Revision is something that requires a significant amount of self discipline, and unfortunately is a very unrewarding process. Listed here are a few techniques that could be used to make your revision a bit different to normal, or help you revise more efficiently.

Firstly by university level you should have some idea of how to revise, after all you have done GCSEs and A-Levels. You will know that revising by reading is a poor technique, and that most revision techniques to be effective need to be active.

  • Talking to yourself or testing yourself in your mind is a good approach to revision.
  • Carry out any past papers or specimen questions your lecturers have given you and submit them for marking. If they haven’t given you any questions make some up.
  • Comparison questions are quite common, especially in science exams, try and work out what a lecturer may examine and prepare brief answers for them.
  • Carry out the background reading in good time, so that you can quickly go back and collect any gems that will help you attain top marks in your exams.
  • Mind maps, flow diagrams are all good methods of revision
  • Practice drawing diagrams, in particular in science exams where drawing diagrams is an excellent way of portraying information quickly.
  • Don’t revise what is easy or gloss over what is hard. If you find something hard persist at it until you understand, ask your lecturer or tutor to help if necessary, or another coursemate.
  • If you can revise tactically for your exam, or have been told that certain things won’t be coming up, then don’t waste your time revising them.
  • Understanding is often better than remembering streams of numbers or lists, ensure you know examples but you don’t need to learn tables of facts to perfection. Exams are often not about recall, more about understanding.
  • Keep yourself hydrated while revising, and ensure a nice supply of chocolate or sweets to keep your energy levels up.
  • Take frequent rests, and take a long time off for lunch and dinner. Don’t revise beyond your usual bed time.
  • Getting someone else to test you is a good way to help you revise, however it is not always everyone’s cup of tea, if you find it is making you more confused then stop, frequently people do have different ways of looking over the same information.
  • Keep your notes organised, spend more time concentrating on what you are finding difficult, but don’t ignore the easy stuff, forgetting easy stuff can lose you easy marks.
  • Look-cover-write-check is a good method for revising.
  • Make sure you leave enough time to revise for something, not everyone can cram an exam in 2 days and past with flying colours, don’t feel pressured by your friends to leave things until last minute because they can.
  • The background reading really does help understanding in most cases, don’t just ignore it, especially in your 2nd or 3rd years.
  • Revision should be a process of summarizing, if your revision notes are longer than your lecture notes, something has gone wrong! Try and summarise lectures into a page or less if you can.

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