Revision tips and techniques

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letsdothetimewarpagain
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To reduce sticky clutter we've decided to combine the original stickies into one and make a new one for you to post your favorite tips and ask questions about revising.

Two key posts from the original stickies:

Positive Mindset vs Exam panic

Courtesy of Tufts.

Psychologists say that it is human nature to be negative - a sort of survival mechanism. But a mind steeped in negativity, such as mine, will only worsen one's survival chances.

I think we should all develop a more positive mindset to exams if we have not done so already. Here’s some mind-changing suggestions that I have found inspirational.

Picture yourself getting a big fat A and visualize this over and over in vivid detail. If you maintain a positive, 'I can do it' attitude building up to your exams, your stress will be transformed into positive energy that can be harnessed to enhance your performance.

View the exam as a time-bound project of 90 days. Look forward to the fun and challenge in store on completion

It’s only an exam! You’re not going to die. Your family will not get kidnapped and tortured if you fail. And there’s always the resit!

An exam is simply an opportunity to show what you know.

Exams are designed to HELP you, and provide the lecturers with feedback so they can help you further.

Think of an exam as a game - against the examiner - which could be won or lost.

You will be just the same person before and after the exam. Exams don’t measure anything really important about you.

You have had a number of successes already and have actually passed many exams - hold on to that. Focus on the positive aspects of the past rather than the negative ones, as this will spur you on to yet more successes.


Thought-stopping technique
When we become anxious we begin to have negative thoughts ('I can't answer anything', 'I'm going to panic' etc). If this is happening, halt the spiralling thoughts by mentally shouting 'STOP!'. Or picture a road STOP sign, or traffic lights on red. Once you have literally stopped the thoughts, you can continue planning, or practise a relaxation technique.

Use a mantra
Derived from meditation, a mantra is a word or phrase which you repeat to yourself. Saying something like 'calm' or 'relax' under your breath or in your head, over and over again, can help defuse anxiety.

Focusing
Looking out of the window, noticing the number of people with red hair, counting the number of desks in each row... all help to distract your attention from anxious thoughts and keep your mind busy. Mental games such as making words out of another word or title, using alphabetical lists etc are all good forms of distraction.

Bridging objects
It can help to carry or wear something with positive associations with another person or place. Touching this bridging object can be comforting in its own right, then allow yourself a few minutes to think about the person or situation which makes you feel good. This can have a really calming effect.

Self-talk
In exam anxiety or panic we often give ourselves negative messages, 'I can't do this' 'I'm going to fail' 'I'm useless'. Try to consciously replace these with positive, encouraging thoughts: 'This is just anxiety, it can't harm me', 'Relax, concentrate, it's going to be OK', 'I'm getting there, nearly over'.


How to revise effectively

Courtesy of Lord Hysteria.

How to Revise Effectively?


This may be a little late for some people, but I was inspired to make this having seen so many people worried, depressed and generally down over exams, so here is a guide I use:

My Method
Step 1: Understand
  • Study the topic to be learnt slowly
  • Make sure you understand the key points and concepts
  • Mark up the text if necessary – underline, highlight etc
  • Re-read each paragraph slowly


GO TO STEP 2

Step 2: Summarise
  • Now make your revision note summary
  • What is the main idea, theme, concept?
  • What are the main points? How does the logic develop?
  • Use bullet points, minds maps, patterned notes
  • Link ideas using mnemonics, mind maps, crazy stories
  • Note the title and date of the revision notes
    (E.g. Mathematics, Trigonometry, 3rd March)
  • Organise the notes carefully and keep them in a file


This is now in your short term memory. You will forget 80% of it, if you don’t
go to step 3. GO TO STEP 3, but first take a break.


Step 3: Memorise

  • Take 25 minutes learning ‘bites’ with 5 min breaks
  • After each 5 min break test your self
  • Cover the original notes summary
  • Write down the main points
  • Speak it loud
  • Tell someone else
  • Repeat many times


The material is now in your long term memory. You will forget 40% of it, if
you don’t go to step 4. GO TO STEP 4.


