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Best ways to remember your revision notes?

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    I know you can't just impulsively remember all your notes after you've wrote them down once or twice. But I'm struggling to remember everything I'm revising for biology atm. I've been working for around four hours per night, and saturday mornings, 9-12, afternoons 1-5 and most of saturday nights, including sunday's for about a month for my chem, bio, physics and maths exams. Also, I've spent a bit of that time on RE revision and I've yet to start English Literature. I still can't recall everything I need to know when I come to doing exam papers in prep for my Biology exam..GCSE which is in ten days. I'm not scientifically minded, Whatsoever, in fact I'm likely the worst in my science class and I would love all this revision to pay off perhaps with an A-A* grade in this paper. My confidence has increased a good bit and I believe a high mark IS possible since I'm determined. I've also got loads of great past paper qu's and a CGP revision guide, which is a wonderful help. Could anyone tell me if there are any good strategies for being able to learn and remember revision notes and recall the info in exam papers? I would be really grateful, thank you all so much.
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    For me personally, it's to keep writing the same thing out till I just know it. So if you have three definitions or things to memorise, this is what I do.

    Write out definition 1. Repeat until you can do it by memory.
    Write out definition 2. Repeat until you can do it by memory.
    Go back and see if you can now recall definition 1.
    Write out definition 3. Repeat until you can do it by memory.
    Go back and see if you can recall definition 1 and definition 2.

    Obviously extend this to however many things you need to learn/memorise. Some things you will just find easier to understand than memorise and then if you understand well enough, you'll be able to the questions in the exam regardless of memory skills but other things you will need memory like set definitions/rules. For these, I suggest to use that process and it does sound long-winded but I find it helps with not just remembering things in that moment. It sort of trains your brain to remember stuff you learnt previously after learning something else so you don't end up just remembering the most recent thing. So for long term revision, choose a topic to spend say half hour of doing this. Then, the next night do this for another topic. And the night after, see if you can remember everything from the first topic. (again, it's doing the same thing but you're extending it for whole topics).
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    If you think you're not scientifically minded, simplify things to flow charts etc. to help you remember it in a way that you understand and in the exam, you'll be able to visualise diagrams. I found making little flash cards with condensed info was the best way to learn for GCSE as the little cards are more digestible, plus I can look over them and even ask people to test me. I would also strongly recommend downloading the specification (for sciences) My friend and I went through it a couple of hours before the exam just asking each other and I remember there was a question that came up, straight from the spec. They can't ask you anything that's not on there.

    For English literature make sure you know your book inside out- it helped that I had Lord of the Flies which I loved Use sparknotes to go over the main themes which I think is what they mainly ask about? I remember I chose the question about the real hero in the book. I also think this helped me much more than my teacher ever did: http://www.youtube.com/user/helpmemrdavies?ob=0
    he is amazing and thanks to him I surprised everyone on results day with an A*

    It's good to see you're determined, keep it up- past papers are the key. I'm sure you'll surprise yourself with how much you actually know!
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    I write everything out once, then read a bit, repeat it to myself, then write it again.
    Then I'll see how much I can write without my notes.
    Then I voice record myself reading through my notes and play them to myself pretty much all day. Will scribble down as much as I can remember at random intervals during the day, and check my proper notes every so often. It all goes in eventually!

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Updated: May 5, 2012
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