Exam season is upon us! Whether you’re a university student, an A Level student, or a GCSE student, summer exams are creeping their way into our lives. Here are some of my revision methods and some advice, I hope you find this post helpful!
Mindmaps are a great way to gather all your notes from PowerPoints, discussions and reading. I always start revising by collating all my notes, and then I break them down.
Adding colour to my notes helps me remember them better, try it!
Mind maps are also useful for one-page revision. One of my A Level teachers taught me this method of writing down all the information for one topic on a single A4 side. In an exam this method will (hopefully) help you remember your notes better since you’ll be able to visualise all the information on the page.
Best way to condense all the information in your notes and focus on the important points! Jot down key dates, terms, individuals etc. (this varies from subject to subject, it may be equations and formulas for you). It helps organise the information if you have one flashcard per sub-topic.
Once you have your flashcards ready, you need to actually use them to revise. You can simply read them, cover them and try to list the facts, but for me the best way of learning is to have someone test you (this can be a classmate, friend, or family member). You can also teach them!
An important one, I’m sure everyone has looked over some sort of past paper for their subjects. Make sure to actually have a go at them. Time yourself, do some questions, write some essays! The more you practise, the better you’ll be at the real thing.
If you take English or another essay-based subject which requires reading, you need to get to know your text. I recommend reading your text at least twice, thoroughly. The first time you should just focus on understanding it, but the second (or third) highlight key points and make notes!
If you need to memorise quotes for your exam, the write-cover-rewrite method works well.
Some more tips for Humanities Students:
If you’re an English student, the text you’re studying is your holy grail. Don’t rely on insights from revision guides or websites. Although they can be useful, they are also counterproductive in allowing you to produced original and unique points. Try and create themes such as: Characters, Relationships, Death, Love, War, Betrayal (this depends on the text). It’s useful to understand the context of the text, and even familiarise yourself with other works by the same author – you may find some links. Finally, don’t forget the type of text you’re working with! Plays, novels and poetry are very different. Use the correct terminology when discussing them, and appropriate analysis! (To elaborate, for example with a poem you could discuss enjambement but this wouldn’t work for a novel).
History students! I struggled with History revision, mainly because it doesn’t really require creativity in the same way that English does. However, there were a few methods which really aided in my revision. Timelines really helped me, both in remembering dates and organising the time period in my mind. I created timelines on paper but also stuck them on my wall so I’d see them all the time! I also liked creating profiles of important figures and their actions.
This depends on you, everyone has a different environment that they can revise well in. Some can only focus in the library whereas others hate it. For me, I can revise both in the library and at home, but I do prefer being home. Although, one thing that puts me off is mess so I have to have a tidy environment to revise in! Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water and having snacks while revising, and give yourself breaks!
Good luck and thanks for reading,