I am guessing many of you taking this examination have not studied for a long time.
For some of you it will be a very long time, maybe even decades.
It can be a daunting prospect; you have a lot of information to learn for police examinations and usually limited time to learn it.
You need to balance your revision with both your family and work life. This is where a good timetable can make a real difference.
A solid revision timetable allows you to cover everything you need to and in good time for the exam. It will also allow you to break the topics down into manageable chunks (just like we have in Police Revision). It will also allow you to put into perspective the task ahead.
We have gone and spoken with some academics (well teachers really but they like to call themselves academics) as to what makes a good revision timetable. Their advice is below (we think it’s rather good)
1. Think of it as a study calendar.
A basic revision timetable is essentially a normal calendar; but instead of birthdays, it contains the topics you need to study. The first thing you need to do is to work how long you have until exam day, the second is how many topics you need to study and then divide it up so that they are all covered over that period.
2. Be Realistic
If you are working mid week nights then it is unlikely that you are going to get in 10 hours of study during the day. You need to look and work out when you are going to have your best opportunity to revise. It may be the case that because you are on nights and that you only study 2 hours a day but as you are off at the weekend you may instead look at doing 5 hours each on the Saturday and Sunday.
You need to decide which topics you wish to spend more time on. You will have an understanding already of what areas you struggle with. For instance if you find yourself confident at crime but struggling with Traffic then it may be that at the start you look at putting more time into that. Make sure you do not neglect those areas that you are already strong at, just balance the revision.
4. Refresh, Refresh, Refresh
You need to continually go back and revise areas that you have covered otherwise by the time the examination comes those topics that you studied in week one will be a distant memory. It is important to put refresher periods into the timetable.
5. Be Flexible
Look, your timetable may look beautiful and you have spent hours using ever colour in your pencil case but you need to be flexible with your approach to it. There will be times that you need to, wait for it, go off the grid and by that I mean change what you have planned for. It may be an unexpected engagement (although more likely enforced overtime) that throws your timetable in the air. Before you tear it up and start again, stop and simply see where you can move things to get on track.
6. Add in Breaks
We cannot stress this enough. No matter how dedicated you think you are, 14 hours of study on a Friday is unlikely to happen. You are far better putting in some reasonable breaks (half a day in a spa does not count) and focusing on quality revision time. You will struggle to focus for more than an hour at a time, so a 15-minute break after each hour session may work for you.
7. Check it Every Day
This is important, once you have made your timetable, do not leave it in your locker, and forget about it. If you prefer put it on your phone or tablet but make sure that you are looking at it regularly.
8. Colour Code to Your Hearts Content
Revision timetables should be colourful; in fact it should be the law. You can colour code each topic, each sub-topic, each day if you so wish but make it impactive. It is your revision timetable and you can design it for how you want. The main thing is to follow it, remember you do need to actually study, ticking off the topics as each day passes does not qualify.
9. Make it Public
It is all very well having a beautiful timetable but you need to show it off. It is a good idea to put it somewhere all of your family and friends will see. For instance if you put it on the fridge, then everytime someone goes in for a sneaky bar of chocolate they will see what you have planned. This also means that they will know when you should be studying (be prepared though to lose television rights when they quote the schedule).
10. Make it for You
We cannot stress this enough, you are studying for something you want, and therefore you need to plan for yourself. Take time making the revision timetable so that it covers everything you want and need to study.
Remember, your family and friends will be supportive but if they are not in the Police then they most probably have no idea how much work you need to do. A revision timetable will educate them to this and hopefully allow you the time you need to be successful.
So what are you waiting for? Get those felt tips out and start creating your revision timetable.