Exam Revision Techniques You HAVE to Try
Amy studied at the University of Bristol and is our revision blog guru. She only graduated recently so understands the pressures of being a student better than most, and is here to share her wisdom so that you revise effectively, smash your exams, succeed at school and write cracking university and job applications.
1. A seat per subject
It might sound slightly nuts, but assigning a different location to each subject you’re revising could work wonders for your memory. For example, if you like to revise at the dining room table, assign one chair to English, one to Maths, one to History and so on (this may be difficult if you’re revising a large range of topics, but you can always double up!). Then sit in the designated chair each time you revise that subject, so that you associate a certain space with a certain set of facts.
You might have to switch seats every hour – but many people find that studying, say, GCSE Maths past papers in one location, then switching to another for Biology, then another for Chemistry, can make a real difference. Not only are you making a point of stretching your legs, you are also putting into to practice a classic memorising technique – that of association. When you’re in the exam you can quickly put on the right ‘hat’ for the relevant subject, because you can visualise exactly where you sat when you revised it – and differentiate this place from the places you sat at when studying other subjects. Simple, but super effective.
2. Make visual notes
Whether you have an obviously photographic memory or not, there’s nothing like visual notes to jolt your memory in times of need in the exam.
Remember when we talked about the equipment you needed for revision? Well on our list were coloured pens and highlighters – which are IDEAL for making super visual mind maps and pages of notes.
Mind maps are an extremely effective resource, as you can link ideas and make associations. Make a clear, detailed and colour-coded mind map for key topics, which includes all the main concepts you need to know. Read it over plenty of times before your exam so that it’s committed to memory; then when you’re in there on the big day, any points you do remember (and the ones linked to them) should come back to you when you visualise the page, setting you off on a roll!