Posted in Intern advice

Balancing Revision and a Social Life

The Christmas break is in full swing and it is time to have a break from the stress of studies… oh wait, it’s also exam season! How can you actually strike the balance between spending time with family and friends but  also having enough time to revise?

Christmas is my favourite time of year, I love all the lights and festive decorations but most of all I love the amount of food I get to eat without fear of judgment. However, this time of year is also tinged with the stress of knowing exams are about to arrive and it can be really difficult to relax knowing how much revision you have to do.

My key tip is to make a revision timetable and stick to it. If you have any commitments,  it’s important to plan around these and actually do revision before and after rather than sitting down and watching rubbish TV instead. Personally, I really like this revision planner: but you may want to create a paper version or even have a different electronic planner you like to use. Also build in breaks for time with friends. You can all plan your breaks at the same time so that you can all meet up and go for lunch or a few glasses of wine.

Create revision notes as you go along the semester rather than leaving it to the last minute. I make a mindmap for each seminar or each topic with a brief overview. I then substantiate this with revision cards with any important detail. You will often find that you can talk a lot about a topic without having to keep reading over the endless pages of notes. As one of my favourite lecturers says ‘You are all sponges; you absorb a lot of information’ without the need to write down every little detail. You can then take these into your seminars/tutorials and add to it where appropriate. Then when it comes to actually revising, you can look over the mindmap and try to recreate it. Although, it may be a bit late now if you haven’t already done this but it is a top tip for next semester.

Make sure you have time away from the books. As the same lecturer told me ‘you need time off so that your brain can muddle through all of the information and sort through it’. So don’t feel bad if you take time off. Rest is just as important so that you can get all of your thoughts into a logical and coherent way. Build in a few study breaks to go do fun things or even just take a walk. You can plan these into your revision timetable or even be a bit more flexible and head for a break when your brain starts to hurt.

In essence, plan ahead and make revision manageable so you can do all the fun things you wanted to do without feeling bad. Most of all, have a great Christmas from the whole team at 301!




We are 301 Student Skills and Development Centre and we give academic skills advice to our students at the University of Sheffield. We offer workshops and 1:1 appointments.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s