rest of the topics because I see that they`re blank and I haven`t done them yet so now let`s say it`s the 8th of April and I know that I need to revise physiology. I look down my list and think huh! So it`s been about four days since I`ve done the heart and the kidneys and I vaguely reckoned that kidneys are a little bit harder. So I`m going to go for the kidneys and then I revised the kidneys on the 8th of April but because I`m a good student and I`m using effective study techniques. I`m not just going to read my notes on the kidneys because that would be a complete waste of time instead I`m going to be using active recall and hopefully, when I studied the kidneys on the 4th of April, I wrote down a long list of questions for myself that I could answer or I got some passed papers from somewhere. All right found an essay plan with essay questions there`s sort of stuff either way I`m using active recall I am I`ve got the book closed and I`m trying to answer all the questions that I previously wrote for myself about the kidneys and then you know I get some stuff wrong so I look it up and I`d say overall I judged that I`m reasonably okay at the kidneys but not perfect. So I`m going to highlight that in yellow this is the classic traffic light method of you know color coding now let`s say it`s a 9th of April and I think you know what why don`t I do the heart because it`s been a while since I`ve done that it`s in the heart on the 9th of April and then having answered the active recall questions that I set for myself on the previous time I studied it on the 4th I think you know what I`m actually pretty good at the heart.
So I`m going to color that in green fantastic and I`m just going to fill in some random bits so hopefully you can see how I`ve done that here now let`s say it`s the 13th of April and I`m thinking you know what I should revise some physiology I look down this list and I see that ok well it`s been a while since I studied the kidneys but the kidney is yellow and really even though I studied the lungs on the 10th of April they were red at the time. Therefore you know what I`m going to arrange the lungs since the question I`m successful to be asking myself each day is if the exam were tomorrow which topic would I be least happy about and currently I`m least happy about the lungs which are why I`m going to revise them on April the 13th and I`m going to color code those in yellow afterward because I think ok I`m now at a yellow level when it comes to the lungs so now let`s say it`s April the 14th and I`m thinking great I don`t have any Reds left on this list so why don`t I revise the kidneys because it`s been the longest time since I`ve done that this is space - repetition in action and you know otherwise the kidneys that I`m pretty good at the kidneys are there then that becomes green and as you can see over time.
We develop financially services this understanding of every single topic within our subject because each day we are tackling the thing that we find most difficult we`re not doing that thing with the prospect of revision timetable where we`re studying a topic because we told ourselves we`d studied that topic 6 weeks ago, we`re studying the topic that we have decided we are weakest on and therefore every time we have a training session. We are working on the weakest point and therefore getting the most bang for our buck in terms of studying efficiently and trying to maximize our marks in the exam and on knowledge for day-to-day life and the idea is that hopefully by the end of it as the exam approaches, you look at the physiology and you think you know what everything is green on this.
I know the physiology you look at the anatomy and think oh I still got a few areas of yellow. So I`m going to screw physiology for today I don`t care about it I`m going to focus on anatomy because those are my weak areas this gives you a very easy way of seeing a whole overview of your subject without having to predict anything in advance because we are terribly bad at predicting the future and finally one of the great thing about this is that it doesn`t really take any effort to get started beyond initially scoping the subject and just writing down the list of every single topic in your spreadsheet and I think that in itself is an incredibly valuable exercise because a subject can often seem very daunting until you write down all the topics that are in it and then you think oh wow you know physiology seems complicated but actually, there`s only really six topics so great I can do six topics that are like one topic a day I`ve got eight weeks until my exams I can repeat every single topic eight times that`s pretty incredible I can learn all of the human geology and that`s a nice attitude to have rather than kind of being in the dark could be like oh I need to revise some chemistry but I`m not really sure what to revise because I don`t really know what`s in it and the specification has 85 different points of it and yeah whatever so this is the retrospective revision timetable.
