Revising for your exams can be a busy and stressful time, but there are things that you can do to make it easier on yourself and to get the best results possible.
Get out of procrastination mode and into action mode with the tips featured below.
Quick Revision Tips
#1 Note it
Creating revision materials such as revision notes , flash cards posters and mind maps is the first step in your revision process. Take the knowledge from the text book and put it into your own words to start the revision process.
• Revision notes are great for summarising entire topics and modules, particularly if you’re a wordy person.
• Flash cards are great for learning and testing yourself on things like vocabulary for languages, terminology for all subjects, quotations for English literature and chunking up knowledge from bigger topics .
• Revision posters are great for making your revision more visual – don’t forget to stick them up on your wall so you’re constantly noticing them and taking in more and more information .
• Mind-maps are great for doing a knowledge dump to see what you know and for exploring the links and connections within a topic or subject – which is vital for getting higher marks .
#2 Plan it
Making a revision plan is a great idea. Use your subject specification, which you find on your exam board’s website, as a check list for everything you need to know for each subject.
Use highlighters or coloured pens to mark onto your specification your strengths (in green) and your weaknesses (in red). Start your revision with your weaknesses.
Keep the specification at the front of your folder for each subject so that you can easily tick things off as you go along and review your progress.
Use dividers in your folder so that you can easily find each topic.
If you have lots of flash cards, use a flash card box with dividers to split your cards into subjects and topics, or to create sections for different levels of priority.
#3 Highlight it
Use colour throughout your revision notes, flash cards and diagrams to make everything more memorable.
• Highlight key words.
• Use highlighters to distinguish between things like causes and effects, or theory and real life examples. Or analyse your practice essays by highlighting your points, evidence and explanations in three different colours.
• Use colour to bring diagrams to life, for example, use different colour arrows for inputs, outputs and flows in a systems diagram.
#4 Stick it
• Sticky notes are a fantastic asset for your revision.
• Mark up important pages in your text books or revision notes with sticky notes.
• Use them to cover up information when testing yourself using the ‘Look, Cover, Say, Write’ method.
• Put sticky notes with key facts on around the mirror, on the front of a diary or anywhere around the house where you’ll see them often.
#5 Revise it
Revision is all about repetition. So, once you’ve made your revision notes, flash cards or revision posters make sure you leave yourself time to go back to them and keep refreshing and improving your memory.
Find a way of working that works for you:
• Do what you can to minimise distractions e.g. put your mobile away
• Work in silence or with calming music in the background
• Take regular revision breaks to refresh yourself for more productive revision.
#6 Do your best
Make a commitment to yourself to do your very best with your revision. Work through it methodically and keep congratulating yourself on what you’ve achieved so far. No-one can ask more of you than this!
More about Lucy
Lucy Parsons is an academic coach and the author of The Ten Step Guide to Acing Every Exam You Ever Take. She helps students to reach their potential in their exams and get into their dream university. Read Lucy’s blog or listen to her podcast, The School Success Formula for more help with getting the grades that you deserve.