Tips & Tricks blog
How to Motivate Yourself to Revise – Ignore the Quick Tips & Use This
To achieve top grades, in the weeks and months leading up to your exams, you need to spend hundreds if not thousands of hours revising – FACT.
So, how do you motivate yourself to consistently get to your desk and do ‘proper’ revision? Unfortunately, most of the motivation tips provided on the internet only scratch the surface and don’t solve the root issue.
You and I both know that quick advice like “Start with a subject you like” or “Listen to classical music” doesn’t work. So, what does work?
As someone who turned himself from a poor performer (Year 12 grades: DDDU) to an outstanding achiever (Year 13: Straight As), I found a way to solve the motivation problem for myself.
By sharing this method with readers of my books (40,000 copies sold) and with hundreds of my students, I realised that my approach didn’t just work for me, but it worked for others too.
We’ve spent over a decade refining it. I call it the 10 day challenge and here’s how it works:
1. Clear your entire schedule for 10 days
Let your parents, siblings etc. know that you need 10 days to try something new. That means no household chores, no unnecessary traveling, no meeting friends and yes – not even homework set by school.
It’s important that you have at least 6 hours a day free and the energy to handle what’s to come.
2. Pick up a textbook for a ‘wordy subject’
Biology, History, Psychology, Sociology, Economics, Government & Politics – these ‘wordy’ type of subjects work really well for the 10 day challenge. If you don’t study any of the above, then textbooks for Chemistry and Physics can also be used. Avoid Maths, English and foreign languages. Pick only ONE textbook and put the rest away.
3. Start from page 1 and work through the textbook using the Scribble Technique
During the 10 day challenge, you should only have a pen, pad and your textbook on your desk. No other distractions. If you live in a noisy household or know that you’re going to procrastinate, leave your phone at home and head to the library.
Start from page 1 and use the Scribble Technique to learn each topic. On average, it should take you 13-18 minutes to learn each page.
After you’ve finished 10 pages, move on to the next step.
4. Find someone (outside your immediate family) to test you
Make sure the person testing you isn’t a parent, sibling or a friend. This is really important. The people who are closest to you tend to be the worst ones to hold you accountable.
If you’ve got the money, hire a trained academic coach or tutor to test you each day. Don’t have the budget? Older family friends, neighbours, aunts/uncles, cousins and even grand parents can be testers.
5. Keep going for 10 days
Learn 10 pages a day for a total of 10 days and make sure someone is testing you at the end of each and every day. If no one tests you, I can almost guarantee that you won’t finish the challenge. The accountability that someone provides is the key to this whole method. Without it, all you are doing is setting ambitions study targets that (let’s face it) you probably won’t achieve.
It’s the penalty of embarrassment of not performing in a verbal test which will motivate you to actually revise it properly. You’ll be thinking about that test the whole day, and that will motivate you to get it done.
If you successfully complete the challenge, you will feel noticeably more motivated to revise in the days and weeks that follow.
Here is an example of the powerful effect the 10 day challenge can have on your grades.
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