Revision techniques are a key component of studying techniques. Done correctly, it will ensure that what has been learned will be easily recalled from memory. However, used incorrectly, revision techniques can do more harm than good. The following tips will help ensure a thorough and correct revision program. I used these when studying for my IB exams and for every exam session I have had so far with Laurentian. Try them out and see if they work for you as well!
Always set aside time to revise based on a revision schedule. The schedule should be well planned and careful thought should be put into what needs to be achieved and how much time there is to achieve it. Realistic goals should be set.
Revision periods should be between 45 minutes to 2 hours on each subject. Personally, I like to sit down for a 2-hour block, this is the way I have found I am the most productive.
Read over your work making rough notes in order to stimulate more of your senses. Be creative with your note taking and try to use mind mapping and speech for important notes. You can find free mind mapping software online, or utilize old tutorials and exam questions to reinforce the information you have already absorbed.
Always take at least a 15- to 30-minute break in between sessions. This will allow you time to relax and gives your brain some time to prepare for the next study session. Go outside for a walk, make yourself some snacks, but make sure not to end up taking a 2-hour break by mistake!
Never try to cram one subject in on one day, it overloads your memory recall function and can jumble your thoughts when trying to recall facts.
Get organized for your revision sessions and learn how to concentrate on studying. Avoid petty distractions and commit yourself to long periods of focus in your scheduled routines. Make sure you have all the relevant material prepared in advance and also keep any snacks and water you may need nearby. Turn off your cell-phone and ask friends an relatives not to disturb you.
When using previous exams, test yourself under exam conditions by setting time limits and not using any other information resources. Check your answers against an exam model to see how you’ve done.
Staying healthy is part of how to study effectively. Take a long lunch break of up to an hour and try to get out for a walk or play some sport. This will give your brain an incredible boost when it comes time to get motivated to refocus. Also, ensure you are getting good sleep. Revision, when you are tired, is next to useless.
Music may help you to revise, however, avoid radio stations, especially talk radio and radio advertising which will distract you. Again, learn how to concentrate on studying. (Pro-tip: use Youtube videos of “Alpha waves” music, they help me to stay concentrated for hours on end!)
Avoid too much caffeine, sugar and other stimulants which give you a short-term boost, but reduce your ability to concentrate if consumed excessively.
So there you have it, a few tips on revision techniques. Be timely, thorough and organized in your revision and you’re on the path to successfully writing exams.
I hope my tips were helpful.