As probably you already know from the post New Things I am in full stressful exam period. I always get extremely stressed in this period, like something magical happens to me and I transform into a crazy stressed monster. I believe it is the same for most of you (let me know if you feel the same in the comment box bellow). The good thing is that this session I have not that many exams, but this is just because I have to write my paper for the license (or my last year project) and I have 3 exams instead of 4 ^_^ which is extremely good.
In this post I wanted to share with you some of my tips for revising, especially when it comes to maths exams. Feel free to share with me all your other tips and tricks, I would be delighted to find mooooreee… So, lets get started:
1. List the most important concepts. In every single course you have something that stands out, something that you have done incredible amount of exercises and examples. For example, in my Galois Theory course the most used things were Galois Groups; so I made a list with all the terminology this thing required.
2. Write definitions and theorems on different sheets of paper. This might sound strange, but I like to have my list of terminologies and all the extra things on different papers, so it doesn’t take ages to look for them in the lecture notes. It is very tidy, easy to revise in the last moment also, or just to check for a definition quickly.
3. Read examples or solutions for exercises. I normally never have time to start doing examples and exercises in the revision week, or between exams, so what I do is read solutions. They don’t have to be the teachers solutions, sometimes I find extremely useful to read my own trials and errors, or my own tutorial notes (but might get tricky – so try to mark your mistakes during the classes and before the revision week). Read carefully and make side notes if you want (even if you don’t have time to reread them again).
4. Color coordinate. Sounds extremely childish to start coloring pages and stuff, but this gets really useful. I have the type of memory that is more photographic and I always use different colors to sort of ‘make a photo’ of the page and remember easily things in the exam. Also, I find it strange, but I remember where on the page the definition is and if I remember the color I know what I have to write. My brain works strange, but it works.
5. Don’t over do it. Maths is an object that you cannot really learn things on the last minute, so take time during the semester to understand as much as possible. In the revision period you should only do revision and not understanding hard concepts or proofs. Also, try to work on a time-table. For example, I work very good on afternoons, evenings and nights; so I sleep until 12pm, eat something while I watch a show (or an anime) and then I start working. I read for approx 30-45 minutes then stop for 30 minutes and so on. Also, I like to let my other activities there too (such as writing to this blog, or posting on my Facebook page, or Tumblr). Another important thing is GET OUT OF THE HOUSE!!! You might find it strange, but go to the local shop, go for a walk, go for a coffee/hot chocolate/tea out, open the window for 10-15 minutes (even if it extremely freezing) it helps a lot.
So these are my tricks and tips for revision period. Let me know which ones you like or maybe you know other good ideas. Share them with me.