Revision is one of the most important stages of exam preparation. It often ends up deciding how well you are going to score in an exam. Therefore, choosing the right revision strategy is crucial.
The wrong strategy might make you doubt yourself on the eve of the exam or in the exam despite having studied a lot. This means when it’s finally time for the test, you will feel underconfident and overworked.😞
Revision cards are one of the best revision strategies. These flashcards condense information into small, bite-sized chunks that you can easily process and remember. Using different colours and images with these flashcards helps emphasise important information in a way that allows it to register in the brain. 🧠
You can make your own revision flashcards using revision card templates that you can find online or you can buy blank revision cards and then just fill them up with your information.
What are revision cards?
Revision cards are small, double-sided flashcards that emphasise key information. They usually mention the topic/question on one side and important details, keywords, mnemonics, etc., on the other. This helps the brain make better connections between those two pieces of information.
These cards can be altered in a number of different ways in order to make them unique and memorable. Revision cards can include:
Drawing an image related to the question/keywords can help memorise it better. The human brain is excellent at remembering images and tends to associate with them in a broader manner than simple text.
If used wisely, colours can be a great add-on to revision cards. You can vary the colour and your pen-ink in order to create combinations that stand out. Studies show that most people remember things written in red better than things written in blue. Bright colours like orange and yellow can be used to highlight important phrases.
Now, they don’t work for everyone, but mnemonics can prove to be an excellent learning tool for some. They help condense a lot of information into simple phonetic words, abbreviations, limericks, etc., that are much easier to remember.
How can I use revision cards?
Using flashcards is not about bombarding your brain with information. There is a method to the madness. Using certain techniques can help you streamline your revision process by using flashcards in an efficient, time-effective manner. Here are a few tips to help you use revision cards:
One idea per card
Most people who use revision cards try to fit in too much information on them. A revision card is supposed to be a bite-sized factoid that your brain can digest and remember with ease. You can break down complex topics into several simple thoughts, each of which then gets its own card.
Keep the sentences short
The revision cards don’t even need to have full sentences on them. Using an appropriate amount of keywords to convey an idea makes a flashcard work best. After you are done creating the cards, review the information on them and strike out any details that seem unnecessary.
Mind the size! ✋
As a rule of thumb, revision cards are supposed to be ‘pocket-sized’. Anything bigger than that becomes a hassle to manage. Pocket-sized cards can be flipped through and carried anywhere easily.
Use spaced repetition
Spaced repetition is one of the most successful revision strategies. It involves testing how much you remember at frequent intervals to help reiterate information and recall the information you are learning.
Once you are done testing, you can separate the topics (cards) into three piles:
- Need more practice
- Need a lot of practice
The third pile will contain the topics you are unsure about and will need to be revised and tested the most frequently. Once you are confident about the topics from that pile, you can be moved to the other two. 🔝
Is using revision cards enough?
In most cases, no. While revision cards are a great learning tool for certain topics, others may require more engaging approaches. Subjects like organic chemistry that require you to picture everything in 3D might be better revised with pictures, videos and 3D models.
Other revision techniques like mind maps, quizzes, flowcharts, etc., can also be used to supplement revision cards depending on the topic. The goal should be to find the combination that helps you revise best.
You should prepare for your examinations with enough time to go through a round of revisions. This can help you to retain more information and perform better on exams. Good luck!