So it’s that time of year for the majority of us uni (+school) students when we’re overcome with exams. Let’s face it, no matter how much time off we have for Christmas we’ll still end up cramming everything in at the last minute. Not exactly a method for success…
Certain subjects are said to be easier to revise for than others, but surely with the right techniques any subject should be easily revised. In my opinion reading over material is an ineffective method of revision so I’ve put together my top four tips on how to revise productively and effectively no matter what the subject. You’ll usually find you’ll prefer one of these techniques more than the others, or you’ll integrate all four depending on what you’re revising!
- Practice Practice Practice – for exams which revolve around Maths whether it be Maths directly, engineering or physics always involve formulae and using these formulae. The only way to successfully revise for these kinds of questions is by doing them!! Get out those past papers and try a question, you’ll find you’ll either fly through it or stumble at a hurdle. That’s okay though; if you find you can’t finish the question you now know where your weakness lies and you can focus on that part of the topic!
- Rewrite definitions – I’ve personally found that rewriting definitions is the only way I learn them. Write the definition out from your notes and try to learn as much of it as you can. Now on a new page attempt to rewrite the definition without looking at your notes. If you struggle, look at your notes and start over again. Keep doing this until you can write the whole definition out blind. I’ve found visualising the completed definition when rewriting it is how I power through my mind blanks so definitely give that a go too!
- Spider diagrams – These are perfect for learning one word answers to questions. For example, you can make a spider diagram to remember the key nutrients required in our diet. A clear and colourful diagram should make the material stick in your head better and is easy to have a last glance at before going into an exam.
- Rewriting notes – It’s well known that sometimes lecturers out way too much unnecessary information in their notes for context. Rewriting your notes but only including the vital information is one way to separate out what’s important and what’s not. It can be tedious but while writing this information out some of it is definitely going into your memory! You can make your new notes as colourful as you like to help with recall.
No matter what way you choose to revise, remember to leave yourself enough time before an exam. Oh and good luck!
[Have you got a different method that you think it effective?! Let me know in the comments]