Revision Time Table Using Google Sheets
Now let`s jump into Google sheets and I will show you how that works in real life by using an example from my third year of university all right so this here is the retrospective revision timetable that I used in my third year of university that was the year that I did by far the best in I won the prize for the best example performance that the year when I was studying psychology and business plan help UAE which was pretty awesome and I think the reason that that happened was that I very aggressively used all of the most efficient study techniques active recall spaced repetition spider diagrams flashcards. I will also give you information about how I memorize 250 different essays too you know smash those exams. Anyway, this is the Google sheet, and as you can see I`ve got it split up into section A, section B, and section C which corresponds to our three papers within psychology. As you can see I`ve got a list of all the topics down one end and the dates in the other one so taking a look at this we can see that on the 20th of April I did these four topics I did implicitly versus explicit memory recollection versus familiarity semantics with episodic memory and short-term memory versus long-term memory. and these are kind of essay-based things. But I`ll talk more about exactly how I studied these particular topics in that video that I mentioned a little bit earlier anyway, the point is I`ve done all these on the 20th of April and then I repeated the top one implicit versus explicit on the 22nd and then I had a bit of a gap and then on the 12th of May, I repeated it again and then I started color-coding it because I was like right I`m getting close to the exam now I should start color coding my stuff and you can see that over time everything has become green and Saturday was like the Saturday before the exam Tuesday was the Tuesday before I think the examples on a Wednesday or a Thursday something like that and yeah over time I`ve repeated this topic so like the top essay one two three four five six seven I`d repeated it seven times this was all active recall-based repetition it was me drawing out my spider diagram over and over again until I could do it from memory until I could basically write out any the essay you gave me on implicit versus explicit memory could cite ten papers in that essay and all because I used active recall in spaced repetition to repeat it seven times until the point where it was green before the exam and we can see I`ve done the same thing for Section B this was all about animal cognition comparative cognition how the thinking of animals defers to the thinking of humans, it`s a theory of mind future planning metacognition do animals navigate using cognitive maps do animals understand causality do animal like what`s the difference between human and animal language and finally Section C which is my My personal favorite was all the various things about intelligence and IQ and for example sex differences in IQ very controversial even race differences in IQ even more controversial very exciting topic and then a little bit of stuff about personality whether there are any genes that influence personality but you know who cares that`s all psychology the point is you know 21st of April 2nd of May 12th of May 13th of May the Saturday before the Friday before that sort of stuff and over time the stuff has become green because it means I know all of it so this is the retrospective revision timetable created in Google sheets it`s a very straightforward list of topics down a column and then the the date that you revise the topic ideally color-coded based on how well you knew it before you looked at your book on along the rows and that`s really all the rest to it so hopefully this video has explained why I think that the retrospective revision timetable is a better in my opinion more effective more the efficient way of studying than the potential revision timetable the book standard revision timetable that we all covertly get taught from a young age.
Serial Procrastinator or Bad at Following Schedule
So if you are a serial procrastinator or bad at following your exam schedule and you think you can’t take your schedule seriously then you should go for a daily timetable, which will help you to stay focus or motivated. You will be using a time management method called time blocking. You will divide your day in the clock of times. Then organize your day in detail, make sure to include other activities also, and do not leave any gaps in your professional resume writing schedule. The more gaps you have in your schedule, the more likely it that you procrastinate. The right side of your timetable is for rearranging your schedule in case of any emergency over to the popup. This is because you don’t feel overwhelmed or demotivated when your day is not going according to plan.
Additionally, if you are someone that problem in the long period of focusing on the time I highly recommend doing the Pomodoro technique.
It is a technique where you study all work for 25 minutes at a time and intake a five minutes break in between, Feel free to take social media and YouTube and using this technique for your exam preparation. However, if you progress your study session you need to try to practice focusing for a longer period. This is because usually a lot of exams are longer than 25 minutes and sometimes you are in the middle of your exams question and trying to figure out concept or questions and then you have to stop because your 25 minutes are up. So make sure we as a professional writer recommend the Pomodoro technique only when you really have trouble focusing or you just don’t feel like studying at the time. It is important to be specific but realistic when you planning your schedule. Also, don’t fall into the habit of planning rather than implementing your work.
In A Nutshell
Just to summarize the main reasons why I think it`s good are firstly it means you don`t have to prophesize into the future because that is impossible secondly it means that you see an overview of all your topics thirdly it encourages you to think of your studying in terms of topics rather than in terms of time. After all, it doesn`t matter how long something takes all that matters is that by the end you know everything rather than you know I`m going to do my three topics a day for 20 days and it doesn`t matter what happens by the end of it you know focusing on social services it in terms of topics helps understand stuff and fourthly it`s so cool to make one of these spreadsheets, you don`t have to spend the cognitive effort of thinking six weeks into the future and trying to visualize yourself at that point and how many subjects you need to do instead all you have to do is to write down the topics and you can just get cracking with your revision.