Every year, a problem that is faced by bookworm students and some bookworm adults all over the world is exams. Instead of being able to devote all free time to reading, time has to instead be divided between reading and revision, and finding a balance can be tricky. After all, the revision needs to be done, but it’s nice to be able to fit in some time for hobbies too – you can’t be an exam machine, and it isn’t good for you to spend all your time revising. However, it wouldn’t be a good idea to do no revision in favour of reading. Today I’ve decided to put together some tips for finding a balance between reading and revision during exam season, whether you’ve got end of year internal exams, or big public exams.
- Don’t expect to read as much as normal. I thought I’d start with an obvious one, but it’s important to remember that during exam season you won’t get as much read as normal. This doesn’t just apply to exam season, but in any time of your life when you’re busy. There can sometimes be pressure to just read read read as much as you can, but sometimes you have to prioritise. In this instance, don’t be afraid to prioritise revision over reading.
- Use reading as a revision break. So I know I said above that you probably prioritise revision – but it’s important to remember to take breaks too! You might prefer to spend breaks other ways, but if you’re looking to include some reading in your day along with revision, then using breaks is probably the way to go.
- Schedule in a maximum pages per day limit. If you’re worried about reading too much or if you know that you’re the kind of person who go through 100 pages without even realising, then I would definitely suggest giving yourself a maximum limit. You could put in a bookmark at your maximum for the day, and put the book down when you get to that point, as one way of managing it.
- Don’t read the books that you’re anticipating the most. This might sound a little counterproductive – surely if you’re going to have less time to read then you should only read the ones you’re super hyped for? But actually, I’m not so sure that this would be a sensible idea. With the example above, if you’re really into the book, it would be tempting to go over what you planned to read that day, and this would probably be bigger if you’d been looking forward to the book for ages. If you choose a book which you’re slightly less enthusiastic about, it’s going to be easier to put down (probably – if it doesn’t turn out to be a hidden gem!).
- Reread books. My final suggestion would be to reread books. You may be wanting to read as well as revise, but the aforementioned ideas just might not work for you. In that case, I would suggest rereading! If you know the whole story already, then there won’t be as much of a temptation to keep reading at a time when you know you should be studying.
I hope these tips are helpful! Everyone will need a different balance between reading and revision, depending on what kind of exams they have, where they are with revision, how much they want to read, and so on, so obviously if you want to try out any of my tips you should make sure they work for you.