Step 4: Track/Review

  • Create a revision diary (one A4 page per day)
  • Make a revision plan for each topic
  • E.g. 1 day later, I week later, 1 month later.
  • Record this in your revision diary

Mathematics, Trigonometry, 3rd March – 25 minutes
Mathematics, Trigonometry, 10rd March – 15 minutes
Mathematics, Trigonometry, 3rd April – 15 minutes
... and then at monthly intervals



Bits and BobsWhere should I revise?

Find somewhere quiet and comfy with a good light. It is important that it is quiet as it is the best way to concentrate (so turn pause that Michael Bublé song!) after all you sit exams in silence. A library would be ideal, otherwise ask your friends and family to have some consideration.

Make a revision timetable ... :afraid:

.... yes and try to stick to it .… and this requires will power and I always feel guilty when I have to add x to tomorrow’s to-do-list.
Make sure the timeable has all the subjects ... quite obvious so no excuses!
Mix your strong and weak subjects so you don’t do all of your difficult subjects on the same day.

Distractions

TV, computer games, PSP, Wii, TSR Chat – ask yourself this: “would you rather redo a module for the sake of MSN chatting, watching that movie when you have tonnes or going out with mates when you don’t have time for it”

Practise Past Papers

Practise makes perfect and it’s true - this is essential.
Do as many as possible and use the mark scheme to make comparisons to understand what examiners are looking for.

If you start your revision early, plan your revision carefully and follow your plan with those past papers, your chances of success are greatly enhanced.

Good luck to all sitting exams now and in future! :star:



Some of the top tips from the other threads:

My best advice is to make a plan for every week, so you maximise your time and can decide exactly how much you do and on what you want to focus on. It feels all good inside when you complete a 5 hour stint! Also take regular breaks. It's no good sitting at a desk for ages getting stressier and stressier and not taking anything in. (Rose64)

A good tip for languages discursive essays is to write pros and cons charts for issues like university funding, gap years, recycling, divorce, etc etc and any other topics you have studied. If you then get an essay on this in the exam you've already done the plan!! For studying eng lit texts I always make a main points sheet/booklet where i write down everything i can on each charater and theme (including quotes) this way you can just rewrite the para in ure exam if something relevant comes up. (fooish*87)

Good notes are the key to effective revision. Everytime you cover something new, write it down clearly and legibly, make sure you understand it - and then file it. When it comes to revising it's as simple as going over all of your concise, well-written notes, for let's say - 1 hour. Do this again for 15 minutes before bed, followed by at least 8 hours sleep. (raven)

I'm just in the middle of creating CDs for Social/Cognitive/Cognitive Development Psychology, and one for my A2 Sociology unit. I'm putting all of my information on there so I can play it back and listen to it. And, if you're like me and like the sound of your own voice (:P) it's good :P.

Once you have revised something, ALWAYS give yourself a mini quiz to refresh your brain. Do this at the end of the revision session, then at the end of the day, and then at the beginning of the next day. This will push it into your long term memory. (Brimstone)

For subjects like maths, all you can really do is question after question after question. During my revision for C2 I found the tough logarithm questions quite hard at first so I just did log question after log question after log question from the C2 book. By the end, I was an expert at C2 logarithm questions! By repeating so many questions you end up with a sixth sense for what the next thing to do in a tricky question is. (Gamaya)

Personally for the subjects that require memorised knowledge I have mnemonics for everything. I highly recommend them. For instance today I needed to remember what a ketone is, so I thought ketone sounds a lot like keystone, and the keystone is always in the middle of a bridge, and a ketone has a double bonded oxygen in the middle. It's great because unlike computers the more you put into a brain the easier it is to remember. Mnemonics only really work if you make them up yourself though. (steelmole)

