Revision can be tough. What do you revise? Where do you start? When’s the best time to learn? How much do you need to know? And on top of all of that, once you have revised, you need to make sure you remember everything for the exams! But fear not. There are lots of tricks and techniques that you can try when revising which will help you remember more. Let’s take a look at some of them…
1. Write it down
From riding a bike to baking a cake, the more you do something, the easier it gets – and the better you become at it. Well, the same goes for revision. Write your notes repeatedly and you’ll soon find that a lot of the information begins to stick in your mind. The more times you write them down, the more likely you’ll be able to remember the information without even looking. And by the time you come to sit the exam, once you start writing, the information will all come flooding back to you!
2. Read out loud
As you read your revision notes, you might find you start to read on auto-pilot mode and you end up thinking about everything else other than the subject in hand– meaning you’re not actually taking in your notes (we’ve all been there). Instead, read them and then try to recite them – only glancing back at them when you can’t remember something. This method is a much better way to get it stuck in your mind as it forces your brain to remember the information.
3. Teach what you’ve learned
Written, read and recited your revision notes? Think you’re ready to be examined? Great! So why not try explaining what you’ve learnt to someone else. By explaining the topic in your own words, you’ll soon discover any aspects which you don’t fully understand or can’t quite remember, therefore, highlighting the areas that require further research and revision.
4. Use mnemonics
Trying to remember a lot of information can be difficult – especially if it’s a collection of facts or processes. Mnemonics are where you create a memorable phrase, which in turn prompts you to remember the information that is more difficult to remember. You’ve probably heard the phrase ‘Never Eat Shredded Wheat’ – which refers to the points of the compass (North, East, South, West), or ‘Richard of York gave battle in vain’ – which refers to the colours of the rainbow (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet). Try creating your own and see how much more you remember!
They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, and for many, this is very true. Try combining images with text or creating mind maps (a diagram where you have a concept in the middle and branching off this concept are other key words associated to the concept). The idea being that when you need to recall information on a particular topic, you remember the images, key words or positioning of key words on the map and they will help trigger your memory about the finer details.
The above techniques are simply suggestions, everyone learns in a different way so choose the techniques which work best for you! On top of revision techniques, things such as drinking plenty of water, eating healthily, exercising and getting a good night sleep will all help to contribute to a more successful revision period!
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