Knowing how to create the perfect revision timetable that works for you and is in line with your learning style is the key to effective revision. However, knowing where to start can be tricky, not to mention overwhelming. Here’s some helpful techniques which are sure to help you understand your learning style and different ways you can adapt your timetable to maximise each study session to your skillset. Doing this can make all the difference between getting your expected grades and exceeding them, so let’s get started!
Step 1: Create a rough timetable outline
Get started by creating a rough revision timetable outline. Do this by writing down which subjects you have exams for, how long you have until each exam, and underneath each subject divide it further into the individual areas you need to cover. Once you have done this, map out how many revision sessions are needed for each subject and start scheduling them in, doing so in correlation to when the exam is.
It’s also a good idea to work out what time of day you learn best. Whether this is early in the morning or late at night, make sure you plan your revision sessions at the times when you’re at peak productivity levels.
Step 2: Work out what type of learner you are
The key to creating the perfect revision timetable is to work to your strengths and adapt each study session accordingly. As everyone learns in different ways it’s important to work out what type of learner you are. Here are the four main types of learners and typical characteristics of each.
- Learns by seeing
- Responds well to demonstrations
- Enjoys visually pleasing presentations
- Thinks in pictures
- Takes detailed notes
- Likes to sit at the front of class
- Very creative/ artistic
- Learns by listening and verbalising
- Listens for keywords and phrases
- Responds well when things are read aloud
- Thinks in a linear fashion
- Reads slowly
- Prefers to hear, rather than read information
- Learns through trial and error
- Prefers a ‘hands on’ approach
- Uses multiple senses to engage with material
- Enjoys solving real life problems
- Short attention span
- Learns best by reading and writing
- Easily understands explanations on paper/screen
- Takes plenty of notes in class
- Organises thoughts by making lists
- Translates lessons into words
- Enjoys reading
Step 3: Adapt each revision session accordingly
Once you have identified your learning style, you can start writing out a mini plan for each individual revision session you have mapped out on your timetable. Do this by writing a few bullet points under each session including what time you’re going to study, what you’re covering, and most importantly the study techniques you’ll be using. Here’s some of the best study practices for each learning style that you can take into consideration when planning and adapting your timetable.
- Use mind maps, charts, graphs and diagrams.
- Write down the information you’re studying in your own words. If you don't have to think about the material and rewrite it in your own words, you won't really learn it.
- Learn material using videos and PowerPoint presentations.
- Make and use your own visual aids such as flashcards or posters. Keep them in a place you’re sure to see several times a day such as your bedroom wall or fridge door.
- Highlight and underline text when reading.
Tip: Organise your notes by using different colours to represent different themes or topics.
- Record your lessons at school so you can listen again later.
- When writing, talk to yourself. First tell yourself what you will write, say it out loud as you write it, and then read aloud what you have written.
- Record yourself reading notes and listen back later.
- Explain concepts in your own way aloud to yourself or explain a topic to your family and friends.
- Use word associations to help you remember something tricky.
Tip: If you’re feeling creative make up songs, rhymes or raps to remember certain topics or themes.
- Make and use visual aids such as posters or flashcards during your study sessions.
- Try to study through practical experiences, such as making models or roleplaying.
- Use the computer to reinforce your learning through the sense of touch.
- Try studying with others and exchange your ideas with each other.
- Make sure you take lots of breaks during your revision sessions and only study for short bursts at a time. Putting a timer on is a great idea.
- Use examples when taking notes so it’s easier for you to remember later.
Tip: Kinesthetic learners often find that playing sport and exercise during revision stimulates learning. Don’t be afraid to get outside and get moving!
- Read-Write learners should use more traditional study techniques such as reading textbooks and notes in detail as well as rewriting their own notes.
- Create and use bullet point lists during revision sessions.
- Translate charts and graphs into your own verbal or written summary.
- Write out your own questions based on the material and answer them.
Tip: Read-Write learners often work best in quiet areas and prefer working alone to avoid distractions. Make sure you take this into consideration when planning where you’ll be conducting your study sessions.
Step Four: Revise!
Don’t wait to get started- the sooner you start revising the better!