Effective Revision Techniques for Students
As exam season gets underway, we’ve put together some revision techniques for students to help make the process that bit easier and less scary.
Create a timetable
It can be hard to know where to begin with revision, especially when you’ve got numerous different exams to study for. The best place to start is making a realistic timetable. Allocate different subjects or topics to different days and alternate things to keep your brain switched on. Don’t try to schedule too much in one day - allow perhaps three hours in the morning and three in the afternoon with a substantial break in between and an evening to relax!
The first stage of revision is trying to get everything safely locked away in your brain so that you can access it during your exams. The best way to do this is to create a mind map for each topic. This allows you to pick out the most important information and lay it out in a way that makes sense to you. Keep any notes short and sweet and add pictures or diagrams as needed - visual aids are really useful to some people.
Once you’ve got a selection of mind maps, it might be time to memorise more specific information. Whether these are formulas, case studies, quotations or facts, flashcards are a good way to test your memory. You can lay them out in a number of ways - you might include a question on the front and an answer on the back, for example. Or, you could include a picture prompt on the front with an answer on the back. However you choose to write them, flashcards are great for quick-fire testing.
Past papers and example exam questions
You’ve probably already been told this by your tutors and lecturers, but one of the best ways to revise is to do past papers and write out answers to example exam questions. It’s all well and good knowing facts, figures and information, but it’s even more important to understand how a question will be asked, and how you should answer it. Start off by answering the questions in your own time to get the hang of writing, but later you can time yourself when you’re answering past papers.
Get friends or housemates to test you
This is a great way to put yourself under a bit more pressure. It can be hard and boring to keep testing yourself, and you may get tempted to have a sneaky peek at your notes before answering. If you ask a housemate to test you using your notes, they will be able to assess how confident you are in your knowledge. Plus, revision can be a lonely time of the year so this is a good way to socialise with other human beings while still being productive!
Take regular breaks
Our final revision tip is to remember to take regular breaks. Our brains and eyes get tired with constant strain and you might find yourself burning out. Breaks help to reinvigorate you, allowing you to be more focused and ultimately more productive.
You can also check out our study tips for students blog post, for help with essays and projects.