Effective revision practice can save hours of time, relieve tiredness, increase motivation and enliven flat study routines. These top 10 revision techniques should help to prove these points as you seek to maximise your pre-exam preparation!
Whether it’s for end-of-school GCSE assessment or potentially career-defining A Level exams, these tips and suggestions for effective revision practice should help to prevent you from staring endless holes in textbooks!
So, whilst mildly charming blog intros might ease you into the content, they don’t help your study skills! In which case, let’s get straight into our top 10 revision techniques…
1. Educational Videos
Watching a video is the perfect way to gather information – especially on the morning of an exam! Make sure you target the topics you need to know for that exam and watch it actively not passively. That means you shouldn’t just sit and watch the screen.
Instead, write a quiz for yourself about the video or write notes about the video. If you aren’t sure how to write notes – take a look at Tip 2!
2. Cornell Notes
Making revision notes can be really tough – you want to get all the key information down without waffling.
Cornell notes are designed to do just that – by reviewing and streamlining your initial notes you end up with a really helpful revision page with a short summary as well as longer, more detailed facts.
3. Revision Triangles
If you want a change from Cornell notes, use a revision triangle to streamline your notes. Start by using the top section to summarise the lesson, chapter or topic you are revising.
Make sure you include all the key notes. Then, shorten this to a summary that’s just 50 words or less. Finally, shorten it again to 10 keywords on that topic.
Use flashcards to help learn important information.
You can either fill them with facts on one topic or you can write a question on one side and an answer on the other. These are particularly helpful for learning keywords, formulae and quotes.
They are also portable which means you can take them to your exams for last-minute prep – just remember to leave them in your bag!
5. Mind Maps
Making a mind map is a great way of organising interlinking information. Some people find it helpful to spend time on colour coding and decorating a mind map.
The most important thing is getting the key information on the map, but making it aesthetically can be beneficial – especially if you have somewhere you can display it.
6. Make Visible Prompts
Display them everywhere! In your bedroom, the kitchen and even the bathroom.
Placing the things you need to know, whether it’s facts, equations or diagrams, somewhere you will see them every day will help you absorb them.
When you’ve sat that exam, you can enjoy the satisfaction of taking everything you don’t need anymore down!
7. Make a Quiz
Quizzing yourself or friends is an excellent way to help target gaps in your knowledge. In terms of revision techniques, it proves very popular!
If you are quizzing yourself, write the quiz and make a note of the right answers. Then leave it a few days before coming back to it and testing yourself.
This way, you will benefit from both writing and taking the quiz. If you are testing a friend, pick a topic between you and each of you should written a quiz.
Then, swap over and test yourself. Your friend is likely to have included stuff you missed and vice-versa.
This technique is hugely popular, with plenty of claims that it actually works! Also known as mental mind mapping, blurting is not far off what the name suggests.
You blurt out all the information you know about a topic from memory on to the page.
9. Practice Questions
Once you have the knowledge you need, it’s time to check you can apply the knowledge. Use a variety of questions to test different skills.
You may want to answer some in full, or just plan answers for others. When you find gaps in your knowledge, go back and revise that topic some more.
10. Past Papers
When you have the key skills under your belt, it’s time to apply them in a more formal way. Use the official past papers, which are available on the exam boards’ websites.
You might want to take the paper under timed conditions, or you can take your time with it. Either way, complete it without looking at your notes first and then go back and fill in any gaps – a different coloured pen sometimes makes this clearer.
Do your best to use the mark scheme to check your score so you know what grade you are working at!
Don’t forget to look after yourself during the exam season. Remember there is no revision technique effective enough to counter a neglected mind and body!
It is a very stressful time but if you don’t look after your needs, it is going to be much harder to do well. Make sure you eat regular, healthy meals and try to get a good night’s sleep.
It’s also important you build in time to enjoy yourself – maybe go for a walk with a friend or play an hour of a video game you miss. Doing something you enjoy will mean you come back to your revision refreshed and ready to go!
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