How to revise – Reviewing Your Revision Techniques
How to revise - understand your learning style
Developing your study skills, and understanding the best way to revise for exams, is essential to ensure you progress to your full potential through school and university. Learning how to revise effectively involves understanding your learning style, and identifying the best way to revise for you.
There are different questionnaires you can find on the internet to help you understand how you learn in the most efficient manner. As an example, Honey and Mumford adapted Kolb’s experiential learning model, maintaining four broad categories of learning style. Below we have outlined revision tips and ways to revise for each category:
- Activists – who like to ‘do’ to learn (how to revise: write practice essays, do past papers, make notes and use diagrams)
- Reflectors – who like to reflect on learning experiences (how to revise: read notes and textbooks and summarise notes)
- Theorists – who like to understand theories (how to revise: research theories and write down case studies)
- Pragmatists – who like to be prepared and find out what works (how to revise: practice questions with a friend/parent/discussion group and review past papers to prepare answers)
How to revise - general revision tips
Create a revision timetable and revision strategy
- Plan in advance how you intend to learn and the best way to revise. Undertake a learning style questionnaire to help you understand how you learn best
- Practice past exam papers as part of your main revision idea and strategy
- Eat well, take regular breaks and exercise to help you relax
- Practice revising with a classmate who can help you concentrate. Make a revision plan together. Share different ways to revise
- Use mind maps, diagrams and write notes and rhymes to help you connect your ideas together
How to create a revision timetable
Exam techniques are learnt over time. Learning how to prepare for an exam, and ensuring you are well-prepared, takes time and thought. Looking at how to create a revision timetable is essential, helping you manage your workload for each subject. It will also help you plan when you can take breaks, which are essential to help you learn in an effective manner.
Remember, no one can sit down and revise efficiently for hours on end. You learn best if you take breaks and create a revision timetable that integrates a variety of different subject areas that you are revising. Your revision timetable should also reflect the amount of time you feel you need to spend in a certain subject area. This will be dependent on your strengths and weaknesses in different subject areas.
To start with, when making a revision timetable, we suggest you write down the number of subjects and topics you have got to study. Work out the number of weeks and days you have left and make a rough calculation, dividing the number of subject areas into the amount of time you have left. Split
the time into blocks for different topics. When making a revision timetable, if you try and overload too much in one subject area, you won’t absorb the information effectively.
We suggest you split your revision sessions into sensible amounts of time and take regular breaks to allow you to concentrate more effectively. We suggest you timetable sessions of one hour, integrating a ten or fifteen minute break within each session. During that break, go outside for a walk or sit in a different room to give yourself a change of environment.
You need to revisit notes you have made from each revision session to refresh your memory and to absorb the information. Use study methods that work for you and are appropriate to helping you learn a particular subject area. This may involve developing your own flash cards for subjects like history, or creating rhymes for language examinations, to help your brain retain the information. Factor all these techniques in when you make a revision timetable.