Tips for Balancing Reading and Revision


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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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!).
  5. 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.

Do you do any of this already? How do you balance reading and studying?


12 thoughts on “Tips for Balancing Reading and Revision

  1. Briana says:

    I frequently had the opposite problem in college, in that I would not read very much because I was prioritizing studying. (Which, well, isn’t the worst life decision a person can make…) For me, the key is being realistic about how I’m actually spending my time. Sometimes people think they’re too busy to do things like read, call their mother, do their dishes, etc., but this may or may not be true. Are you actually studying for six hours? Or are you spending half that time reading random things online or just staring into space? Being aware of how I actually spend my time and reordering from there has been useful to me.

    I also read something online awhile ago that I really liked, which was basically advice to switch from saying “I”m too busy to do that” to “It is not a priority for me to do that.” It really puts things in perspective. What do you WANT to accomplish in your life? It also helps with relationships with other people. If, say. a friend asks you to read over a resume, are you “too busy” to help them, or is that “not a priority” for you because you’re actually watching a movie/taking a walk/baking cupcakes? We all have a little free time; we get to choose how to spend it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • bookendsandendings says:

      I think that’s such a good point! I’ve heard a similar quote before – it was linked to the idea that you can make a grid of things that are important and things that are urgent. If something fits into both, you do it right away, and if it fits in neither then you cross it off. You’re so right in that people have to prioritise and manage their time carefully to get the most out of life 🙂


  2. Reg @ She Latitude says:

    I love this! I’m not in school anymore, but these tips hold true for me even now, especially because I’ve just been so busy so reading hasn’t really been a priority. I’ve definitely had to adjust my expectations re: how much I read, and it’s certainly been helpful to just let myself… chill a little, if that makes sense.

    Liked by 1 person

    • bookendsandendings says:

      Oh yes, I can imagine that when things get busy the same problem could arise! Yes that completely makes sense – also sometimes a reading break can help you return to it with renewed vigour 🙂


  3. Justine says:

    It’s funny, I have been an avid reader my whole life except when I was in college. I was an English major and only really read the books that were required for class. I was so burnt out on reading that I just didn’t do much of it for pleasure, even during the summer breaks. It took me about a year after graduation to actually get back into reading, which is so sad! I like your method a lot, it probably would have helped me out when I was in school.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lia says:

    When I have to study I often make myself study 5 or 10 pages of my study book and then I can read a chapter from my (reading) book, this only works for books that don’t have chapters that are too long though because then it’s completely out of balance. It works quite well for me! It does take more time but well, you get to read as well so *shrugs*

    Liked by 1 person

  5. watermelonboyuk says:

    Beautifully written and lots of great advice. I’m a fairly slow reader (compared to some people) so this is very helpful and practical. Thank you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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