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Exams are back! Why the most efficient revision you’ll ever do, is when you’re having fun

This summer, for the first time since 2019, GCSE and A-Level exams will be taking place, starting this May. For the majority, this will be the first time that they have ever sat an external exam due to the pandemic, which can only mean two things, bundles of stress and endless revision.

Leading British stationery brand, Pukka Pads, has over 20 years’ experience in designing and producing stationery and revision aids. With students about to undertake daunting exams, which for many will be for the first time in their lives, the Pukka Pads’ design team has revealed some useful tips to boss your studying and make revision as effective as possible.

Youcef Bendraou, senior graphic designer at Pukka Pads, said:

“Being organised, taking time to plan, and using tried and tested revision techniques, lowers stress levels during exam season.

“Various research carried out over the years has claimed that having an organised revision plan can reduce carelessness and improve memory retention. Given this, we increasingly produce vibrant products with our student market in mind. Since colour can be so helpful for information recall, we recommend using coloured page flags to help retain key facts and pages when studying. Additionally, using different coloured paper to help differentiate between the various topics of your notes or subjects, can act as visual prompts and aids during exam season.

“While A4 notebooks are great for classroom notes, we encourage students to opt for a smaller notebook, or study cards when revising. By using these, you can try spaced repetition learning, this is when you return to a particular topic at increased intervals to improve your memory recall. This technique forces you to write and note information in smaller, more memorable chunks. Moving away from prolonged hours of studying and breaking up this time regularly with other tasks and hobbies, naturally makes revision more fun.”

As exam season returns for the first time in years, the team at Pukka Pads has shared their top revision tips for students hoping to sail through their assessments.

  1. Stay Stress free by bossing your organisation: Keeping track of all those important dates and creating a work schedule can be one of the best ways to de-stress and improve revision. Using a personal planner to stay on top of all those exam times and locations will reduce the pressure and can help visualise your plan of action clearly and easily.

We’d also recommend keeping a daily record of your day’s revision by using coloured daily planner flags, this way everything is organised, clear, and you can easily refer back to your work when needed.

After making your revision notes, it can be useful to go back to these at a later date and draw out the key points which will be most useful in the exams. A set of multicoloured highlighters is perfect for these as you can sub-categorise your highlights by colour, creating an aesthetic masterpiece.

  1. Keep it clean: Ensure that your hours of note-taking are not in vain by using ring-binders to separate your subjects and use some stylish dividers to keep sub-topics in one place for clarity. We’d also recommend adding a pack of Punched Pockets to your ring-binders so that you can easily grab only the relevant notes you need for last minute revision before the exam.

Practise tests are a great revision method, but the endless sheets of paper can make your desk a cluttered mess. Get yourself a set of A5 notebooks to create mini test and answer pages that you can easily flip between with a set of coloured pop-up index flags, no mess, no stress.

  1. Pocket-sized revision notes: Make a collection of small note cards displaying key facts so that you can take them out and about to recap your studies on the go. Little and often is the way to go, and revision cards aid doing this, whether it’s on the bus or in the library.  
  2. Past papers: As dull as they may seem, working through as many past papers as possible is so helpful for exam preparation as it trains and tests your memory recall. Get yourself a jotta pad specifically for past paper answers so you can work through as many as possible, and don’t forget to highlight key answers to remember when marking!
  3. Wall decoration: Covering every wall in your house with colourful revision notes allows you to revise essential facts at a glance ahead of exams. We challenge you to see how many surfaces you can cover in sticky notes! Above the kettle or on the back of the toilet door are two of our favourites.
  4. Spaced Repetition Learning: Re-visiting previous revision at regularly spaced intervals is one of the best methods for information recall. These intervals should increase over time as one’s recall on the topic improves. To do this, you could make a collection of small note cards displaying key facts to recap your studies on the go, or test one another by covering a set of revision cards with typical exam questions.

Key terms are essential in exams, with a handy B5 sized vocab book you can keep these all in one easy place to refer to at regular intervals and include their definitions and synonyms.

Pukka Pads was founded in 1999 and remains the brand of choice for students across the country. Although the company is famed for its classic metallic A4 jotta, leading stationery brand has released new, vibrant designs in recent years.

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