Revision involves going back over a topic in order to refamiliarise yourself with it, but it also involves identifying and selecting the key information needed for the purpose of passing your exams. Remember that you don’t need to know everything to be successful in university exams, and you probably know more than you think once you start to go over the content again. The revision period can seem daunting, but breaking it down and planning your time can help it become manageable.

Scroll down for our recommended strategies and resources. 

Make plans

The most effective revision plans are flexible and not about timetabling every minute of the day. Break up the day into morning, afternoon, and evening, and plan in regular breaks. A revision plan will give you confidence that you can fit everything into the time you have.


You know what you need to do but can’t make yourself do it. Often motivation is not about a lack of willpower, but our emotional response to the task. See our pages on concentration and procrastination for strategies to work with yourself not against yourself.

Revision strategies

The best revision strategies are active and involve using the information in some way to help process and understand it, as opposed to just copying it out. See this guide to good strategies as well as our pages on memory and mindmapping:


Cramming loads of knowledge isn’t useful if you aren’t used to applying it under the conditions you’ll have in the exam. Practice your timing, planning, and writing by hand (if you usually type) as a regular part of your revision. It will also reduce the fear of the unknown. Get past exam papers here:

On the day and in the exam

As well as organising your revision, have good plans for how to tackle the exams themselves, and for managing feelings of nerves. See our page on exams for useful tips and the Counselling page on exam anxiety:

Further resources

If you’d like to read more on how to revise effectively and prepare for exams, look at this comprehensive resource and book list created by Brookes Library: