There’s plenty of advice out there on the best ways to revise for your upcoming exams, but some of these tips won’t help the facts stick in your brain half as well as you’re led to believe. This quick guide investigates four of the most common techniques and highlights some of the things that you need to watch out for as you’re putting your revision plan together.
- RE-READING YOUR NOTES. This works great for the first two paragraphs, then suddenly you realise you’re on page 11 and all you can remember is what you’re having for dinner, the best computer games to get for your birthday and who your favourite football team is playing on Saturday. It’s that easy to lose concentration when you’re simply browsing through. For more traction, start making notes from your notes. That way your brain is actively engaged in the process and the facts are more likely to stay lodged in your mind.
- IT DOESN’T MATTER WHERE YOU REVISE, SO LONG AS YOU DO. As with most things in life, there are good places to revise and bad ones. Above all, you need to find a spot where you won’t be distracted by noise, the internet or that spider making its way across the ceiling. Home could well be the best location for you to study or irritating siblings and their daily drum practice might just make it the worst. One thing we can say for sure is that your bed is not a good option. It might be the most comfortable hangout on earth, but before you zzzzz zzz zzzzz zzzzz zzzz.
- THE BEST WAY TO REVISE IS WITH A FRIEND. Study buddies work for some people, but not for everyone. The advantages include the fact that you can help motivate each other to stick to your revision timetable when the going gets tough, and it can also help being able to test each other at the end of every session. On the other hand, if your study buddy is not quite as dedicated to the cause as you are then their company can prove to be more of a distraction than an aid. It can also be difficult to synchronise times to suit both of you which can end up limiting your revision time. Maybe the best way forward is to combine a little buddy revision with some hard graft of your own?
- DON’T WASTE HOURS MAKING YOUR NOTES LOOK PRETTY. We can see what this myth is getting at; with so much ground to cover, it won’t do you any favours spending all your time making every diagram look like it was created by Michelangelo. But let’s get real – there’s no doubt that a little bit of colour coding can help the important facts jump off the page, straight into your brain. In fact, recent research shows that writing in colour helps us retain 50-80% more information than the standard black or blue. If you don’t have enough colours to hand already, STABILO’s point 88 and pointMax ranges will soon have you up and running.