Revision Environment: Optimising your Space

We have put together some top tips for optimising your revision environment, so that you can put your revision methods to use in the best space possible.

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Last time, we took a look at revision tips – and how to make them work for you.  However, it’s certainly all well and good having your revision techniques down to a T, but we also need to make sure we have the best revision environment to put those techniques to great use.  So, let’s talk about revision environments.

revision space with laptop on desk in front of seating area with a green plant and windows with post it notes on

What’s around you?

Do you work better with friends?  Or alone?  In silence?  Or with music?  Depending on your answer, you can create the optimal working environment.  Start with a tidy area (tidy space, tidy mind), and build on that.  For those who like a background noise, non-lyrical music can especially focus the mind – I’m talking jazz, classical, guitar instrumentals – because you won’t be tempted to sing along or listen to what’s being said.  As a starting point, I’ll link some great ones below!  Also, get a new air freshener, a tip from Birmingham City University, that plays on an unfamiliar scent making you more alert.  Worth a try!


Using the Pomodoro technique can optimise your concentration levels.  This works by setting a timer for 25 minutes, then taking a 5-minute break, with a longer break after the 4th ‘Pomodoro’!  This is great for really factoring in those well needed screen breaks, whilst also managing your time effectively!


Figure out what times you’re most productive.  This is different for us all.  As much as I want to be an early bird (I promise, I’m trying), those 6am starts are just not happening right now, and I know I work far better in the evening.  So, plan for when works best for you.  


That mid-afternoon slump certainly makes itself known, and this can often relate to our diet, particularly our sugar and caffeine levels.  For more information on this, head here.


Most of us are guilty of staying up way too late and getting in to a frankly, awful, sleeping schedule.  That said, many can be productive late at night.  The point here being, just have a schedule that allows you to get enough sleep - and no, 4 hours with 6 shots of espresso for breakfast does not count as a schedule.  Honestly, the last thing you need is to get to the end of revision and be burnt out.  So, figure out your most productive times, and get some sleep around it.

Take a Breather

If you take nothing else away from my ramblings on, please let it be that you deserve a break.  Even if it’s a 10-minute walk, a cup of tea, a yoga session, a trip to the gym, a meditation session, or a power nap - make sure you factor time away for yourself.  Trust me, you’ll thank yourself for it later.  I’ll link some of my favourite apps for taking a break at the bottom of the article. 

Some Final Thoughts

Remember, what works for your friend might not work for you.  Tailor your revision environment to what does work for you - and above all else - take time for yourself.

Sometimes your personal circumstances can influence your ability to focus on your studies, and we can’t deny how difficult this year has been, particularly for students.  If you are struggling at the moment and this is preventing you from revising or finishing that coursework, you are not alone.  If you think your mental health may be affecting your studying capacity, do check our Mental Health support page for some super helpful resources.  Also, take a look at the Student Advice webpage; you might find that you are eligible for Extenuating Circumstances or reasonable adjustments for your upcoming assessments.  There is loads of support available from the University should you need it.  If you have any questions, or you want to know more about the support available, or how these policies and procedures could be applied to you, you can contact Student Advice using the contact details at the bottom of this page.


Apps To Take A Break




Optimal Focus

Peaceful Guitar

Peaceful Piano

Electric Guitar Chilled Vibes

Revision Hints & Tips

The Pomodoro Technique


This blog has been written by Charlie Mallinson from the Student Advice Team in the Students’ Union. If you would like further help and support with the issues raised in this blog, or any aspect of your student experience, please get in touch using the following links:

Contact Student Advice  

+44 (0)2920 781410