How to Revise for an Exam While Sick

Three Parts:Getting Necessary HelpStudying While SickUsing Subliminal Messaging

Revising for exams is frustrating at the best of times. But when revising while sick, it can be a real trial. Concentrating on your studies while you're feeling unwell can take a little extra effort, but it is doable.

Part 1
Getting Necessary Help

  1. 1
    Inform your parents. You must inform your parents that you have a particular test or exam but that you are not well. Your parents can be a useful source of support in terms of making the home study environment as conducive to studying as possible, releasing you from regular chores and activities and making allowances for staying in bed/in your room/on the couch, etc. while studying. They will also be able to determine if you're too sick to be studying, in need of seeking the doctor and requiring liaison with your school.
    • Your parents will also look after you from time to time, making sure that you are recovering.
  2. 2
    Determine that even though you're sick, you're not too sick to study. Some illnesses will prevent you from studying due to pain, a need to sleep a lot or being drugged with prescription medicines that make you feel drowsy, lousy, or both. In these cases, be realistic about what is achievable. In other cases though, although you feel rotten and can't get much further than the bathroom from your bed, you may be able to read, to do online test questions or to use your revision strategies to keep learning.

Part 2
Studying While Sick

  1. 1
    Surround yourself with everything you need. This will help you stop taking breaks to get up and blow your nose, take medicine, etc. Get some pillows and blankets and snuggle up. You can also have calming music playing in the background as well as having a hot drink at hand, such as tea, a honey drink or chicken noodle soup. Be sure to have a box of tissues and a waste bin to catch all those annoying sniffled-in tissues.
  2. 2
    Understand that where there is a will, there is surely a way. Presuming you've decided that you're capable of at least some learning despite your illness, now comes the part of willpower. You must be determined to study! Create deadlines that are reasonable for your state of illness. For example: "I'm finishing two pages in the next hour." Normally you'd finish them in 15 minutes, so that's a reasonable goal for someone who feels sick.
    • Keep telling yourself that you can do this and that your revision is going to be useful, no matter how minimal.
  3. 3
    Start revising. You can write down things you need to remember, or you can say them out loud over and over. Writing things you need to remember has been proven to be nine times more effective than saying them out loud.[citation needed]
  4. 4
    Take small breaks. Do not exhaust yourself. After finishing some part of the revision, take breaks at regular intervals Since you are ill, allow yourself to go to sleep when your body insists on this, as it helps your mind and body to take some rest and then begin again, hopefully stronger for the rest.
    • Try to avoid resting for large amounts of time otherwise you might lose motivation. However, don't allow willpower to override common sense about getting sufficient rest. Your health comes first.
  5. 5
    Eat proper food. The best way to keep yourself going is to have proper healthy food. Do not eat junk food. Instead, go for foods that don't make you feel worse but give you energy, nutrients and comfort.
    • Maintain a balanced diet. Take medicines according to the instructions, accounting for the need to eat before or after them, as prescribed.
    • Drink lots of water and avoid caffeinated beverages.[citation needed]
  6. 6
    Do your best. Try your best to study However, do not lose heart that you are the only one not studying enough. You are sick––some people are slack. There is a big difference! Remember too that stars only burn in the darkness and this obstacle of illness will pass too.

Part 3
Using Subliminal Messaging

  1. 1
    Consider using subliminal messaging as a form of revising while sick. Some scientists believe in subliminal messaging. They have theories that you memorize things more accurately while asleep, rather than awake.[1]
  2. 2
    Get some revision tapes. Ask your local or school library or your teachers if you can borrow such tapes.
  3. 3
    Get comfortable in bed. To help you go to sleep you can purchase lavender spray from your local chemist or supermarket.
  4. 4
    Listen to the tapes through a stereo or on a mp3/iPod through headphones.
  5. 5
    Make sure you go over the questions in the morning to awake the memories in your mind.


  • Eat oranges or other citrus fruit whilst revising. The vitamin C can be helpful while you're sick.
  • Remind yourself that there are people supporting you and verifying that you are sick. If need be, alternative arrangements to take exams can often be made. Ensure that you have the appropriate proof required––you will probably need to see a doctor and get a certificate.
  • Have faith that you already know quite a lot and that this revision will simply add to what you already understand.


  • Do not resist the urge to sleep when revising and sick. Your body is telling you that you need to sleep. You can recommence revision upon waking more refreshed.

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