Top 10 Revision Tips
Stay calm and find a revision style that works for you.
This time of year can be tough when you're revising for exams. Our experts at The Study Advice Centre have put together 10 Top Tips that will help you during your studies.
If you need advice about your next steps our Careers Advice Team can give you guidance on your options based on your predicted grades.
Top Tip 1
Use practice papers where possible
One of the best ways to revise is to actually get to look at a past paper and test yourself and others with it. You could time yourself writing out an answer or simply check through to ensure you know the answers.
Top Tip 2
Make and use prompt cards
Index cards or apps on a phone or tablet that allow you to place information in small, manageable snippets help you to take your revision out and about. Use colour, diagrams and pictures but don’t be tempted to overload the card with information.
Top Tip 3
Try using Mnemonics to learn key phrases
For example, Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain for the colours of the rainbow or My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas for the order of the planets from the sun (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto)
Top Tip 4
Quiz each other!
Working in a small group can be good for testing your memory. Prepare a set of questions and test your mates, or get family to work through the questions with you a few days later. Make it fun and think about small rewards for getting a set of questions right! Apps such as ‘Evernote Peek’ and ‘Quizmaker’ allow you to test yourself as well as play against a friend.
Top Tip 5
Walk and talk!
The more multisensory your revision the more chances you have of the information sticking. Read your notes out loud to a particular rhythm or music. Move about between learning chunks of work. Consider putting the answers in a different room and see how many facts you can remember between rooms.
Top Tip 6
Be smart with your smartphone!
Most people are inseparable from their phone, so rather than spend those spare minutes updating your Facebook status, make use of all the great revision apps available. From mind maps, to flash card generators, memory quizzes, to past papers, most phones have all you need on them for a successful revision session on the move. If you are an auditory learner consider recording your notes onto the phone to listen to on the bus.
Top Tip 7
Highlight key information
Many people have been told that the key to effective revision is to highlight key points in their notes. This is a good starting point, but it is also important to get information into your own words. Consider different colours for different topics
Top Tip 8
Draw up a timetable for your revision
Be realistic and make sure that you give yourself time for other commitments and relaxation too! Stick to the timetable and use all available slots of time. Often revision is better in small chunks rather than large sections anyway.
Top Tip 9
Make your time work best for you
Research shows that shorter 20-30 minute revision spells work best, because your concentration is much higher. The ‘Pomodoro Technique’ is a time management theory that suggests that short, frequent breaks can improve mental agility. Set a timer for a 25 minute session and use this to completely focus on the task, without any distractions. Once the timer rings set it again for 5 minutes in which you take a short break. Use this time to check your phone, walk about or go and do something completely different. When the timer sounds again restart the process. Every 4 sessions set the timer for a longer break (30 mins). This really is an effective method of using your time to get some serious revision done. You can use a kitchen timer, or the built in timer in your phone. There are even Pomodoro apps designed specifically for this purpose!
Top Tip 10
Spice up your revision – Use a bit of colour
Drawing colourful mind maps will help you to memorise facts. What is even more interesting is the fact that colourful notes are easier to memorise than plain black and white ones. Colourful mind maps help you generate ideas and make associations and the process of developing your own visual material can help your recall and be a quick way to show lots of information. You can hand draw your own mind maps or there are plenty of mind mapping apps available now to use for free.