Revision. The word that most students dread. However, the importance of revision is twofold. Firstly, it helps you to remember facts, figures, topics and methodologies that you have covered some time ago. Secondly, if done correctly it will help increase your confidence and reduce anxiety – you will be well prepared for your examinations.
Here are some of our top tips to help you revise to give you a better start at college:
1. Start Early – don’t leave revision to the last minute. Starting early allows you the time to learn the material that you need and gives you the time to ask for help on areas you are struggling on. Also, cramming at the last minute can increase stress and anxiety which in turn will have a knock-on effect on your exams. Start revising from the first lesson of year 12. Make clear, concise notes after each lesson in a format that will benefit so that you already have the materials to hand when needed.
2. Work out what type of learner you are – take the time to learn how you best absorb information. Do you like colour coded lists? What about spider diagrams? Do you like to copy and repeat work until it becomes second nature? You could even learn best by hearing it? Each student is different and what will work for you may be different to your friends. Test all the methods out and find your optimum approach, it could even be that you work best while using all techniques. In a similar vein, you also learn best at different times. Utilise your time productively to enable maximum learning.
3. Create the optimum learning environment – If the current pandemic has taught us anything, it is that people work well in different places. Some people need a quiet place with no noise, others need music. Some need a comfortable space to work, while others prefer a clean space. Whilst working from home I have worked better when I have been outside, being able to enjoy the sun. It has meant I am productive for a longer period. My husband, however, has preferred to stay in an office all day with no distractions. When you create a space, you want to stay it, it will make you more effective.
4. Be strict – revision will always become a chore if there is no end in sight or you feel like there are too many distractions. You must be strict with yourself. Try to eliminate all distractions around you. This includes the internet, your phone, even peers. If need be, download productivity apps to help you monitor your time. Make sure you have all the things you need to hand before you get started to help avoid any procrastination.
5. Practice makes perfect – make sure your revision isn’t going to waste by completing past papers. Ask teachers for past papers to help you see where your weak areas are to help you focus on where you are losing marks. It also helps to understand what the examiner looks for as it can help you pick up more marks on the day. Remember, you are not going to get full marks on your first couple of attempts, so don’t be disheartened. Keep up the hard work and it will start to show in your marks.
The Learning Mentor team are available to support you with revision skills. Please come see us if you want to make an appointment for support.
Tessa Lawson – Learning Mentor