1) Organise your study space
Find a space that will maximise your productivity. Ensure the space is adequately lit and ventilated and there is plenty of room to spread out your text books. Ensure distractions are out of sight so you are able to properly focus. If you are a person who needs an organised work space for an organised mind then this is the time to get the work space clutter free. Think about what works for you and take time to get it right.
2) Learning style
Are you a visual, auditory or kinaesthetic learner? Knowing your learning style will help you make the most out of you revision time.
When memorising a lot of material you will need to find a range of methods that suit you. Typical advice is to use associations, diagrams, mind maps, knowledge organisers, narratives, colours and flow charts.
Another great way to remember facts is to teach it. Why not teach what you know to a fellow student. That way you test what each other know and help fill in the gaps. Test yourself by completing past papers or asking a friend to test you! This will identify areas of strength and weakness.
Use a bit of colour! Drawing colourful learning maps will help you to memorise facts.
Remember, what works for you may not work for others. Mix you the techniques if you have to.
3) Understand the key words
As part of your revision, have a go at answering past questions and get to know the keywords used in exam style questions.
Analyse – examine and explain
Argument – develop a line of argument to make an assertion and support it.
Compare – point out both similarities and differences.
Contrast – show how things are different.
Criticize – examine and judge the value of things.
Define – give a short statement about the specific meaning of a term or word.
Describe – write in detail what someone or something is like.
Discuss – debate advantages and disadvantages.
Evaluate – show how well something has been done or how important it is by giving reasons and evidence.
Explain – make something clear or easy to understand by describing or giving information about it and supporting this with reasons.
Explore – to analyse. To talk or think about something in a thoughtful and detailed way.
Illustrate – give clear examples which help to describe, explain or confirm.
Outline – give an overview of the main facts or ideas.
Prove – support with facts, figures, evidence and examples, giving references where applicable.
State – present something in clear, short form.
Summarise – give a brief account of the main points together with a conclusion.
Trace – describe the development of something or the order in which events happened.
4) Short bursts, not long hours
Divide your day up into productive blocks of revision so that you can comfortably allow yourself the time in-between to do what makes you feel good. Research shows that shorter 20-30 minute spells work best, because your concentration is much higher and you are more likely to retain information that you have learnt after taking a break.
5) Stick to it
Revise your revision schedule if necessary and stick to it – even when you don’t feel like it.
Don’t wait until you are in the mood – the further behind you get the less you will be in the mood. Revise hard, but also revise effectively so that you can still have time for the more pleasant things in life.
6) Sleep well
Always ensure you have had adequate sleep- a minimum of 7 hours. Having a goodnights sleep is vital for your cognitive abilities such as memory and problem solving.
Exercise oxygenates the brain and releases tension. It is a way of increasing your productivity when you are revising. Take a short walk or go for a run once a day. It’s a splendid way to clear your head.
8) Drink Water
Your brain is 80% water so needs to be hydrated to work properly.
9) Be Positive
Your attitude has a big impact on the level of study that you get done and the effectiveness of your learning process.
These tips are only some of the things that you can do to make the most out of your revision. You may already have some things that work best for you. Good Luck