The environment in which we work has a big influence on how well we encode information as well as how well we can retrieve it. The research would suggest that the environment we learn the information in should perfectly match the environment that we need to remember in. Therefore as an exam is taken in silence we should be replicating this environment when learning and revising.
Having said that, I do not think taking a blanket approach that all revision should be done in silence is the best fit. Everyone is different and it is important to be honest with yourself when reflecting about your revision. Can you honestly say that revising whilst watching TV is maximising your focus?
To avoid distractions when working you need to ensure that your work environment is well prepared:
Lighting: You have good lighting that is not directly shining in your face.
Noise: Either silence or gently background noise. You honestly know if something is distracting so take action to address it.
Temperature: You need to feel comfortable in the environment. Make sure you can be the same when sitting an exam.
Materials: Make sure you have everything you need on hand. If you need to look for resources or items you are losing focus and are more likely to be further distracted.
Clock: Your revision time should be well structured. Don’t work for too long on a single topic or subject. Recognise when you are losing focus and take a short micro break.
With the right approach and mindset exams and assessments can be an opportunity to learn and develop rather than a stressful experience that most people remember.