Revising for your GCSE and A-levels is always tough, but it’s even harder when you’re fasting for Ramadan. Many Muslim students worry that studying while fasting will affect their grades, especially if they’ve missed school and study time due to illness or isolating during the pandemic.

If that sounds like you, don’t panic – we have some handy tips to help you adapt your learning routine and revise effectively during Ramadan.

1) Stay cool and save energy

As we enter the summer months, the sun has made a welcome return! That’s great news for our vitamin D levels, but the later sunsets and warmer weather means longer periods without water. This increases your risk of mild dehydration, leading to headaches and tiredness. So, make sure you have a cool, shady area to study in.

It’s natural (and healthy) to want to keep up with your extra-curricular activities, even while you’re studying. Remember though, physical activity and busy social events can sap your energy. To counter this, consider staggering your activities, and reschedule them to happen before sunrise or after sunset where possible. Private music lessons and 1-1 sports training are just some activities that may offer you greater flexibility.

2) Take regular breaks

One big mistake that many students make is working too hard for too long. Don’t fall into this trap: taking a break is vital. In fact, research suggests that our brains perform most effectively when we work for 50 minutes, then take a break of around 17 minutes. So, try splitting your studies into 50-minute sessions, and take a 15 to 20-minute break in between each session. Top tip: studying this way will help you learn effectively even when you aren’t fasting. Try using your break times to take a shower, read something different, or just rest and refocus.

3) Identify your peak energy times

Your energy levels will be highest after you’ve eaten and rested: this is when you’ll learn most effectively. Aside from this, you’ll have peaks and troughs of energy throughout Ramadan, and it’s important to pinpoint when these are. To do this, to keep a chart and mark down the times of day when you feel most (and least) alert. Once you have your chart, you can design a revision timetable to suit your most productive periods.

For example, you may choose to study a little after Iftar before going to sleep. Or – if you’re a night owl – you might find it easier to begin studying after Iftar and work into the late evening.  

Alternatively, you could set some study time after Suhoor before its time to leave for school. You’ll have had food and sleep at this point, so it’s a good time to tackle work that needs more concentration. Getting study time in early also means that you can relax guilt-free later in the day when you start to feel tired.

4) Take control with a revision timetable

Matching your learning schedule to your peak energy times has benefits beyond Ramadan. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you’re revising –  there’s so much to cover and that can lead to stress if you feel like you’re falling behind. The great news is that having a revision plan puts you back in control. You can make a list of what needs to be done when, and work out a realistic study timetable that covers everything you need to know, while making the best use of your energy levels.

5) Eat sensibly

It’s tempting to binge when you break your fast, especially if you have an evening of revision ahead of you. Step away from the biscuits though – over-eating is the worst thing you can do if you need to concentrate. That’s because it brings on a state of extreme drowsiness (aka a “food coma”) that prevents you from learning effectively. In fact, studying while fasting is easier than studying when you are too full.

Eating the right things is important too. So, drink plenty of plain water and eat fluid-rich foods such as soups, fruit, and vegetables to make sure you stay hydrated. One final tip is this: avoid energy drinks and salty snacks – the former will cause a massive energy crash later, while the latter will only leave you more dehydrated next day. So, have plenty of healthy snacks available if you have a late-night study session planned.  

George Alexander Tuition offers private, 1-1 maths tuition for children aged 11-18. We are based in London, and pride ourselves on offering a flexible service that fits around the demanding schedules of our young students. To find out how we can help your child boost their skills and confidence in maths, contact us on, or call us on 07494672719.



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