Hi, I am Emma, one of your Student Advisors and I am studying on the MSc Physician’s Associate course. I like to try and stick to a routine and a schedule to give me some structure to my day and make things less daunting.  I make my own revision timetable so that I focus on a module rather than a topic, as some topics can be quicker than others and therefore it is less stressful than only allocating time to a particular topic. One key point for me is to take regular short breaks away from my desk to ensure my brain is able to have a ‘reset,’ before the next session.  Drinking plenty and eating well is also very important to fuel a long day of revision, alongside trying to do some exercise.  So please read on to find out what a typical revision day is like for me.

Desk with someone typing on a laptop. Also on the table is a cup of coffee, sunglasses and a notebook.

7am: Up and get ready for the day. Then it’s time for breakfast and coffee!  I try to have a breakfast that will keep me full and fuel me for the day so this could be overnight oats, porridge or Weetabix.  If I have time, I might go for a brisk walk to wake myself up or try and book an early exercise class or do a YouTube fitness video.

8:15: I head to my study space and get set up for the day. 

8:30-12:30:   This is my morning study session and how I like to revise is by module, and to get through as much as I can for that module in this time.  I like to read over my notes and add any details that I feel are lacking.  I also have some paper where I add key details from my notes or areas I am not as confident on, to create my crib sheets. These crib sheets then make part of my pre-exam night routine and are what I will read on the day of the exam/last minute cram before the exam.  I also have a pack of sticky notes and will write down key definitions/quotes/ formulas/ drugs and doses and stick these in my room or on the fridge so I can test myself on these throughout the day and also read these on the way to an exam. Each hour, I tend to take a 10 minute break to make a drink and one of these breaks I will take a bit longer (20-25 minutes) and go for a short walk. It is important on these breaks to ensure that you leave the room you are studying in.

12:30-13:00:  Lunch – I try and meal prep the night before so I don’t have to spend too long making food and can enjoy watching a half an hour tv episode or YouTube video to switch off from revision.

A piece of wood with the word 'pause' spelt out in wooden letters.

13:00-18:00:  Afternoon revision session – this can be on a different module or the same module and will be very similar to the morning session in terms of making crib sheets and flash cards/post it notes.  If the crib sheets have already been made, I tend to either just go over the notes again and again and often will speak these out loud or sing them!  If there are past papers available then I will do these too. As with the morning, I will take a break for about 10 minutes every hour and one of these will be slightly longer to allow myself to go for a walk. 

18:00-19:00: Dinner time – leading up to exam season I try to meal prep as much as I can so I can have healthy nutritious meals without the effort of having to cook from scratch each night.  I find that curry, chilli, spaghetti bolognaise, taco mince and fajitas fillings and some tomato based pasta sauces freeze very well.  At this time I get out my meal for the next night and make my lunch for the next day. This is the time when I will spend a bit of time on my phone and switch off from revision.  

19:00-21:30:  This is my final push for the day and often will involve me doing prep for my practical exams which can include watching videos of examinations and clinical skills practising examinations, refreshing myself on skills or going over any mark schemes I have for practical exams.  It can also be a time for being quizzed by housemates or family or using Quizlet to test my knowledge on clinical conditions. Nearer the end of this session, I tend to find myself starting to lose focus, so this is when I will either go over crib notes I have made as a refresher or go over a topic I know I am strong at or have a good knowledge of already. The night before an exam I will be focussing of the content of the exam the next day.

21:30 onwards:  This is my downtime and when I will shower, chat with my friends and family or watch some TV and wind down for the night. I try to get a good night’s sleep during exam season to ensure I am well rested for another day of revision!  Ideally, I like to be in bed and asleep by 11:00pm.

Student Advisor Emma Campbell

Student Advisor Emma

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about how I spend my study day. You can find more information about revision and exam techniques on the Exam Preparation web pages.

Good luck, you got this!