Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Revision Techniques


First of all I just want to say a massive THANK YOU to everyone who voted for me as March's blogger of the month!! When I found out, it made my day. So thanks again!

Also, I'm sorry this post is a bit later than I originally intended. Revision seems to be taking over my life!

Continuing my little series on revision, today I want to talk about revision techniques. For a lot of people (myself included), it can be really boring when you feel like you're constantly doing the same thing, and when all your revision looks the same as well! Does not make it fun when you come to go over it again!
So I thought I'd share what I like to do, and ways in which I try and test myself and how I (attempt) to make it more interesting - because let's face it, revision is not the most fun activity!

Mind Maps
This is potentially my favourite technique and I think I might have a slight fixation with them! Sometimes they're really detailed and other times brief but I feel like its just a really quick and simple way to revise, along with summing up a lot of information in a good way.

As you can probably tell, I like my revision to look pretty. In my opinion, if it looks nice, then I'll want to keep reading it (hence the excessive use of felt tip pens!). So far this has worked for me, so fingers crossed this continues this year!

Past Papers/Practice Questions/Model Answers
I would say this is probably the most useful technique of them all because nothing can prepare you more for the exam than practising the questions you'll face in the exam. My history resit teacher gave us a booklet containing all the questions that have been on the exam since the syllabus began. This has been really useful because I can then do practise answers whenever I want and I have plenty to choose from as well!
Relating to this, something else which can be really useful (especially for essay-based subjects) is looking at model answers and making notes from them. I find it especially useful to read the answer with the mark scheme, because it helps me to have a clearer understanding of what the examiner is looking for.

Cue Cards
I find these so so useful, for almost everything from Lit quotes to English Language grammar terms, you can cram it full of information or just a few words and its a really convenient way to revise. Once you've made them, they are really easy to carry around so you can revise on the move or bring them to college to revise in your free periods or whenever!
I always revise so much better when I make it more fun for myself, otherwise it can easily get really repetitive! For my GCSE RE exam something I had to know was a lot of key words. So to make revising these more fun, I wrote the key words and definitions on slips of paper then jumbled them up and tried to make pairs. I found this technique really useful and it is a great way to remember things like key words and definitions etc.

Post-it Notes
I think I actually have a slight obsession with these to be honest! These are especially good for small bits of information you have to remember such as theories or quotes. I find these are also really good for "unconscious" revision because you can put them all over the house (or your bedroom if your family aren't too keen on you redecorating the house with revision notes!) and you'll end up reading them all the time. So the information is likely to be absorbed by your brain without having to work too hard!

Summarise Your Notes
Making notes from your notes can be one of the most useful ways to revise. I have always been told that you should "compress" you notes - everytime you rewrite them, summarise the information more briefly. This technique is also helpful if you're stuck for resources such as post it notes or cue cards.

With Someone Else...
Obviously this isn't always going to be the most effective method of revision, but sometimes revising with someone else can really help you. After all, you remember 95% of what you teach someone else! This can be really good especially if you and a friend do the same subject. For example, my friend Hannah and I both study Modern History. When it came round to revision time last year, we would often go for a coffee together in town and would help each other revise the sections the other was struggling with. This was especially useful when one of those topics came up on the exam! It also makes it more interesting to revise with a friend, because you have someone to keep you company. Revision can often be quite lonely when you're stuck in your room for hours on end!

Test Yourself
(Or get someone else to!) This really is one of the best ways to revise, because it helps you to discover what you know and what you need to revise further. You could try and write a timeline for History without using your notes, or you could ask someone at home to ask you a few questions from your notes. This is also a good way to make your revision more sociable, because you can have someone there to ask you the questions.

So that's all for now, I think that next time I'll write something non-revision related - after all, we have enough of that at the moment! 

If you'd like to vote for me as UCAS blogger of the month, I'd be really grateful. You can do that here! Thanks!

Anna x

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