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As the first term at Imperial Business School came to a close, relief was in the air. Most groups had successfully submitted all the team assignments and were looking forward to the Christmas holidays. However, the reality of exams after the holidays soon set in. As MSc Strategic Marketing students we had to revise for three exams in total. I personally see the Christmas season as a wonderful time to spend with family and friends, thus it can get hard to focus on revision. However, the determination to do well in the exams helped me to take certain steps to make sure I enjoyed my time at home (Germany), whilst also revising the material covered so far.

This blog post is a picture diary, which includes me giving some bullet-pointed advice on how I personally managed to stay focused and motivated. Note: This “guide” is not only for the Christmas season; it is for any exam revision period!

1. Organise your life!!

This means that you should draw out a plan on paper on what you will achieve each day (taking into account any non-study days/events). Set a specific time on how long you can study each day and how much to achieve in the given time and stick to it. A simple timetable as below can easily help with this:


Whilst studying hydration is immensely important, whether it is water, juice or any other hot/cold drink (in my case tea). Have the odd snack too to keep energy levels up!

3. Take breaks and get fresh air

I don’t know about you, but my brain stops functioning after more than 2-3 hours of straight revision. So take a break, do something completely different for a while to get your mind off the revision. A good break would be to get fresh air: Take a walk, go skiing, ride a horse or something of that sort. Being in a different environment always helps.

4. Have a change of scenery.

Studying at the same desk all the time makes me want to give up, so I tend to move around all over the place, whether it be in a certain flat, house, building or in this case even to another country.

5. Open a window once in a while

I think most students underestimate how important this is. I always tell myself that fresh air refreshes the brain and it definitely is beneficial for concentration!

6. Get up early, finish early.

I know that getting up early can be a struggle, but in my experience when it comes to studying it is better to rise early, get the revision done and then enjoy the evening (You might be rewarded with a nice sunrise). Many students prefer to study late at night, but this is not a good habit. Go to sleep early, wake early and finish early is the way to go in my opinion!

7. Take Christmas day off!

If, like me, you celebrate Christmas, take Christmas day off. You don’t want to be the antisocial friend or family member who constantly excuses themselves to study. Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, you deserve to take a few days off studying to enjoy the festivities or just to spend time with friends or family. (Just account for this in your revision timetable).

8. And finally… Don’t stress out

When going into exams, the most important thing is not to freak or stress out. As long as you stuck to your revision timetable and revised efficiently you have nothing to worry about. Believe in yourself, you can do it!!

Rebecca is studying our MSc Strategic Marketing programme.

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