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If, like me, you find the sheer concept of revision daunting and can never quite find a method that works for you, keep reading to gather a few sneaky tricks that will make your revision worthwhile.
1. Don’t leave things until the last minute.
Okay, who hasn’t heard this one? It’s tossed around by parents, teachers and basically anybody who’s ever been a student. It’s not done unnecessarily, either! It’s possibly the most useful and neglected revision tip out there. Not leaving your revision until the last minute allows you to revise without the added stress of an approaching deadline. Studies show that revising an hour a day for 3 weeks will, in most cases, be noticeably more effective than revising 3 hours a day for 1 week. Our brain needs time to process information and transfer it from short term to long term memory. By not giving ourselves the time we need to revise, we simply think we’re learning this information when really we’re just resuscitating it for the test. More often than not, information can be tested on multiple times. (e.g. in a small test, then an end of year exam) It’s undoubtedly advantageous to give ourselves time for it to sink in, and save ourselves the hassle in the long run!
2. Find out what kind of learner you are.
Use this to your advantage! There are four different kinds of learners out there. Visual, Auditory, Kinaesthetic and Written learners. Different techniques work better with different learners. For example, a visual learner will benefit much more from a mind map, whilst an auditory learner will find it more helpful to listen to the information they need to remember. There are many quizzes online which can help you find out which category you fall into, and which revision techniques to trial.
3. Repeat, repeat, repeat!
It has long been said that repetition is the key to remembrance. To increase memory capacity, try reading information out loud. That way, you read the information, say it aloud and hear yourself speaking it. This puts a number of our senses to good use with minimum effort- what else could a student ask for?
4. Give yourself an incentive.
Make revision fun. Sort of. I’m not going to sit here and try and con you into thinking revision is fun. It sucks. However, we’re all students and we quite literally signed up for this. By giving yourself an incentive such as a chocolate for each correct answer or a 15 minute phone break after each chapter you read, it’ll encourage you to keep on going and push through the boring bits to get to something you’ll enjoy.
5. Revise with a friend.
Everything’s more fun with a friend. Also, provided that you don’t get distracted, dragging a friend along to revise with you is an excellent way to make it seem like less of a chore. Try interactive revision such as quizzing each other and helping each other memorise passages. It’s always useful to ask friends how they revise too!
Revision isn’t meant to be enjoyable, or else we’d all be geniuses! However, you won’t regret going the extra mile.