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How long should my revision breaks be?

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It’s always hard to determine when we’ve earned a break from revision and how long we should be taking. Many of us will be lenient with the amount of time we have on our breaks, so, we’ve done some research and put together some guidelines on how long your breaks should be and when you should be taking them. 


Revision breaks should be in proportion to the amount of time spent revising. Here’s a guideline to help you out;

•    If you’ve been revising less than 20 minutes, then you should only be giving yourself a 2 minutes or less break.
•    20-30 minutes of revising should be rewarded with a 5-minute break. 
•    30-60 minutes of revision can be awarded a 10-15 minute break. 
•    2 hours of revision should get at less a 30-minute break. 
•    Anymore than 3 hours of revision should receive between a 45-60 minute break. 
Remember, these are just some guidelines and we advise that you listen to your body and what it needs, and if these breaks are too long or not long enough then you should moderate them (whilst still studying hard enough). 


The two most common signs that you need to take a break are as follows;
1.    When you’re tired - When you’re revising you should keep track of how much information you are taking in and learning. You can find yourself getting tired and then you realise that actually for the past 20 minutes your brain hasn’t obtained anything. It’s not because you’re using the wrong revision techniques, your brain has simply reached its saturation point and needs a rest!  
You need to listen to these signals and take a rest when needed! 

2.    Once you’ve found your revision pattern- If you keep track of the first point, you’ll start to notice a pattern in your concentration and brain stamina. You might find that these moments of concentration come in waves, for example, you work better in the morning and become tired in the afternoon. Once you know these patterns and when you’re the most proactive, you can work out when to take your breaks and for how long. It’s always a good idea to plan your revision and revision breaks the night before, so you have some idea of when to revise and when to break. 


There is a wide variety of things you could be doing on your revision breaks from relaxing in front of the TV and having a nap to exercising and having a snack. Exercising in-between revision is one method that has proved to help improve the quality of learning when you return to revising. This isn’t to say you need to do this, do whatever relaxes your mind. After all, this is your time to do with what you want! 

Remember these are only guidelines and you should always listen to your body and mind when it comes to revision. Don’t push yourself too hard and don’t go easy on yourself – find the perfect medium! If you need any further support over the exam period, get in touch with a member of staff from Student Services! 


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