Post it notes with key facts on them posted around your bath, opposite your loo, on your sink and on the cupboard where you keep your coffee or biscuits. Different coloured post it notes for different subjects. Only works if you keep the amount low. (castafoire)

I always find it really helpful to do one past paper before I've done any revision, then when I go back to looking at it the night before my exam, I realise how much more I know now. That always makes me feel better about myself and my chances. (Phalanges)

Find out what kind of learner you are. i.e Visual, auditory, or emotional. If you learn best by remembering things you see, make your notes look all pretty and bright so they'll stick in your mind. Or, if you learn best by hearing stuff, record yourself talking about a subject. (rose64)

Post your own tips or ask for advice on your revision
12
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member234278
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#2
(Original post by letsdothetimewarpagain)
-

To reduce sticky clutter we've decided to combine the original stickies into one and make a new one for you to post your favorite tips and ask questions about revising.

Two key posts from the original stickies:

Positive Mindset vs Exam panic

Courtesy of Tufts.

Psychologists say that it is human nature to be negative - a sort of survival mechanism. But a mind steeped in negativity, such as mine, will only worsen one's survival chances.

I think we should all develop a more positive mindset to exams if we have not done so already. Here’s some mind-changing suggestions that I have found inspirational.

Picture yourself getting a big fat A and visualize this over and over in vivid detail. If you maintain a positive, 'I can do it' attitude building up to your exams, your stress will be transformed into positive energy that can be harnessed to enhance your performance.

View the exam as a time-bound project of 90 days. Look forward to the fun and challenge in store on completion

It’s only an exam! You’re not going to die. Your family will not get kidnapped and tortured if you fail. And there’s always the resit!

An exam is simply an opportunity to show what you know.

Exams are designed to HELP you, and provide the lecturers with feedback so they can help you further.

Think of an exam as a game - against the examiner - which could be won or lost.

You will be just the same person before and after the exam. Exams don’t measure anything really important about you.

You have had a number of successes already and have actually passed many exams - hold on to that. Focus on the positive aspects of the past rather than the negative ones, as this will spur you on to yet more successes.


Thought-stopping technique
When we become anxious we begin to have negative thoughts ('I can't answer anything', 'I'm going to panic' etc). If this is happening, halt the spiralling thoughts by mentally shouting 'STOP!'. Or picture a road STOP sign, or traffic lights on red. Once you have literally stopped the thoughts, you can continue planning, or practise a relaxation technique.

Use a mantra
Derived from meditation, a mantra is a word or phrase which you repeat to yourself. Saying something like 'calm' or 'relax' under your breath or in your head, over and over again, can help defuse anxiety.

Focusing
Looking out of the window, noticing the number of people with red hair, counting the number of desks in each row... all help to distract your attention from anxious thoughts and keep your mind busy. Mental games such as making words out of another word or title, using alphabetical lists etc are all good forms of distraction.

Bridging objects
It can help to carry or wear something with positive associations with another person or place. Touching this bridging object can be comforting in its own right, then allow yourself a few minutes to think about the person or situation which makes you feel good. This can have a really calming effect.

Self-talk
In exam anxiety or panic we often give ourselves negative messages, 'I can't do this' 'I'm going to fail' 'I'm useless'. Try to consciously replace these with positive, encouraging thoughts: 'This is just anxiety, it can't harm me', 'Relax, concentrate, it's going to be OK', 'I'm getting there, nearly over'.


How to revise effectively

Courtesy of Lord Hysteria.

How to Revise Effectively?


