In our last hangout we gave a masterclass on the UCAT We hope you have a clearer idea of what you need to do between now and test day, but we should review some other tips Before you start taking the above exams, please note: recent changes made by the powers that be at UCAT include the option to take the exam at home. This means it’s now even more important to maximise your productivity at home. We’ve put together some stellar tips for you to boost your revision at home. Read them and start putting the strategies into practice!
6med Productivity Tips
In our last hangout we gave a masterclass on the UCAT (except the SJT- stay tuned for a future hangout on this!). Hopefully, you’ve got a clearer idea of what you need to do between now and test day- but we’re not done yet with the ace exam tips!
Before you start churning out the past papers, consider this: the recent changes made by the UCAT powers include the option to take the test at home.
This means that it is now even more important to maximise your productivity at home. Luckily for you, we’ve put together some stellar advice for you to boost your home revision. Have a read and start implementing the strategies straight away.
Benefits of working at home
As much as the circumstances aren’t great, there are lots of benefits to studying at home. For one, it’s very flexible and travel times essentially depend on how long it takes you to get from your bed to your desk. You can also minimise distractions (no more loud library coughing) and confidently plan your day to make the most of your time.
However, this all depends on you taking charge of your revision and engaging with goal-setting. Working from home also means the TV, bed and a million other distractions are there as potential pitfalls. So, it’s vital that you do one thing – read ahead!
6med's 6 tips for productive home revision
Look after yourself.
This one goes without saying, but as it’s often neglected during studying it goes in at number 1. It’s so important that you get sufficient sleep, stick to a good diet, oil the gears with some exercise and set aside time for fun to switch off your noggin from staring at shapes and numbers all day.
Not only will it increase your focus and minimise brain fog, but also will enable you to stay consistent in the UCAT- and medicine/dentistry- marathon. Remember to switch off the phone before sleep!
Set up your dream office.
If you’re going to be productive, you need a tidy work environment, free from distractions. After all, every doctor and dentist needs to have a tidy workspace, so you should get into the habit now!
Ideally, this would be away from your bedroom to separate work from sleep (re-read tip #1 if you’re not sure why this is important!) If you have a busy house, let the others know when you’re working and gently remind them that a good UCAT score will lead to them receiving free healthcare from you- you’ll find the noise levels should quickly drop.
Keep your work area tidy and have something nearby to remind you of your “why”: a picture, a book, something that inspires you to keep going even if you start the day with a big bowl of procrastination.
Maintain non-lockdown work habits.
As I mentioned, working at home means you have the luxury of rolling out of bed to your desk, shuffling to the fridge for lunch and taking a quick pit stop at the TV before returning to the desk. As you’ve probably guessed, leaning too hard into the “convenience” aspect of home studying is a major trap that many students (and employees!) will, unfortunately, fall into.
The best way to avoid slacking on your work routine is to maintain some habits from a full school day. Firstly, set an alarm at a decent time and make sure you get dressed (regardless of how comfy your pyjamas are). Plan your day out and stick to it, don’t use your phone whilst working and set a strict time when you finish studying.
Work in bursts.
One major benefit of home studying is you can be flexible with how you work. One tried and tested method is to study in bursts with short breaks between sessions. If you like formal study timing, the Pomodoro technique (25 minutes studying with 3-5 minutes break, and then a longer break after 4 cycles) may be worth experimenting with.
The regular breaks not only promote the material sinking into your brain but also give you an opportunity to have a stretch or walk around, get some fresh air, or just admire how efficient you have become.
Minimise burnout risk.
The UCAT- and of course the entire medicine and dentistry application process- is a marathon. A really long marathon, up a hill, with EDM playing on a loudspeaker. It’s essential that you apply consistency and efficiency to your studying to ensure you end up at the finish line with a place on the best course in the world.
Studying at home means it is easy to quickly jump between different stimuli– from a video to a book, to an online lecture, to a 6med hangout, back to the book. This is why it is so important to plan out your day and include breaks, otherwise you’ll fry your brain very quickly.
Thinking more long term, giving yourself some time off (especially on the weekends) is crucial to avoid burnout which might cause days, or even weeks, avoiding even looking at another verbal reasoning question. Remember- consistency is always better than random spurts of motivation!
Take advantage of online resources.
You’ve probably seen a huge increase in online revision resources since lockdown.
Luckily, we’ve been doing that for a while, so we’re pretty good at them. Utilising online resources is a great way to ensure you aren’t missing out on expert help from lectures and courses.
Hopefully you now have a strategy for increasing your home revision productivity… so get started now!
After using these tips, you may even find your new working environment is so productive, you’d rather sit the exam at home!