Phases of revision
There are four phases of effective revision.
- Read a topic.
- Summarise what you have read, from memory. Don't just list information, organise it in different ways:
- mind maps
- flash cards
- wall charts
- audio tapes
- word associations and acronyms
- Check the accuracy of your summary against the original notes.
- Identify important points that you did not remember and add them to the summary. Unless you spend time memorising these points, you are likely to forget them again in the exam.
Re-reading and self-testing
Re-read and test yourself on the material. This might happen later in the same day, the next day, or up to 3 days later. Don't leave this phase any longer than three days or you will lose some of what you have gained.
- Re-read the summary.
- Use different strategies to test your knowledge of the information.
- list it
- draw and label a diagram of it
- write a paragraph about it
- say it aloud
- recall associations and links
- recall acronyms and other memory aids
By changing the activity, you are keeping your memory active. Once again, mark the sections that you did not recall.
Monitoring your recall
Read through your summary again.
- Focus on sections marked.
- Modify your learning strategy for material that is still difficult to recall.
- Re-read the study notes.
- Re-test yourself
It is difficult to learn from reading only. Practise answering questions of the type in the exam. Practise under the conditions you will face in the exam (try and match the physical conditions, equipment, and timing as closely as possible ). Practise answering old exams.
Remember to practise questions where you have to use two sets of information you have learnt separately, as exams questions often ask you to draw parallels between different areas.
- Write, type, or speak an answer
- Time yourself. How much time will you have in the exam?
- Mark it yourself, using your summary and notes.
- What points did you miss out?
- What parts did you get stuck on?
- Check your fluency.
- Re-read the points you could not remember.
- Practise questions using two sets of information you have learnt separately, as exam questions often ask you to draw parallels between different areas.