This may be a little late for some people, but I was inspired to make this having seen so many people worried, depressed and generally down over exams, so here is a guide I use:

My Method
Step 1: Understand
  • Study the topic to be learnt slowly
  • Make sure you understand the key points and concepts
  • Mark up the text if necessary – underline, highlight etc
  • Re-read each paragraph slowly


GO TO STEP 2

Step 2: Summarise
  • Now make your revision note summary
  • What is the main idea, theme, concept?
  • What are the main points? How does the logic develop?
  • Use bullet points, minds maps, patterned notes
  • Link ideas using mnemonics, mind maps, crazy stories
  • Note the title and date of the revision notes
    (E.g. Mathematics, Trigonometry, 3rd March)
  • Organise the notes carefully and keep them in a file


This is now in your short term memory. You will forget 80% of it, if you don’t
go to step 3. GO TO STEP 3, but first take a break.


Step 3: Memorise

  • Take 25 minutes learning ‘bites’ with 5 min breaks
  • After each 5 min break test your self
  • Cover the original notes summary
  • Write down the main points
  • Speak it loud
  • Tell someone else
  • Repeat many times


The material is now in your long term memory. You will forget 40% of it, if
you don’t go to step 4. GO TO STEP 4.


Step 4: Track/Review

  • Create a revision diary (one A4 page per day)
  • Make a revision plan for each topic
  • E.g. 1 day later, I week later, 1 month later.
  • Record this in your revision diary

Mathematics, Trigonometry, 3rd March – 25 minutes
Mathematics, Trigonometry, 10rd March – 15 minutes
Mathematics, Trigonometry, 3rd April – 15 minutes
... and then at monthly intervals



Bits and BobsWhere should I revise?

Find somewhere quiet and comfy with a good light. It is important that it is quiet as it is the best way to concentrate (so turn pause that Michael Bublé song!) after all you sit exams in silence. A library would be ideal, otherwise ask your friends and family to have some consideration.

Make a revision timetable ... :afraid:

.... yes and try to stick to it .… and this requires will power and I always feel guilty when I have to add x to tomorrow’s to-do-list.
Make sure the timeable has all the subjects ... quite obvious so no excuses!
Mix your strong and weak subjects so you don’t do all of your difficult subjects on the same day.

Distractions

TV, computer games, PSP, Wii, TSR Chat – ask yourself this: “would you rather redo a module for the sake of MSN chatting, watching that movie when you have tonnes or going out with mates when you don’t have time for it”

Practise Past Papers

Practise makes perfect and it’s true - this is essential.
Do as many as possible and use the mark scheme to make comparisons to understand what examiners are looking for.

If you start your revision early, plan your revision carefully and follow your plan with those past papers, your chances of success are greatly enhanced.

Good luck to all sitting exams now and in future! :star:



Some of the top tips from the other threads:

My best advice is to make a plan for every week, so you maximise your time and can decide exactly how much you do and on what you want to focus on. It feels all good inside when you complete a 5 hour stint! Also take regular breaks. It's no good sitting at a desk for ages getting stressier and stressier and not taking anything in. (Rose64)

A good tip for languages discursive essays is to write pros and cons charts for issues like university funding, gap years, recycling, divorce, etc etc and any other topics you have studied. If you then get an essay on this in the exam you've already done the plan!! For studying eng lit texts I always make a main points sheet/booklet where i write down everything i can on each charater and theme (including quotes) this way you can just rewrite the para in ure exam if something relevant comes up. (fooish*87)

Good notes are the key to effective revision. Everytime you cover something new, write it down clearly and legibly, make sure you understand it - and then file it. When it comes to revising it's as simple as going over all of your concise, well-written notes, for let's say - 1 hour. Do this again for 15 minutes before bed, followed by at least 8 hours sleep. (raven)

I'm just in the middle of creating CDs for Social/Cognitive/Cognitive Development Psychology, and one for my A2 Sociology unit. I'm putting all of my information on there so I can play it back and listen to it. And, if you're like me and like the sound of your own voice (:P) it's good :P.

