We've put together some handy revision tips to make sure you get your best results.
Before you start putting pen to paper, highlighting key phrases and reading your notes exhaustively - have a plan! Good chances are you’ll either have several subjects to revise - or one subject with several elements. With what time you’ve got between now and submitting your essays or sitting exams, make a decision on what you’re going to revise and when.
If you’re studying three A Levels for example, you may wish to assign a certain subject to a certain week or day (e.g. Week 1: English, Week 2: History, Week 3: Psychology -or- Monday & Tuesday: English, Wednesday & Thursday: History, Friday & Saturday: Psychology). If you’re lucky enough to have several days between essays/exams, feel free to prioritise a subject or topic in the build-up to your assessment. As soon as this is boxed off, prioritise your next assessment!
Don’t fool yourself into believing you’re going to revise everyday if in reality you know you have upcoming plans that will ‘get in the way’! Such as a friend or family members birthday. Instead, be honest with yourself as it’ll help you plot a more achievable plan.
Right Frame of Mind
As with the first tip, take this one into consideration before you actually start revising. Between chatting with friends, browsing social media and watching streaming services, it seems easier than ever to get distracted and think of any excuse not to revise! Therefore, you need to put yourself in an environment that will truly allow you to focus on your revision.
If you’re feeling brave enough, turn off your mobile and if you have no solid reason for the internet, don’t use any electronics and rule out the possibility of getting side tracked by a quick YouTube video or half-hour of window shopping.
Going on from being in the right mindset to revise by removing all distractions, use those distractions to your advantage by treating them as rewards! Setting goals can help motivate you and break up your revision. This can be anything from watching a film, having a scroll through social media, or even having a sweet snack. The better the incentive, the more likely you are to revise!
Cue Cards & Post-it Notes
As vital as it is to know your subject(s) inside and out, brief and snappy knowledge can also aid you massively - especially in an exam setting. The likes of theory definition or quotes that aid you get even a single point during your exams are worth noting.
Repetition is key, too! Think about any object in your bedroom and good chances are you know exactly where it is - the same applies to post-it notes! After making your notes, put them in places you’re bound to see everyday and therefore exposed to your notes everyday. However, this also stresses the importance of jotting down snappy information instead of a sentence of two.
This tip can initially seem a little excessive. You’d be right in thinking last years exam content won’t be the same as your own, so why look at previous assessments? Questions can be quite technical or worded awkwardly, so if you prepare yourself with what to expect, it may help you revise more efficiently and inline what how questions expect you to answer. You don’t need to familiarise yourself with what’s on previous papers - but how they’re presented.
A lot of previous papers can be accessed publicly online. Alternatively, you could ask your tutor or teacher for a copy. Naturally, the more recent the paper - the better. You’ll want to be as calm and comfortable on the day, and looking at previous papers will definitely assist you in doing so.
Take the time to reflect on your revision methods and think about what type of learner you may be. Whether it be simply reading notes over and over or sharing your new knowledge with others by speaking out loud, research has well established we all have our own preference for learning techniques. Some tests help you quickly identify your preferable learning style, whilst others have take a more in-depth analysis. Therefore, we’ve listed several for you to complete according on your time:
Education Planner (5 minutes)
Oxford Learning College (10-15 minutes)
Psychology Today (20 minutes)
Last but not least… relax! Take frequent breaks, stretch your legs, get some fresh air and give yourself some time to reflect on what you’ve just learnt. Research suggests your brain has a tendency to ‘switch off’ about thirty minutes into doing the same thing. There’s no point in punishing yourself and revising for hours, because doing so will only discourage you from doing it again! Relating back your days designated to revising, try and introduce ‘short’ days or maybe even days with no revision at all. Think quality - not quantity!