Exams coming up - here are some of the best ways to revise

Wed, 16 May 2018

Exams coming up - here are some of the best ways to revise
Exams coming up - here are some of the best ways to revise

Hello again all

With exam season just around the corner, I thought it may be useful to provide you with some study and revision tips ....

I have found the below to be some of the best approaches, during my extensive research:

1.  Start your studies early and spread them out over a period of time.  I know we've all done it, but cramming just before an exam is really not the way to go, if you want to get a solid pass.

2.  Set yourself up with a study timetable, detailing the specific goals you wish to achieve.  Yours goals should be realistic.  Note - ensure to build in time to relax / have fun with your friends / play some sport etc, as working 24/7 will just burn you out and leave you demotivated, meaning that you lack focus and interest as you near your exams.

3.  Make your study a habit.  Once you have established the habit, it will be easier to maintain (I promise).  I believe it takes most people 14 days to establish a habit.

4. Print off your syllabus and set up a to do list to keep yourself on track.

5.  Set yourself up with a quiet secluded place to study, where you can keep your study materials organised.  It is generally felt that a chair and desk and good lighting will help you here.  With the best will in the world, just plonking yourself on the couch in front of the TV will not really help you retain much information.  Turn off your phone and don't look at your social media accounts - use this as a treat.

6.  Ensure that you have plenty of stationery (pens / highlighters / paper / post its / page flags / coloured cards / flashcards etc).

7.  First pass through your study material, actively hightlight pertinent pieces of information.  Second pass through, look at the highlighted areas within your study books and make your own notes in your own "inner" voice (this will help you to understand retain the information).  Thirdly - review your notes and condense these into short sentences.  Think about the use of acronyms / mnemonics to help you recall information.  Use mind maps, so you can see how subjects interlink.  Draw colourful diagrams to remember information.  Put treats in your book to encourage you to get to certain points.

8.  When studying or revising - work in small chunks, look to have a break every hour - move around / do some exercise / go for a walk etc.  Perhaps give yourself a treat and check your social media / watch some TV / play a video game.  Ensure you have plenty of snacks / drinks to hand (it is important to stay hydrated).  Perhaps play calm music whilst you revise to help you remain relaxed.

9.  Identify how best you learn.  According to the experts, it is said that we learn:

  • 10% of what we read
  • 20% of what we hear
  • 30% of what we see
  • 50% of what we see and hear
  • 70% of what we talk about and discuss
  • 80% of what we experience
  • 95% of what we teach

10.  Once you have gone through the reading / learning and understanding phases, you should revise all of your subject matter to consolidate your knowledge.  There are various things you can do to help you here, as follows:

  • Write your condensed notes on flashcards and regularly take them out and read them
  • Write questions / set yourself a quiz on your subjects to test your understanding
  • Go over past exam papers / questions.  Note the areas that you get wrong and re-read these sections in your text book / re-read your notes and write out those areas again to help recall the issue you got wrong
  • Write pertinent pieces of information on post it notes and put these up on the fridge / your bedroom / your lounge wall etc and look at them regularly
  • Record your condensed notes and then listen to them, when you walking to and from work
  • Turn your notes into silly songs / or talk to yourself in a daft voice, when you are trying to learn a particularly hard subject
  • Join a study group and socialise and talk to / teach others about the concepts you have learnt
  • When learning difficult things - spray different perfumes / light different scented candles, so that you associate a particular smell with a particular subject
  • Review a section of notes / close your books and then try and remember and write down what you have just read
  • Try and remember pertinent points of your subject in the shower

11. Use memory techniques:

Associations e.g. mindmaps to link up subject matter / word association / repetition / research / re-writing notes / re-reading / re-listening
Acronymns / Mnemonics
Define concepts with a few key words

12.  Ensure that you eat healthily / get enough sleep and exercise when you are studying and if possible steer clear of caffine and alcohol ..... and please try not to panic ...... remember - as long as you have reviewed your subject, made concise notes and practised test questions you stand a very good chance of passing your exam.

Here's some more resources to help you too:

https://www.cgpbooks.co.uk/interactive_tips_exam
https://www.independent.co.uk/student/student-life/top-10-revision-tips-for-your-final-or-first-year-exams-8576161.html
http://www.bbc.co.uk/guides/zw8qpbk
https://www.goconqr.com/en/examtime/guide/gcse-revision-tips/
https://blogs.ncl.ac.uk/stem/2017/01/20/top-revision-tips-memory-techniques/
http://www.real-memory-improvement.com/memory-techniques.html
https://www.developinghumanbrain.org/memorization-techniques-for-students/
https://www.goconqr.com/en/examtime/blog/beat-exam-stress-10-easy-ways/


Good luck everyone and until next time.......

Sarah.

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