Monday, 5 January 2015

Revision Tips



You might have read the title of this post and thought, "revision? exams are over 4 months away!" but don't kid yourselves guys, you need to start revising now. If you have January exams and you've only just started revision then feel free to panic. I'm going to share some tips with you that have worked for me. I'm not saying this is the only way to do it but it's the way that is easiest for me and I know that this method works. 

  • Make a revision timetable. It sounds lame but it's the only way to ensure you make time and fit your studies in.
  • It's not enough to just go over your notes once. It's probably not enough to go over it twice. Go over your notes at least three times, if not more. Repetition is the best way to get information to stay in your mind. 
  • Re-write all of your notes. Fix any gaps, stuff you've missed and check stuff that doesn't make sense. 
  • When you do this, it may be a good idea to read up on the subject to find additional information. This is particularly good for a-level and university revision. 
  • Go through the re-written notes, highlighting all of the important bits. Write these points up into a smaller set of notes. Tip: I like to write important facts in red pen - it's supposed to stick in your mind better
  • Make the reduced notes into A3 mind maps for each topic/subtopic. Use different colours to make it more memorable. 
  • If you have time, make the A3 mind maps into A4 mind maps. Instead of writing each point in detail, use key words. 
  • A good way to test what you know and what you don't know is to try and copy the A4 mind map from memory. If you can't remember certain points, then those are the areas you need to revise more. 
  • The final thing I tend to do is to use the A3 mind maps to produce a small set of revision cards. Get other people to test you. Test yourself. Try and remember each point on the card. 
  • Past papers. The most important thing you can do is to practice writing essays or planning them at least. When doing so, figure out what topic it's talking about and then you should remember the relevant mind map/revision card and the information should come flooding back to you. 
  • If you learn by listening, record yourself saying the notes and if you're a practical learner find a physical way to learn. 
  • Take a 10 minute break every half an our and a half an hour break every 1-2 hours. Breaks are important! I use breaks to watch youtube videos. 
  • Anything that helps you remember is good. Whether it's a weird/rude link or the weirdest acronym ever, if it helps, use it!
  • Reward yourself with food!
Example of how I do A3 Mind Map
As you can see there's a lot you can be doing so it's best to start earlier rather than having a last minute panic. From now until Easter, I will be letting myself have one day a week off from revision. If you ever feel like you can't be bothered, don't give into it. Just tell yourself to stop being a little bitch because you have to do it otherwise you wont do well and that's the truth. There's no way around it. I promise you it will all pay off in the end. 

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