A phrase often muttered from Dad’s mouth, ‘I’ll do it later’ seems to be the attitude I, like many students, adopted recently towards revising for my second year exams.
Another technique I mastered was the art of procrastination, with the farmyard offering a variety of distractions making it incredibly hard to stay inside and revise.
Here are my top revision tips for country dwellers with upcoming exams to ensure you utilise your surroundings and do not get too distracted!
Fresh Air & Exercise.
Being surrounded by fields has never been so advantagoeus when it comes to revision breaks. There is nothing better than taking the border collies for walks through the meadows, or a quick jog around the fields to check if any lambs have got stuck in the fence. By breaking up study periods into shorter sessions and exercising, you are boosting brain activity for a more effective study, in addition to lowering stress levels and easing the pressure. So put down your highlighters and shove on your wellies for 5-10 minutes or so for a beneficial refreshing break.
Use friends/family .. and animals!
Farmers love to talk so why not utilise this opportunity to teach friends and family your revision? By teaching the material to others, you will aid your memory and recall skills as it requires you to learn and organise your knowledge in a clear and structured manner. It can demonstrate you know more than you think or identify areas you need to go back over.
And if you would rather your ‘students’ don’t talk back or ask further questions, then teach it to your favourite heifer/tup/pig/goat/any other farmyard occupant for an additional confidence boost.
Find the right environment to revise
Okay, so sitting in the middle of a field or the cattle shed is probably not the best place to revise. From bees buzzing around to sheep bleating, it is full of interruptions that will cost you your desired grade. Instead, work in an environment that will not distract you, whether its your bedroom, kitchen table, parents’ office, or a local library! Basically anywhere with a desk, so that you can spread out your revision and get going without any distractions.
Trips to the auction mart offer more than just updates on trade and a chance to have a chinwag with other local farmers in that THERE IS ALWAYS A GOOD CAFE. Eating a healthy balanced diet can help you focus and avoid illness whilst revising, and the auction cafe serves a variety of good wholesome British food waiting for you to tuck into.
Create a plan
Just like farming in that you plan your activities such as dosing sheep on a Tuesday, cleaning the tractor on Wednesday afternoon and possibly cutting the grass should it continue being sunny on Friday morning, you need to create a revision plan that is achievable in terms of the subjects you are revising and the time available.
And just like farming, your plan needs to be flexible as somethings may take longer/be harder than you though – if you haven’t grasped a certain topic area, try looking at it from a different approach rather than postponing/ignoring it. Be flexible but stern in your approach to revising and you will reap the benefits!
WELL DONE FOR REVISING – nobody ever says this in real life but they really should. It is important that you reward yourself when you have finally grasp a tough subject/remembered a definition/can quote a literary text. So whether you have been eyeing up a new Schoffel fleece, a vital tractor part or simply an ice-cream from your local dairy farm, go ahead and do it. YOU DESERVE IT.
Think Positively and Relax
Revision can be very dispiriting, especially when you’re working on subjects that you struggle with. But it needs stressing that failing exams is not the end of the world – seriously.
All you can do is give it your best shot, like everything in life. Remember your sole value is not that you got a B in GCSE Chemistry or an 71 in your University Economics module exam.
You have skills and talents beyond the classroom, such as an ability to shear sheep, drive tractors, plant trees, bake delicious cakes or bombard Instagram with photographs of the farm (GUILTY!) and you should be proud of that.
Just think positive and give it your best shot – nobody can ask for anything more than that.
So those were my revision tips for country dwellers. Let me know if you found any of them helpful or have any of your own to suggest!