Revision: Why You Should Structure Less

I am an avid non-championer of the revision timetable.

go away :)

I love organisation but cannot STAND them. Let me tell you why.

Firstly they're super inflexible. Say you follow the method of 25 minutes of work, then a 5-minute break, then changing subjects, this is awful. I find that I end up so frazzled and my head doesn't really have enough time to wrap itself around one topic before I'm moving on.

  • If you do something for 25 minutes, by the time you've found the sheets, pens, cards etc, you're barely going to have time for work. And repeat for each subject. 

  • I get into subjects and can power through far more once I'm in a rhythm. This method above is disjointed, clunky, and makes your brain run around going from thinking of logarithms to how to say 'what are the problems the youth of today face?' in French.*

  • What if something happens? Is a 5-minute break really enough? What if I stub my toe on the way downstairs to make my cup of tea, which takes 3 mins to brew, 45 seconds for the kettle to boil and 1 min 15 total walking up and downstairs time? That's 5 mins plus gone. 5 minutes is ridiculous. Take the breaks you feel you need, but be sensible: don't binge watch Netflix for 6 hours. 

So I bravely propose an alternative: structure less, to be more organised. It seems counter-intuitive but it's not. Sure, make a list of the subjects you need to do and go through the list over the days you have.

What I like to do is dedicate as long as I can productively work on a subject, before moving on. Some subjects require more time to get into them, whereas others need just a refresher for 10 minutes every few hours to learn efficiently.

I write out all of the topics for every single subject I take. This in itself is quite a lengthy process, especially sourcing each specification, but once it's done, it's a really useful way of having all of your progress in front of you. Then I either colour code or use a system of filling in squares depending on how far through a topic I am.

This process is far more relaxed and independent, allows for things like a meal going on for longer than you thought, and is also better for doing what you want. You can also see what you've done and which areas need more focus.

Another bonus: this will make you trust yourself, rather than putting all responsibility into a military style timetable. Be empowered!

*for the record this is /Qu'est-ce que les problèmes qui les jeunes d'aujourd'hui font face/ although that's unlikely to appear on any syllabus./