An important yet often overlooked part of the preparation for any exam is the revision strategy. Revision helps you gain confidence, and a healthy amount of practice and gives you the opportunity to revisit what you already know. 👍
This is, of course, not true for all revision sessions. Revision strategies can sometimes backfire, leading to increased dread and panic that can even cause test anxiety. Without the right technique, revision can leave you questioning the things you might already know, adversely affecting your performance in the exam.
So what are some revision strategies that can actually help before a major exam? 🤔 Let’s find out.
What are the best methods to revise?
Implement these tried and tested revision strategies before an examination in order to boost performance. However, it should be noted that, like learning, revision can also prove to be incredibly subjective. Experimenting with various techniques is the only way to find the one that works best for you.
Quizzing is an excellent revision strategy for people who identify with a rather robust style of learning. It allows you to assess knowledge of the subject in a fun way, at very short intervals. There are many different types of quizzes such as multiple choice questionnaires, short answer quizzes, hybrids, etc. All of these can be used as part of an effective revision strategy. The right style of quiz depends on your learning style and the type of exam.
Research shows that over 30 per cent of all students find flashcards to be incredibly effective when it comes to eleventh-hour revision. Flashcards serve as great revision tools because they divide important information into small, easily digestible bites. You can also add elements like colours, shapes, numbers, etc., to flashcards in order to make better connections between the text they contain. Doing this allows the brain to learn through pictorial and associative memory instead of just rote learning.
Mind Maps 🧠
You can think of mind maps as a 3D arrangement of flashcards. Apps such as MindMeister, Canva and MindMup can help you create these visually engaging images that help form and remember connections between different topics. You can further add details to these maps, like colours, objects, sounds, etc., to engage all of the senses. Many students find this stimulating way of learning extremely efficient and lucid.
What is the best way to revise for GCSEs?
Apart from the strategies listed above, here are a few things to keep in mind while revising for GCSE tests:
➡️ Start early
GCSEs are important examinations. It is natural to feel pressure and test anxiety as the date of the exam approaches. This can make it difficult to study for long hours, especially in the weeks leading up to the exam.
Test anxiety also often causes students to blank out - a phenomenon where anxiety makes it difficult and sometimes even impossible for candidates to recall what they studied. Starting early with a revision plan gives you a sense of confidence and can help battle exam stress.
➡️ Make a revision time-table 📅
Being organised can help reduce exam anxiety. It allows you to streamline your revision process so that you are able to get through your study material faster and more efficiently. Colour-coded calendars are a great way of keeping track of the different phases of revision.
➡️ Mix it up
Remember to frequently switch subjects/chapters while revising for an exam. It keeps things from becoming monotonous and helps compliment the more boring or difficult subjects with your favourite ones. You can also opt to mix up different revision strategies that simulate hearing, vision and memory. This will help you stay sharp while studying.
➡️ Attempt a few practice papers
Practice papers allow students to get familiar with the format of the assessment. They also help you judge how to time yourself through an exam. Insights gained from attempting practice tests often highlight a few pain points that you didn’t even know existed.
Try to attempt a few of these practice tests with a set timer that gives you 10-15 minutes less than the actual exam would. This is a great way of maintaining a safety buffer in case something goes wrong during the exam.
Revision is an essential part of the preparation for any exam. It helps build confidence and streamline the learning process. Different revision strategies can be implemented depending on the subject material, the exam pattern and personal preferences.
Hopefully, these revision techniques will help you get an edge over the other candidates and prepare you for your exams more efficiently!