Find Your Location
Tutor Doctor | Jan 5, 2016

3 Key Revision Methods to Help You Ace Your Exams

Categories: Education, Tips, Performance

January exams are quickly looming which means lots of revision sessions, a dose of nerves and constantly worrying that you won’t know what to write. Here at Tutor Doctor we understand that revision can be stressful, especially if you aren’t using right techniques. That’s why we’ve come up with three key methods to transform your revision sessions and maximise your learning. We bet you’ll ace those exams!

How to Revise?
When revising for your exams there are three key revision methods that we would advise sticking to. They really will help you achieve the results you deserve!

1. Note-taking/note-making
Throughout the academic year it is likely that you will have been taking lots of notes and writing down overwhelming amounts of information. Now that it’s revision time, it is important to work on making your notes more useful and easier to memorise. Here’s how:

  • Organise your notes so that they are clear, logically ordered and easy to find your way around.
  • Read through all of your notes, highlighting key words and jotting down extra notes if you need to.
  • Re-write out more concise versions of your notes. This makes the content digestible and easier to remember. It also makes you think about what you are writing and helps you understand it further. Aim to reduce each topic to a few index cards that can be used to help jog your memory during revision sessions.
  • Another great way to make the most out of your notes is by breaking each topic down further into mind maps. This is a helpful way of summarising lots of information onto one page and is visually memorable too.

2. Memorising
To succeed in your exams you often have to remember vast amounts of information and apply it. Memorising might not be the easiest task but it’s important to remember that there are loads of different techniques out there and there will be a way that works for you. Here are some approaches to try:

    • Read over and look at your notes for a topic three or four times. Reading repeatedly will help fix them in your mind rather than skimming over them once.
    • Draw out a big mind map of everything you can remember from a page of notes or topic. Then look back over it and compare it to your revision notes to see how well your memory serves you.
    • Cover up half of the page of your revision notes and focus on recalling information triggered by using key words.
    • Use large index cards or posters and write down everything about a topic on it in a logical way. Read over it and then give it to a family member so that they can test you. Start by getting them to say the word in the middle of the page and try and recall everything you know. Allow them to prompt you if you can’t remember a specific date or word as it will help jog your memory. Repeat this with them until you feel confident that you know a topic or subject inside out. When it gets closer to your exam ask them to re-test you. You might even surprise yourself on how much you know!
    • Mnemonics can be a fun way to remember tricky phrases or facts. Use the letter of a word, or the initial letter of a phrase to help trigger associations. For example- A classic science mnemonic most will probably be aware of if OIL RIG, which describes the difference between Oxidation and Reduction: Oxidation Is Loss, Reduction Is Gain. Other famous ones include the order and names of the planets, remembered with the mnemonic My Violent Evil Monster Just Scared Us Nuts.

3. Drafting and practicing model answers
Working on model answers to anticipated questions should be central to your revision process. Using past papers and practice questions will help you work on remembering the material, developing your critical skills as well as preparing you for your exam itself. Here’s what to practice when attempting mock tests:

  • Analyse the question. When using past exams papers and practice tests think about the wording of the questions. What are the problem or key words? What approach is being asked for? You could even try rephrasing the question into your own words, which will help you pinpoint the exact meaning.
  • Generate ideas. In longer essay questions you are most likely going to need five or six major points or arguments. Often these will be taken from your notes- so try to think about ways that you can apply them to the question in hand. If not, work on generating some ideas based on who, what, why, where and when.
  • Think about other angles. Many topics are from a specific perspective, so try to include a counter argument. Showing your knowledge and applying it appropriately will improve your essay.
  • Check over your answers. Once you have completed your practice tests it is important to read over your answers and look out for errors and relevant points that you can improve on. Always try and get a teacher, tutor or parent to look over your work and take on board any notes or comments they make.
  • Practice in exams conditions. By doing this you will know what to expect and get a feel for how long you need to spend on each question/section. It should also make you feel more confident and prepared for the real thing.

Always remember..
Revision should never be left until the last-minute, especially if you want to achieve great results. It’s vital that you make sure you’re revising all year round and staying on top of your studies. Easy ways to do this is by ensuring all of your notes are easy to follow and well organised as well as not letting your work pile up.