Whether you're studying for your GCSEs, A-levels, the IB, or your Scottish highers, spending a few hours planning out when you’re going to revise really takes the pressure off and lets you concentrate on the work itself.
We’ve come up with a simple, portable and original alternative to the traditional revision timetable template. It will also stand you in good stead in the world of work – which may not be that far away if you’re sitting your exams!
Plan your revision – and prepare for your career
Wall planners, whiteboard, reams of paper – these are all tried and tested ways to plan your study, and there's many a revision timetable template out there to help you. But we want to share a tool that you can take with you, use on your phone – and put to use in your future career.
Trello's great because it lets you put tasks you need to do into different lists (like "To do", "Doing" and "Done"), and move tasks from one list to another.
The best way to get a feel for Trello is to take a look around – so before we get started on your revision timetable, here's how to get set up in three easy steps:
- First, go to the Trello website and click the big green sign-up button.
- On the next page, put in your details and hit the green button again. Make sure you check your email account at some point and click the link in the confirmation email.
- In the middle of the screen, you'll see a grey box called "Create new board". Type "Exam revision" into the title box and click the create button.
You've just created your "Exam revision" board. Next, we're going to add a series of lists to get you started with your revision.
Top tip: Add the Trello app to your phone or tablet. That way, you can revise wherever you like.
How to use Trello to make an exam timetable
- Print out this weekly revision timetable template we’ve created for you. Divide up the calendar by subject. For example, you could split Monday morning into three slots – English, maths and history.
- Put your revision timetable template to one side and head back over to your "Exam revision" board in Trello – we’re going to create some lists (a collection of tasks)!
- Click "Add a list" and type "Topics to revise" in the space, then hit "Save". Create four more lists: "Revising", "Ready for past papers", "Done", and "Retested myself".
- Now it's time to start adding cards under each list for the things you need to revise. Just click "Add a card" under the list you want to add it to and type in the space to give it a name.
- Add a card for all the things you need to revise. List topics (like surds or quadratic equations in maths), as well as things like quotes for English or the periodic table for chemistry. Add the subject at the beginning of each card, so you end up with something like "English: Hamlet quotes".
By now, you should have something like this (right click the image and select "Open image in new tab" to see a bigger version):
What to bear in mind when planning your revision
Repeat repeat repeat
Cover revision topics more than once to make sure they stick. Just because you’ve committed Shakespeare's full works to memory today, doesn’t mean you’ll remember it all in your English exam in 6 weeks’ time.
Think about when you revise best
If you’re a morning person, you might want to avoid really difficult stuff after lunch. It's just the same at work – do the most difficult stuff when you're at your best.
Take plenty of breaks
It’s better to allow yourself slightly more time than you need than to push yourself to the limit. Everyone’s different, but 20-40 minutes seems to be the best concentration time. Add breaks to your revision timetable template.
Don’t expect to be able to revise from 6am to 10pm every day between now and your exams – you’ll probably have a nervous breakdown. Give yourself time to relax. Be sensible too. If you think you can cram everything the night before your exams, think again!
Remember your life
Don’t forget the other stuff that’s going on in your life when making your revision timetable. If it’s your birthday next Wednesday, you won’t want to spend the night trying to learn 19th-century British prime ministers.
Applying revision planning to your career
Learn how to plan now, and you'll not only see a boost to your exam results, you'll reap the rewards throughout your working life. Prioritising and balancing different tasks is one of those transferable skills you need to have sussed whatever career you end up pursuing.
'Planning your revision can help develop skills for your career'
Employers love people who already have the know-how to organise their own working day, whether to meet specific deadlines or just to make sure everything gets done and nothing left behind.
Just trust us when we tell you how impressive it will sound when you tell an interviewer you used a project management system to plan your revision!