We're well into Spring now, and for a lot of people that means the immediate run-up to the exam period. Whether they're A-Levels, GCSEs, university and college exams, or whatever. Nobody likes revision, but it has to be done. If you're still getting yourself ready to cram, here are some things you might want to get your hands on.
Usually considered something to wake you up in the morning, caffeine has a number of other positives. While it's not a good idea to use the stuff to keep yourself awake all night (no amount of drug is going to beat getting some sleep), caffeine has been linked with increased alertness, reduction in fatigue, and (slightly tenuously) both of those things have been linked with good moods.
There are lots of ways to ingest caffeine, though the simplest methods are often the best. That includes coffee (instant, because it's faster than a machine) and ProPlus tablets. Ah ProPlus, the saviour of every stressed-out student's summer.
A clear plastic pencil case, £2
There are lots of ways for people to attempt to curb cheating, and the clear plastic pencil case means you can't turn the interior of your stationary box into your own personal crib sheet. They're not exactly hard to find, but unless you want to carry around a pocket full of pens, pencils, and possibly more into your exams, you're going to need to get your hands on one. [Buy it here]
Revision Calendar, £10
It helps to be prepared, and planning out what days you're going to be revising specific subjects (as well as knowing when your exams actually are), can be invaluable. So get a revision calendar, but make sure you don't spend so much time planning out your revision schedule that you forget to revise. Nobody wants to get into the exam hall and have to write "I am a fish" multiple time, because they forgot everything. Conveniently this one only has the months of March to June, so you don't need to waste money buying July through February. [Buy it here]
Uniball Rollerball Pens (Pack of Five), £6.62
Writing is going to be a big part of the whole examination and revision process, so make sure you have the right pens to get the job done. Not only will making written notes help your learning ability in the long run, chances are you're going to need to write an awful lot during the exam itself. I personally prefer Uniball's rollerball pens because they offer a smooth pain free writing experience, free of any irritating scratching and offering superior results than the humble biro. They're also in black, so you don't fall foul of any rules concerning ink colour. They're not cheap, but they're the only pens I use whenever I'm ditching the keyboard to do some proper writing. [Buy it here]
Pilot Frixion Erasable Rollerball (Pack of three), £7
If you're made of money, and you don't like the permanence of regular old pen ink, you can buy these erasable pens that feel a little bit like magic. If you make a mistake, all you need to go is go over the offending ink with the pen's eraser and you can see it disappear before your eyes. The ink is also refillable, should you decide you really like it, though it does come in three different colours. Make sure you know the rules about ink colour before you take all three into the exam.
You can also use the Pilot Frixion with the Rocketbook Wave notebooks, which digitise your notes and beam them across to your cloud service of choice. They're pricey, but the key feature is that you can microwave them and reuse each 80-page notebook another five times.[Buy it here]
Martian Notifier, £30
I had a friend who had to repeat a year at university because he slept through an alarm, and nearly missed it the following year because he was too busy playing Mario Kart to notice his watch had stopped. Don't let that happen to you. Watches aren't exactly exam room legal anymore, but the Martian Notifier mixes all the best parts of smart and dumb watches with a two year battery life and an OLED screen that lets it do things like display notifications and alarms. It's high tech with a very low-tech price. [Buy it here]
Bobble Water Bottle (550ml), £8
Hydration is important, especially during the exams themselves. Naturally, like the pencil case, it's going to have to be clear plastic with no markings. This Bobble bottle matches that criteria, and just so happens to have a built-in water filter that cleans up your water as you drink it. This should be especially useful if you live in a limescale-heavy part of the country, because who the hell wants nasty water when they're trying to concentrate? It also has a sports cap for effortless drinking. [Buy it here]
The Lazy Student's Revision Guide, £7
It's not laziness, it's efficiency. Provided the job gets done, who cares about how you get there? Revision is no different, and this guide is packed full of hints and life hacks that will help streamline your revision process. It has actionable advice to get your revision head on, and actually do it in a way that helps you retain the information you're trying to cram. [Buy it here]
Everyone has their own revision methods, and who are we to say what's best for you? But there are a few things you can get to make life easier, including highlighter pens, post-it notes (for notes and bookmarking), record cards for creating bite-sized flash cards (as one example), a scientific calculator, a geometry set, and giant pads of paper - in case you can't be doing with this whole digitising-your-notes-fad.