Revision can be a tricky task – how do you learn? Different people have different methods and capabilities when trying to learn a topic. Maybe you will find yours here?
Flashcards are a simple, effective method of quickly summarising your course. All you need to do is cut some card to the same length, and find a way to keep them all together – ie. a paperclip, an elastic band. Write a question on one side, and the correct answer(s) on the other. Get a family member or friend to test you! The best part about these are not only that they’re easy to make for everyone, the person testing you does not need to understand the topic, as the answers are wrote down.
2. Teaching Someone Else.
Different methods of learning cause us to retain different percentage amounts – teaching another person the topic means that you learn about 90% of the information yourself as you teach. Not only are you gaining a better understanding of the topic yourself, the learner is too – you could take this even further and start charging per hour, and earn some money while you do so!
3. Reading up on Relevant Articles/Books.
I found this to be more effective that I originally believed it to be – reading up on updating and relevant articles gives you a wider understanding of the topic, and overall boosts your interest. It’s something to bring up in class to start a class discussion, and helps everybody else to participate in learning too.
I only recommend this if the topic you need to revise is an essay-type subject, for example sociology, history or psychology. Sometimes, summarising everything in a case study or date can only be done by writing out it all in a structured, planned-out way. Buy a new exercise book and dedicate this to essay practice.
If you don’t have the time (or the patience) to write out a full essay, mindmaps are an effective method of summarising a topic. This is particularly helpful if you learn by using different colours, fonts, sticky-notes, weird shapes and the ability to hang it up on your wall to stare at everyday.
Similar to mindmapping, timelines are useful if there are set dates you need to remember in class, for history or law for example. Cut a long strip of paper (longer than A4, cello tape them together!) and make it as you want – just make sure the dates are in order!
This is another method I never thought would work, but is actually helped me through lots of my exams. Singing something, or turning it into a funny rhyme turns catchy real quick, and you’ll never be able to get it out of your head. Make them funny, or even a little bit dirty! The only problem I really found with these is they’re difficult to remember if somebody else has come up with them; they have to be unique and make YOU giggle. (Also you can’t sing them in the exam!
8. Create Your Own System.
After creating a timetable, use the ways that stick to you. This could be colour-coding different topics, highlighting and underlining and using different fonts to differentiate. You may even enjoy using sticky-notes. Never think it is too childish – if it helps and keeps the information in, use the method.
9. Video Solutions.
When revising for my first further maths test, our teacher linked us to YouTube channels that gave a step-by-step walk through of exam questions – now there are videos on every topic, and lots of teachers make them personally. I have linked my own chemistry teachers YouTube at the side for anybody who would like help on their chemistry work (he does A-level standard).
10. Exam Questions.
And finally, the method everybody swears by – do exam questions! Print out the most recent topics or ask your teacher for them. Doing these as much as possible can only benefit you. You’ll be able to learn how to answer them the way the examiner is expecting and looking for, and will be able to see which topics and questions come up the most, so you can sharpen up on them.