Once you have revised something, ALWAYS give yourself a mini quiz to refresh your brain. Do this at the end of the revision session, then at the end of the day, and then at the beginning of the next day. This will push it into your long term memory. (Brimstone)

For subjects like maths, all you can really do is question after question after question. During my revision for C2 I found the tough logarithm questions quite hard at first so I just did log question after log question after log question from the C2 book. By the end, I was an expert at C2 logarithm questions! By repeating so many questions you end up with a sixth sense for what the next thing to do in a tricky question is. (Gamaya)

Personally for the subjects that require memorised knowledge I have mnemonics for everything. I highly recommend them. For instance today I needed to remember what a ketone is, so I thought ketone sounds a lot like keystone, and the keystone is always in the middle of a bridge, and a ketone has a double bonded oxygen in the middle. It's great because unlike computers the more you put into a brain the easier it is to remember. Mnemonics only really work if you make them up yourself though. (steelmole)

Post it notes with key facts on them posted around your bath, opposite your loo, on your sink and on the cupboard where you keep your coffee or biscuits. Different coloured post it notes for different subjects. Only works if you keep the amount low. (castafoire)

I always find it really helpful to do one past paper before I've done any revision, then when I go back to looking at it the night before my exam, I realise how much more I know now. That always makes me feel better about myself and my chances. (Phalanges)

Find out what kind of learner you are. i.e Visual, auditory, or emotional. If you learn best by remembering things you see, make your notes look all pretty and bright so they'll stick in your mind. Or, if you learn best by hearing stuff, record yourself talking about a subject. (rose64)

Post your own tips or ask for advice on your revision
thanks you are great, dunno where you get all the time to do this though!!
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Dr.Black Knight
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thanks for all this
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Sparkly-Star
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I'll post some of my revision tips once I have time.
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Undiscovery
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Quite a lot of that is fairly simplistic and obvious advice aimed at fifteen year olds ... I think you have to be disciplined and in control of yourself when it comes to revision.
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ahlem
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the problem that i have and i hope to get some advices is that every time i start revising i get tired and sleepy and i can't finish my revision!!!!!
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skotch
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Thank you thank you thank youuuuu!
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Snapshot13
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Iv taken many "revision quizes" to see what type of learning i am and every single one of them says that i learn from all of the ways. >.< Why cant by brain be desisive and just pick a style of learning?
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toofaforu
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i'd advise you to just go 100% note taking, don't mess about with mind maps and stuff. spider diagrams are pretty much only useful for planning essays.
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Sir_Vile_Minds
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I've only just made a timetable for this week and I've already done so much more work than I have without a timetable.

Also, stick on some soothing music. I like the sounds of Chicane when studying. So soothing and peaceful.
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dansheriff
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Very useful, although I would very much recommend using flashcards! They work fabulously!
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hissyfit
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http://www.ucc.vt.edu/

Great site with lots of info I like the SQ3R thingy
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hissyfit
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there was also this post
http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show...s#post25675979
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samanthaaaa
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http://getrevising.co.uk/timetable/intro

This website could be very useful for creating a revision timetable to suit you (provided that you know your exam timetable) and for creating revision cards and notes.
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hissyfit
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(Original post by samanthaaaa)
http://getrevising.co.uk/timetable/intro

This website could be very useful for creating a revision timetable to suit you (provided that you know your exam timetable) and for creating revision cards and notes.
Thanks!
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whizz-kid
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dont over cook ure brain take revision at an ease
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helenporter
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Use flash cards! And if you want to use online flashcards, check out the site in my sig - it's an exam revision site where you can play games with flash cards to help memorise facts.
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hissyfit
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(Original post by helenporter)
Use flash cards! And if you want to use online flashcards, check out the site in my sig - it's an exam revision site where you can play games with flash cards to help memorise facts.
looks good,only probem is I cant create an account/make flashcard as I don t have a Facebook,google.... acount.
Thanks for sharing it with others though
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helenporter
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Thanks so much for the feedback hissyfit - really appreciate you taking the time to look! We're hoping to add other login options over time...
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hissyfit
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I ve registered,you can find my resources here :http://getrevising.co.uk/members/marion7
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