How to revise effectively.
Students often proudly tell me ‘I revised for 2 hours yesterday’ and I reply with ‘Wow, well done, what did you do?’ and they say ‘I read my notes’ and I say ‘That is reading, not revising’. It is an example of ‘ineffective revision’ (a waste of time). To revise effectively use the guidelines below.
- Somewhere quiet - libraries often have study rooms which are small, plain rooms with a desk and seat in it. These are perfect areas for revision because they recreate the same conditions you will have in your exam or test.
- At a desk with good lighting - revision can be boring so make sure you have ample light and are sat in an upright position to help you concentrate.
- Away from distractions - No TV, no friends or family, no phone, no music (they are all distractions). Think about what it will be like when you take your exam and try to recreate this.
- Plan your revision - what are you going to revise and when? How are you going to make sure you revise everything you need to before a test or exam? Making a good plan helps you to cover everything and be completely prepared. This in turn will make you feel more confident in your exam, more relaxed and more able to do your best.
- Use a range of activities to keep the brain alert. Reading can be useful for some people however reading alone is not an effective revision strategy. Look at my revision activities on this website for different ways to revise and click on the link at the bottom of this page to learn more about what activities help you effectively revise.
Memory of information fades over time. It can be vastly improved by going over the information again after some time has passed. This is revision. The information should be repeatedly reviewed to reinforce the memory. This is especially relevant when learning facts (dates, names, symbols, keywords, etc.) and to develop and deepen understanding of how these facts interact.