Sitting exams can be a nerve-wracking experience, to help reduce nerves on the day you need to give yourself the best chance possible of acing your exams by preparing and revising for your exams well in advance.
Revision can be a lot of hard work, so in order to succeed you will need to be motivated, focussed and disciplined.
There are many different revision techniques out there, so no matter what your revision style is there will be a technique suitable for you. Read about these 5 revision techniques and mix and match the ones that you think will work best for you.
Mass learning (cramming)
One of the biggest mistakes that students make when trying to revise for exams is trying to cram large amounts of information in all at once. If you try to learn everything in one huge block then the chances are that it’s not all going to stick. You may also end up feeling overconfident about how much you’ve learned, only to find that you’ve forgotten it all when it comes to your exam.
Spaced learning has been proven to be a much more effective revision method as information is learnt in small bursts, making it easier to digest and remember. Revise each topic as soon as you start learning it over a period of months if possible. Test yourself on every topic that you learn as you go along.
It’s often difficult to remember facts that we find boring or uninteresting, but if you want to pass your exams this is exactly what you’ll need to do! We generally remember things that we find interesting, funny or unique, so it can help to turn those boring facts into something amusing and/or memorable.
There are a number of ways in which you could make a boring fact memorable, these include using images, rhymes, words or songs. Each of these different memory devices is call a mnemonic.
Here are a few examples of mnemonics:
Sit mock exams
Sitting mock exams is an invaluable way of revising. Not only does it give you practice recalling the facts and figures that you’ll need for your exam, it also gives you practice structuring your answers and managing your time just like you will have to do in the real exam. Although you’re unlikely to get any of the exact same questions in your real exam there are usually topics that come up time and time again so it is a great way to get experience for the real thing.
The Pomodoro technique was invented by a philosophy student in the 80s. This technique structures your revision sessions by breaking them down into strict timed intervals that are broken up by 5 minute breaks. The Pomodoro technique helps students to manage their revision time efficiently and implement frequent breaks in order to improve the quality of the revision done.
There are 5 steps to the Pomodoro technique, these are:
Decide on which task is to be completed
- Set the timer to about 25 minutes
- Revise solidly until the timer rings
- Take a 5 minute break
- Resume work
Once this process has been completed four times it is advised to take a longer break of 15 – 30 minutes before resuming again.
The Pomodoro technique is actually name after one of these:
Pomodoro is the Italian word for tomato, and it was a tomato shaped timer that was being used by the student whom invented the technique.