The Best Revision Timetable

The Best Revision Timetable

The Retrospective Revision Timetable

I have always liked planning (its true). I get a deep sense of satisfaction and a feeling that I am an efficient and hard working person whenever I plan ahead.

But, just like everyone else, I hardly ever do the things that I planned to do and my workload ended up piling up.


Some keywords:

Prospective - Looking forward

Retrospective - Looking Backwards

The Standard Timetable

  • It is a prospective Timetable where you plan out the topics/things you want to do in a day
  • It's like predicting the future
  • E.g.
12 Dec - Physics (Chap 1), English (Comprehension), Maths (10 practises)
13 Dec - Biology (Chap 3), Economics (Chap 7)
14 Dec - Chemistry (Chap 6), Math (15 practises)

The Cons of a Standard Timetable

  • There might be sudden unforeseen changes to your day for example, a urgent meeting. Hence, you might not have enough time to complete the topics/things you initially planned to complete.
  • If a day of work is skipped, the workload adds on to the next day and by seeing the extra work that needs to be done, one might feel unmotivated to start working on the tasks.
  • Planning out this timetable is actually a form of procrastination. For instance, one day you might feel that you are being highly unproductive and you decide to start planning out the things who will want to complete in the next month. It will probably take you an hour to finish planning and at the end of it, you actually feel like you did a lot of work although you didn’t actually.

And because I was struggling to keep up with the things I have planned (I tend to overestimate the things I can do in a day). I researched about the best way to plan out my revision and I found out about this particular format of revision planning:

The Retrospective Revision Timetable

This timetable is kind of like the opposite of the standard (prospective) timetable. In this timetable, you will write down all the topics/chapters at one side and the dates where you revised them.

Each time you finish revising a topic, you add the date to the topic name and it will look something like this:

Electricity: 12 Dec/17 Dec/25 Dec
Coordinate Geometry: 9 Dec/13 Dec/19 Dec
Plants Anatomy: 6 Dec/18 Dec/29 Dec

How this timetable works is that each day when you want to start studying, look at this retrospective timetable and see which topics where revised the least number of times/ which topics you are least confident in and start revising that topic.

Additionally, you can add a “rating” beside the dates as to how well you feel you understand the topic. For example, from 1 to 5 stars, you should add 1 star to a topic you are still not confident in even after revising and 5 stars to a topic you are absolutely confident in. By doing this, you will know which topics you should be revising more often.

  • You can apply the Active Recall Method by creating questions and revising these questions the next time you revisit the topic.
  • Ask yourself when you look at your retrospective timetable, “If the exams were tomorrow, which topics would I be least confident in.” If you have a topic in mind, start revising for that topic.

Pros of The Retrospective Timetable

Over time, you will gain a deep understanding of every single subject because you tackled the harder topics with more repetition.

  • You will know when you fully understand a subject (all the topics are rated 5 stars)
  • No need to waste time to predict anything in advance.
  • Little to no effort to get started on studying
  • By writing down all the topics in your revision timetable, you get an overview of the subject and usually, this will make the subject seems less daunting.

How to create a Retrospective Timetable

I would recommend using Notion (table template) /Google Sheets to create your own timetable as it is easy to use and edit.

Traditional pen and paper is also perfectly fine.