Welcome to our second blog on smashing your CII revisions. In this article, we cover some motivation tips and how to read faster.
Let’s start with something from Henry Ford
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right”. Your mental attitude is so important. Be aware of that voice in your head, the one that reinforces beliefs such as ‘I’m no good at exams.’ Consciously change that narrative to a positive. ‘I can excel at the exam if I put the work in’ will put you in a much more receptive frame of mind for revision.
Think about those around you. It’s said that you become more like the five people you spend most of your time with, in fact, research from Dr David McClellend found that the people we spend most of our time with determine as much as 95% of our chances of success of failure. If your co-workers leave everything to the last minute, your own expectations will reduce. Find a positive peer group who are investing time into their studies with a positive attitude and take inspiration from them.
Get enough rest. Our brains are at their most active when we are asleep, busy processing information, taking short-term memories and embedding them into long term ones. It’s the reasons all-nighters are not a good tactic for revision.
Shorter study periods spread over a longer time are more effective and will deliver better results. And find ways to relax, whether that’s yoga, meditation, a massage or simply a walk in the fresh air. Your brain will thank you for it.
Read more in less time
Our second area of focus is on how to increase your reading pace so that you can read more stuff in less time. Think about when you last had a lesson in reading – it was probably in primary school! We take advice from the master, Jim Kwik.
We are all taught to read out loud, but when revising, avoid speaking in your head as you read. We talk more slowly than we read, so this slows the speed you can absorb information down. Most of us don’t actually say the words out loud – although that can be a habit kept from childhood. It’s our inner voice that is doing the work. Instead, read by sight. To quieten that voice, push your tongue to the top of your mouth, and put music on in the background to screen out the words in your head – instrumentals are better than songs with lyrics for this. After a bit of practice, you should find that you pick up your speed.
Have you ever read a whole page and not remembered anything about it? This happens when you are bored, or you lose focus. Keep things interesting by using highlighters, identifying key points rather than whole sentences. A really simple tip is to use a pointer – a pen or even your finger will do. It will take you along at a faster pace and keep you looking to the next word. ‘Chunking’ is another great tactic – instead of reading individual words, you read phrases, three to five words at a time.
If you want to know more about Jim Kwik, you can watch his videos such as this one on YouTube.