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Making a timetable Preparing for revision

To work out a revision timetable, first broadly plan out the areas of the module that you will cover. You can make more detailed individual session plans as you get around to each section.

What you include in your revision plan will depend on the time you have available and your own style and study habits. Make a note of

  • the submission date of your final assignment or project
  • the date and time of your exam
  • where you’ll take your exam – make sure it is a quiet environment where you're able to concentrate and preferably not be interrupted
  • work, family and personal demands on your time
  • the number of weeks, days or hours you have available
  • the number of blocks, units, books or other materials you need to revise over that period.

A simple grid like the one below might be helpful. Decide how many hours you have for revision and allocate them accordingly. Don't forget to include time to eat, sleep, relax and keep other things going in your life!

Example revision timetable
Mon Tues Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
Work Work Work Work AM Work AM Housework Revise 2 hours
Work Work Work Revise 1 hour Shopping Revise 3 hours Family
Revise 1 hour Sport Revise 1 hour Choir Evening out - Family

Be realistic about how much time you have and produce a timetable that spreads the workload and identifies what and when you should be revising in each session. If you are unsure about the areas you need to revise, ask your tutor or study adviser for advice.

Download a blank timetable (RTF, 204 KB) to fill in, or simply make one of your own.

In this video, Ruth, an OU tutor, gives advice on past papers and tips on how to structure your timetable.

Ruth's advice for timetabling your revision


Ruth: If we're thinking about revision and how to cope with exams, nothing can beat working through past papers. That will help tremendously, because you then have in front of you the format of the exam. You know what's in front of you. It's not unfamiliar.

Be sensible about your exam revision timetable. Set yourself a proper timetable that's got into it some leisure time. Move between different subjects to try and give yourself some variety and never ever go to bed late the night before. It's devastating.

Think about where you're going to revise. Try to do your main work in a place you like to be, and you'll be more likely to spend time there. However, don't miss opportunities to revise elsewhere. Check whether your library is a quiet place. It can be helpful to be somewhere where you will not get distracted.

Some timetabling principles

I put my plan on the fridge - that way everyone knows what I'll be doing.

Avoid being over-ambitious when you create your timetable. Not being able to keep up with it can be disheartening. Ensure you allow time for rest and relaxation. Allow a day or so immediately before the exam to review material, rather than continuing to try to cover new ground.

All exams are designed to be ‘open book’ which means that you can consult your module materials and use additional equipment such as a calculator, where necessary, while constructing your answers. It’s still important to revise though as you’ll be using materials for quick references or to check facts, you won’t have time in your exam to research or learn answers from scratch.

Look for short gaps in your routine that you could use for revision. Ten minutes of revision each day is much better than none!

Last updated 7 months ago