It is that time of the year again and no, I am not talking about Easter break (unfortunately). Exam season is here, and it is undeniably quite different from what it was a year ago. But that doesn’t mean that the material covered is any less. So, grab your textbooks and notes and get ready! Before finding the best revision method for myself I had to try many of them first and I am going to share some of favourites with you. Hopefully, I can make your revision a bit easier!
Method #1: Flashcards
Flashcards are amongst the best ways to revise since they stimulate your memory as you study. First of all, the key is to make the flashcards by yourself, rather than borrowing notes from someone else. I know that when you are drowning in information that you need to learn, the last thing you want to do is re-write everything but believe me when I say that the power of this method lies in this. You just have to summarize your notes, mix them with some pictures to make it easier to memorize and you’ll have the perfect flashcards! The advantage of having flashcards is that it makes revision less stressful because you have all the information gathered in small pieces of paper rather than hundreds of pages in a textbook or slides in Powerpoint. You can also use online applications for making flashcards, such as Quizlet.
Method #2: Spider diagrams
This method works the best for complicated topics that in order to understand them, they need to be broken down into parts. To make a spider map you choose a broad concept and you place it in a circle in the middle of your paper and then you link concepts, processes etc to it, adding the appropriate details to each subtopic. This method allows you to summarize information in a visual way, making it easier to understand and memorize it. To make the best out of spider diagrams try to study a topic and then create a diagram by memory, with your books closed. Once you’ve written everything you can remember you can add the information that you forgot using a different colour, so you can revise it later.
Method #3: Revise and then…revise
Okay, let me explain. Most of us will say something like “I’ll study topics 1,2,3,4 on Monday and then topics 5,6,7,8 on Wednesday” but then we won’t re-read them until the night before the exam when the “I forgot everything” and an existential crisis hits us. It’s okay we have all been there! However, the best way to avoid this kind of situation is to revise as you revise. This means that when you have successfully studied topics 1 and 2 you should not move on to topic 3, but instead try to recite topic 1 and so on. You can also prepare questions for each topic and you can try answer those. It may sound time-consuming but it actually the opposite, believe me!
- Colour coding notes. My method is that I write important information with red, terms with blue and researches and experiments with green. This makes everything more organized and easier to understand
- Make rhymes or mnemonics to remember tricky information
- Study before going to bed. You don’t have to recite everything you have learned that day, just go through your notes quickly.
I hope you found these methods interesting and useful and hopefully they can help you with your future exams. Always remember to take breaks, stay hydrated and active!
Good luck and stay safe!