Revision Strategies Tip Sheet

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1 Revision Strategies Tip Sheet Effective revision involves careful planning and preparation Find out exactly what you need to do: How many exams have you got? How long is each exam? How many questions do you have to answer? What format do the answers take (e.g. essays, multiple-choice questions, how many marks)? Prepare an exam revision timetable: Ideally aim to have two revision timetables One for the whole revision period One for each revision week. Aim to spread your revision of a particular subject/topic over a number of revision slots rather than revise the whole topic in one slot. This will help you to keep the information fresh in your mind. Make it realistic and flexible. It s a good idea to stick it on your wall or put it in a revision folder Set a clear target for each revision slot Try to make the target specific Avoid setting too big a target Day/time Subject Topic Target Achieved Reflection

2 Monday Biology Different types of cells Know the different types of human cells Yes Session went well although need to repeat what I know about blood and immune system cells by using a Mind Map. Example of a weekly revision timetable The last three columns of the above table are as important to effective revision as the first three: The third column helps you to focus on a particular area/theory The fourth column allows you to monitor your progress The final column allow you to reflect on your learning why something worked or didn t work and identify your next course of action The target column should also help you to be active when revising and avoid the possibility of passively reading through notes Try not to revise for long periods there is no rule as to how long a revision slot should be but best practice is to revise for short spells and take regular breaks. An example of a sixty minute revision slot might look like this: Time 20 mins 10 mins 15 mins 10 mins 5 mins Activity Read through notes on Break Write notes on key points/words / Mind Map / Record notes Check notes with original notes Reflect on the revision slot Your study area should be: Calm and Quiet Well ventilated with clean fresh air, so you don't fall asleep Free from distractions: TV, mobile, girl or boyfriend Well lit A good temperature Your study area should have: A large table A good chair Revision aids like different coloured pens, highlighter, post-it's Course information A dictionary and thesaurus A drink or perhaps something to nibble on while you study

3 Make a note of your learning styles and recommended revision methods Use the internet to find out what sort of learner you are. Or come to the Access Centre and they will find out with you. What part of your brain do you use? What sort of learner are you (Visual / Auditory / Kinesthetic)? How do you best learn? Revision techniques: Aim to reduce your notes down to key points/ideas/information If you are a kinesthetic learner, walk and talk your key points Devise your own questions and answer them Get hold of past papers/questions and practice your answers Go to your teacher and ask for them! Play the games section of BBC Bitesize (see below) to reinforce your learning Try Mind Mapping - good for the visual learner These are like advanced spider diagrams, which use pictures, key words and colour, which can increase your chance of learning a subject because they stimulate multiple parts of the brain. A mind map constructed with thought and care will be much more effective than a page of notes or a simple spider diagram. They are easy to construct and be as imaginative as possible when you do one. Go to Try learning key facts by mnemonics This term means 'one thing helps you remember another'. [You say it without the first 'M' 'Nem-onics'.] It's a code which helps you to recall information. Mnemonics should be short, sharp, and effective. You can make up your own - or use those that are well known. They work best when they are the products of your own imagination. Example of a business mnemonic: PIGSS stands for Profit Image Growth Service Survival. Use audio notes - good for the auditory learner Go to Or talk you notes and listen to them on an I-Pod.

4 Other ideas to help you: Use a revision guide Omega 3 fish oil supplements. Studies have shown that taking these supplements can help with concentration, reading, selling and behavior. Start early, the earlier the better Revise don t learn Be organized, make a timetable Revise where you are most comfortable Use techniques that are best for you Advice from other young people: I brainstorm everything I know onto one piece of paper over and over again. Then I go back through my notes to see what I have missed. Whatever I haven t put down is what I don t know, or won t be able to remember in the exam. Then I just learn that. I like to work with other people. I find that if I can explain something to someone else, then I know it and understand it. And if you revise with other people they might teach you something you didn t know or had forgotten about. It s dead handy like. You can even test each other I write down everything I know about the topic I m revising by using all the books, notes and all that sort of stuff. Then, I redo the notes I ve made again and again, reducing them each time until I only have one page of notes to revise from. I like to use mind-maps and diagrams to help me learn. Visual memory is the best! I m also a big fan of saying what I m learning out loud. In fact, the more different ways you can think of that - put

5 the information through your brain, the better. Some favourites include reading, singing and drawing. I make mnemonics. You know, like when you take a letter of each thing you want to learn and make a word or a story from it. Did you know that World Memory Champion Dominic O Brien uses this technique to memorize things? I like to practice before the big event. Getting all the past papers and doing questions from them helps. It isn t just knowledge you have to worry about in exams, its exam technique and style as well. If there aren t any past papers or anything, I make up my own questions. You have to use your imagination sometimes, and there is no point knowing everything and not being able to apply it. Mrs. Sue Webb Deputy Head

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