How to Revise for Exams During Ramadan | Top Universities

How to Revise for Exams During Ramadan

By Craig OCallaghan

Updated April 16, 2021 Updated April 16, 2021

From Friday May 26 to Saturday June 24 this year, Muslims around the world will be observing Ramadan, a month of fasting and religious observance. In this period, Muslims go without food and water from dawn until sunset, which can be as long as 19 hours. If this already sounds like enough of a challenge, it’s even trickier if you’re a student revising and taking exams at the moment.

Juggling the responsibilities of Ramadan and your studies can be tricky, especially if you’ve not had experience of this before. Here are some tips to ensure your performance in exams doesn’t suffer.

When you do eat, eat well

During Ramadan, there are two meals: Suhur (pre-fast, eaten around 2am) and Iftar (evening meal, eaten around 9pm). Iftar, in particular, becomes extremely important when revising as it’s the first opportunity to eat after being hungry all day. In these circumstances, it can be tempted to eat lots of fried, stodgy foods. However, doing so will leave you feeling tired and lethargic, which will have a knock-on effect on your revision.

Choose foods which will boost your brain power and help you revise (we’ve put together a handy guide here). Also make sure you’re replenishing your fluids, as the more water you drink each night, the better you’ll feel the following day.

Change your daily revision routine

As your daily routine is changing during Ramadan, it’s important to also change the times and ways you revise. The daytime is now likely to be the best opportunity for you to catch up on sleep, while the time between Iftar and Suhur is a great opportunity to revise while you’re feeling less hungry. Obviously, there’s no right answer for how you structure your time, and you may have additional responsibilities to factor in, but the important thing is to avoid overloading yourself during the daytime when your body will be under the most stress.

Also, it’s worth considering alternative ways of revising. During the day, you’ll potentially struggle to have the mental discipline to sit and read through a textbook or lengthy, academically rigorous journals or essays, so try and come up with revision techniques which are quicker and easier to absorb. Visual revision techniques such as flash cards or posters will be easier to focus on and memorize while you’re fasting.

Don’t overdo it – take frequent breaks

Nobody can efficiently revise for hours at a time, so expecting to be able to do so during Ramadan just isn’t feasible. Break up your revision with frequent breaks that help to take your mind off how hungry you are. Don’t just sit at your desk either, stretch your legs and take some time completely away from books and your computer screen. Not only will you feel better, but the change of scenery will also help time feel like it’s going quicker.

If possible, don’t revise alone

Coping with the challenges of revising during Ramadan can be made much, much easier if you have a friend or two to team up with. Form a study group, chat to each other regularly about how your studies are going and help provide each other with the motivation and support that can make all the difference as you prepare for each exam.

This article was originally published in May 2017 . It was last updated in April 2021

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