As I mentioned in my “how to stop procrastinating” post, exams are right around the corner. So I thought it might be useful to write about some revision techniques to help you revise. There’s a lot to get through so let’s get into it!
1. MIND MAPS
I use mind maps as a way of summarising all of the information for a specific topic. I have found that in order to shorten down the content in a textbook, you need to understand the content and then put it into words that make sense to you. I like testing myself from these mindmaps but some of my friends stick them on their walls so that they are constantly looking at them.
Flash cards are my favourite form of revision because I find them so easy to make and learn from. You can buy them in packs of 100 from stationary shops or even big supermarkets like Tesco will sell them. If you’re looking for a lot, Amazon is cheaper: Amazon plain flashcards ! I prefer lined ones but I use plain ones for diagrams. You can write the question at the top or on one side, with the answer below or on the other side. Then you can test yourself from them as that is the best way of remembering, for me personally.
For processes, flow charts are extremely helpful. I sometimes write these flow charts on my posters or flashcards. For example, when learning how digestion works, you can use a flow chart to go through step-by-step each thing that happens.
4. COMPARISON TABLES
There are always exam questions on comparing things to show the similarities and differences. Comparison tables are a great way to display this, making it easy to think of points in the exam on these comparisons.
There are so many helpful YouTube videos out there designed for education. If you type in the topic you want to learn, you’ll most likely find a number of videos that will teach you it. This is useful if you are more of a visual learner, particularly if the video shows animations. Often you can even find videos suited to the exam board you study.
If you learn better by reading, then websites are a good option for you because you can find examples, questions, notes and many more things that are free to access. Often if I don’t have notes on a specific topic because I don’t understand it, I will print notes off from online and read through them.
I bought my whiteboard the size of an A3 sheet of paper around 4 years ago and it is honestly the best money I have ever spent in terms of education. I use it nearly everyday whilst revising in many different ways. Sometimes I use it to write my ‘to do’ lists on, other times I will use it to test myself. I like to learn my flashcards and then about a week later, I will answer the questions on my whiteboard. I prefer this to paper because it’s quick to write on and I can easily change my answer and wipe it off. Also it saves a lot of paper!
8. PRACTICE QUESTIONS
Printing off practice questions either from a website or from the exam board can be really useful to work on your exam technique. Often the exam board will want specific phrases in certain answers, if you can spot these and learn them then you’ll make your exam a bit easier. It’s also a good way to see what topics you need to work on after you have revised everything.
9. POST-IT NOTES
During exams seasons my room is covered in post-it notes. I like to write down questions I find hard to answer with the answer on the back. I stick them in places that I go to a lot. For example, on the door, my pillow, my wardrobe, the lightswitch etc. Therefore when I go to open the door, I have to answer the questions. As they say- practice makes perfect.
I had this one teacher that hated highlighting because I was “basically just colouring the whole page in” which was a “waste of time”. However I think that highlighting is really effective if done properly. Textbooks have all of the knowledge you need to know but also contain some irrelevant bits such as the history behind something which you know won’t come up in the exam (unless it’s for History). I only highlight the crucial bits so that when I am reading through, I can skip to the important bits and not waste my time.
Message of this blog: there are so many different revision techniques so if you don’t get along with one, try something else. These aren’t the only techniques out there so if you have any you would like to share the comment down below!