The worst bit about revising can be sitting at the same desk, at the same paper of notes for weeks on end. It’s no wonder really that we find any excuse to avoid it, my flatmate once even cleaned the fridge (!) just so she could put off doing any revision for that extra half an hour…
It’s really important to make your revision as exciting as possible by using a range of techniques and methods that will not only make it more bearable but perhaps even, dare I say it, enjoyable!
Firstly, you need to work out what kind of learning suits you best. Everyone learns differently, so whilst your friends might work best by visual learning you may feel listening to lecturers or audio works better for you. Here are a few revision ideas for visual, audio and kinaesthetic learning:
- Rearrange your notes using columns, graphs, tables and grids to organise the information
- Stick up cue cards with short facts or dates in your mirrors, bathroom or fridge – basically anywhere you find yourself walking past or looking in/at
- Colour code your notes
- Talk to yourself! Read over your notes out loud over and over again to help it sink in, but just remember to reassure your flatmates you aren’t going crazy!
- Regularly organise study sessions with your friends where you can discuss any topics or areas you aren’t so certain of
Known as “doers” who learn better by demonstrating their work rather than reading or writing.
- Flashcards are great as you can memorise the information on them whilst moving and swapping them around
- Try role playing with your flatmates who are willing to give you a hand with your revision. For example, for my course, Food and Nutrition, pretending to give somebody dietary advice for a certain condition/disease would help me revise
Top Revision Tips and Techniques:
- Get yourself kitted out with some revision gear such as sticky notes, big sheets of A3 paper, stapler, folders and a good set of highlighters or coloured pens. This way you can easily make your revision more interesting with colours and get your work organised, remember - a tidy desk is a tidy mind!
- Create a distraction proof environment. Some are more easily distracted than others, however it’s important to revise in a suitable area so that you can fully concentrate and take in everything you’re revising. If you constantly find yourself being distracted by your flatmates, either lock your door to stop them coming in for a few hours or ask one of them to make sure you stay in your room if you really can’t help yourself! Turn off your TV but maybe put some relaxing music on that will help you chill out whilst you revise. If you prefer the library, try and sit facing a wall or study in the silent area so you don’t get distracted by people watching – just because you “went to the library” for a few hours that does not necessarily mean you’ve done lots of work!
- Test yourself! According to some surveys testing your knowledge is one of the most effective ways of revising as you can identify which areas are your weakest and need more attention. Create a few question and answer cards you can give to your flatmates to test you on once you’ve finished all your note taking and revision as it will act as a summary once you’ve finished a certain module or topic.
- Revision Intervals. Try revising for short nuggets of time as according to some studies it is more effective than slogging it out for a good six hours. For example, try revising for one hour then giving yourself a 15-30 minute break, then dive back in for another hour or so.
- Group Work. Sharing and discussing your ideas with other members of your course is great for improving your knowledge on certain areas that you aren’t so confident that your friends are, and if you are teaching someone a concept or idea you can count that as revision too. Plus it’s a more sociable and enjoyable way to revise – but make sure you don’t get distracted by the latest gossip because before you know it a whole hour has gone without even opening your textbooks.
To get you through the hours of revision which lie ahead of you - take a look at my recent blog on snacking