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Any advice for revising?

I have an exam next week (signed up for it just about the time I started getting ill) and I don't seem to be able to retain the information and the exam is Monday!!!! I'm no stranger to studying but finding this impossible and cant afford to fail when my employer is paying for the exam.

Two of my main Lupus symptoms are Brain Fog and fatigue and I really could do with some advice.

8 Replies

i always make up a story or ditty with the information i need. personally i find by having keywords it helps me to remember facts. try not to overload yourself with too much study in 1 go, little and often can be much better than sitting there for hours. i have been studying for last few years and i understand where you coming from with the fatigue and brain fog. i just thought i was losing my brain cells with age lol. all the best with your exam :-)


I am doing a degree through the OU and for my last exam I applied for extra time in the exam on medical grounds, would this be a possibility? It gave me time to gather my (slow) thoughts better.

Try to do a mind map so that you can envisage it in your head, that might jog the old brain cells!

If your employer knows your history they should be aware of your illness and make allowances, fretting about failing will only increase the brain fog...

Good Luck :)


You can do this in your bed. If you have notes and a pencil take them with you (if a laptop - use that). Read and underline as slowly as you like, and when tired - just lies down and let it all spin round in your head. After 20 minutes or so - start again with the reading and underlining. I am not working ATM, but for the last couple of years until last year, I worked like this a lot when I had marking or lecture preparation to do. Make sure you have plenty of pillows to get propped up comfortably with your work at a good height - and don't use a pen because if you fall asleep you will end up with a huge ink stain on the bedclothes!

Good luck.


Make up stories using key facts/words... make them funny - relating to things you know well. I have also used colour coding to good effect, little and often is probably the way to go. I agree re extra time, might be worth asking ..... you won't get it, if you don't ask! Good luck. Positive vibes.... :-)


Like Dale Diva, I am also studying through the OU. I was undiagnosed as of my last exam but still had a lot of brain fog. One person really helped me was someone who, when descibing concepts, made up a brilliant story of how she went to this mysitcal place (a bit like a circus or show - I can't quite remember) with all these different tents with things to do in them, each tent relating to a concept relevant to the course materials. She even went as far as to draw a map of this place, which she posted on the OU forum for us all to see. That helped me so much!


I have just finished a Masters Degree and managed to get a First, although I have yet to be diagnosed with Lupus (just been told it could be Lupus or Polymyalgia or Rheumatoid etc,) I found studying easier in short bursts. I am an avid user of colour so colour coded all relavant bits together. When I was tired I got up and moved around a little as sitting for long periods made my hands and legs incredibly stiff. At the time I put my stiffness down to over work and age and all I was on medication wise was paracetamol, not to say that isn't good, but now on NSAIDS my stifness is a little better. Good luck for your exam, keep us all posted


Coffee, strong coffee - best one is Costa (go for medium, otherwise you climb the walls). Seriously improves mental focus. Drink it as you start preparing for the exam, take a break after 3 hours, eat few Brazil nuts and drink some water, walk about for 10 mins in fresh air, get another coffee, this time make it at home for convenience and not that strong, and go for another 3 hours. Take a longer break, watch some TV, etc, then briefly go over what you've done earlier but no new material - that should take you about 40 mins. Then stop, no more prep, let the brain absorb in its own time. Go to bed no later than 10pm and try and not think about what you've studied. Next day start afresh and repeat cycle.

Coffee must be real coffee not instant. It might agitate your lupus slightly but I suspect not for 4-5 days, which is perfect timing.


Came across this maybe a little too late to be of help Jennie but I've always found making "flash cards" great for revising. Make one for each main topic and include the relevant points you need to remember underneath. Keep them as brief as possible and spend no more than 40 mins at a time looking at them with breaks inbetween. Works like magic for me anyway :) Best of luck with the exam!


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