Do you remember studying for exams? What methods did you use? Did they work for you? Everybody studies differently. Some people like to use textbooks and other reading materials, while others like to turn to technology, such as videos, revision apps, and interactive quizzes.
In this article, we’ll take a look at some tried and tested study techniques that will work for every student regardless of the subject matter or their age. Whether your child has GCSE exams coming up, or an end-of-term KS2 test, these are methods they can use to retain knowledge effectively.
1. Review and Organise Study Materials Before Revision Sessions
Studying should always be structured, especially when it comes to a subject with many topics, such as maths or science. Organising and prioritising study materials will help your child to retain information much more efficiently. For example, studying one topic at a time and then testing knowledge at the end of a session can be highly effective. The BBC Bitesize website is a great resource for this and offers revision and test materials for children in primary school and secondary school.
2. Create a Dedicated Study Area
Having a dedicated, comfortable, and well-lit study area will help your child to focus and to avoid distractions. This space might be a quiet area within an open-plan space, or it could be a room that is already allocated as a study or office. It’s all about creating a space where your child is motivated to study.
3. Beat the ‘Forgetting Curve’
Did you know that most humans forget about half of the information they have just learned within a few days if they don’t return to review the material? This phenomenon is known as the ‘forgetting curve’ and can affect people of all ages. The good news is that it can be overcome by reviewing new information within 24 hours of first learning it. An effective way to do this is by studying bitesize pieces of information that can be easily digested and then reviewed again the next day.
4. Create Mind Maps
Mind maps are a great method of learning and retaining information. Unlike a long sprawling list of notes that can be hard to memorise, mind maps are graphical representations of ideas that help you to see the bigger picture. For example, a mind map of the human heart would include all parts of the heart, what they do, and how they connect to each other. Plus, mind maps are fun to create. Armed with colourful pens and plenty of paper, your child can create beautiful and inspiring mind maps that make revision so much easier.
5. Try the Pomodoro Technique
Have you heard about the Pomodoro technique? It’s a way of performing tasks in short bursts of 25 minutes. The idea is that studying for shorter periods can help your child to stay focused on the task at hand and get better results. Here’s a great Pomodoro timer that you can use online, or you could set your own timer using Alexa or your own stopwatch.
6. Create Your Own Tests
Creating tests is a great way to focus on topics that your child might be struggling with. It might sound counterproductive to write out a list of questions and answers, but self-testing is very effective. It’s all about finding ways to make the information stick. Your child might even like to create tests on their own. These tests may be in the form of flashcards, or could even be created using test generators online. From multiple-choice quizzes to English questions that require long-form answers, there are so many ways to self-test.
How a Tutor Can Help With Study and Revision
If your child needs extra help in any particular study area, you might want to consider working with a private tutor. From drawing up a revision timetable to taking notes efficiently and effectively, a tutor can offer lots of advice and actionable tips that will make studying so much easier. At Tutor Doctor, we offer in-home and online tutoring services that can be tailored to suit the needs of your child. Find your nearest tutor today.