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Effective revision methods

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It’s that time of year again, where students are huddled over their books, cramming in last-minute revision to prepare for exams. It’s always good to have some sort of plan when it comes to revising and to have some sort of revision timetable in place to not only keep you on track but to keep you motivated. We’ve put together a list of revision techniques that are deemed to be some of the most effective; 

Past Papers
Past Papers are a great revision tool to use, equipping you with knowledge and important examination techniques to help handle future exams. Not only do they help prepare you for answering exam-type questions, but they also help develop and improve your time management skills by helping you understand the length of time you will be given. When you spend time studying past papers, you get to experiment with the best ways of answering questions and understand the wording of questions. Past papers are a useful resource for preparing in exams that, you are able to familiarise yourself with style, theme, depth, and techniques used in the particular exams you are about to sit. 

Flashcards and revision cards may have a reputation of one being one of the most boring ways to revise, HOWEVER, they are one of the most effective methods! Flashcards engage a mental faculty called ‘active recall’. Simply put, when using Flashcards you are attempting to remember the answers from scratch instead of recognising them in a textbook or through multiple-choice options. Flashcards also inflict self-reflection. When you reveal the answers to Flashcards you assess your correctness and question how far off the exact answer you were, this self-reflection ingrains memories deeper into your knowledge. 

Watching Video Content
Videos are becoming a popular education tool across schools, colleges, and universities. Studies have shown that the use of short video clips allows for more efficient memory recall. The visual and auditory nature of videos allows each individual to watch them and absorb the information in a way that’s natural to them. Videos also help to learn more complex topics, so, make sure you try and incorporate some video content into your revision timetable.

Teach someone else
The learning-by-teaching method has been demonstrated in many studies, showing that students who spend time teaching what they have learned to someone else have a better understanding and knowledge retention than students who just re s-study. This method has been found to boost students memory recall in two ways. Firstly, it prompts you to categorise the information you’ve learned in your own brain, ensuring you’ve made complete sense of it. Secondly, by knowing you have to answer someone else’s questions, it compels you to think and explain the information in different ways. Their questions can also expose any gaps in your knowledge. 

Probably one of the most common methods of revision but not always used correctly. Its always better to write your own notes and highlight those than highlight a textbook.
Highlighting connections is the most effective way of highlighting your notes. Your brain naturally learns by making connections between information. These connections could be similar details, concepts, or even locations. Remember this:  the more connections you make, the better you tend to remember things. Another tactic is to highlight these connections in the same colour and use a different colour for a different connection. The colours will help your brain associate the colours with the correct text. 

Remember, these are only suggestions, if you have other methods of revision that work well for you, then don’t feel like you need to discard them. We understand the situation these exams have unfolded in may cause additional stress for students, so if you need any extra support or advice, get in touch with either your SU or Students Services! 


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