Good ways to revise?

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SJbgs123
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Hey guys

For the past few weeks I've been struggling really hard to revise! I'm in year 10 and currently practicing for end of term exams and like said before...CANT REVISE!!

At the moment I'm revising off bbc bitesize and my text book and the way I'm revising is copying what's on the site/book word for word into a notebook then reviewing what a I wrote after every page.

Is this a good way to revise, would you guys be able to suggest better ways ?

Thanks


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aLittleBookWorm
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Copying things word for word is rarely a good way of revising I'm afraid - it works for some people, but there are methods which will get things to stick much better! I'll describe a few:

1. Mind-mapping
For me, mindmapping only works for some topics - it really helped me with Physics when I was trying to break the topics up into manageable chunks, and it was pretty good for English Lit when I needed to link quotes with themes and characters, but it would be totally useless for, say, learning a language.

2. Bullet points
I made bullet points for everything in the summer. If you're not crazy on mindmaps, bullet point lists where you summarise the most important information on a topic can be really useful. One of the most important things is making sure you reword things in a way that makes sense to you - it's easier to learn things written in your own words than in someone else's!

3. Summary pages
Making summary sheets helped me survive history! You take one topic at a time, e.g. the long term causes of the Wall Street Crash, and you try and summarise all your information about it on one page with pictures, bulletpoints or whatever floats your boat - that way, you make sure you're writing only the most important points, and it's nicer to revise from than a block of text in a textbook.

4. Revision cards
These work SO WELL for getting vocabulary into your head. I used them for Latin because I had two huge booklets of words to learn, and I honestly don't think I would have remembered half so much as I did in the exam if I'd just tried to memorise the booklet. If you find equations or definitions difficult to learn then using cards can also be really useful.

The bonus with cards that I found is that you can alternate between translating into English or into the language you're learning, and you can try and get a word from its definition rather than having to get the definition of the word all the time.

5. Past papers
These are more useful when you get closer to the actual GCSE exams in the summer (or whenever you end up sitting them), but they are the single most useful thing I did when I was revising in the summer. Understanding the way a paper will be structured and how questions will be asked is vital to getting a good mark in the exam, so the more familiar you are with how the paper works, the easier the exam will be.

6. Questions
If you have any revision guides (which I would really recommend getting before your GCSEs) then they will have a mixture of quick quiz-style questions and exam-style questions to help you check that you've understood and learnt the content well.

7. Reading over your work
Now this is a tricky one because I know all my teachers discouraged us from relying on this, and I certainly wouldn't recommend it on its own, but I found it incredibly useful to read over my notes and see if I understood what was going on - if I didn't understand it then, I had more time to go and talk to a teacher and sort it out, and I made better notes when I understood what I was writing. If you have a good photographic memory then reading can be quite valuable, but don't rely on re-reading things - it's called "passive revision" (as is copying out a page), and you want to be doin "active revision" (which is basically everything listed here apart from this point!)

8. Sticky notes and posters
This didn't work at all for me, but I know one of my friends felt that if she hadn't done this she would have completely failed her Physics exam (when she actually got an A). You write quick points or questions on sticky notes and put them up all around your room or in the bathroom or anywhere in the house where your parents won't mind! After a while, you come to associate a particular topic with a particular room, and (when this works) people say they see themselves walking around the house when they get to a particular question in an exam.

Same thing goes for posters really, except you can have more information on them and I did stick a poster inside my wardrobe so everytime I opened it I had to look at a diagram of the carbon cycle!

9. Colour
This isn't so much a method as something which just helped me a lot. Invest in some highlighters and coloured pens - they'll become your best friends over the next couple of years, trust me. Then when you go through either your notes from class or revision guides, highlight key points on each page. If you use different colours for different subjects/topics/subtopics, you'll probably find that you'll remember things more easily and you won't get into a muddle with things, like equations in maths or long term/short term causes in history, if you've highlighted them in different colours.

One important thing on this one though - don't just highlight everything! Make sure you're selective - highlighting "I like beans with ketchup, George!" from Of Mice and Men would be way more helpful than highlighting a whole paragraph - although picking a more useful quote would also help!

10. Talk to your teachers!
There's probably an awful lot of stuff I've forgotten here, so if you're a bit worried that revision isn't going as well as you'd like it too, try and see your teachers about it.

Hope this helps!
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SJbgs123
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Thanks alittlebookworm! I was thinking that re writing notes isn't the best way but my head kept saying do it! I'll have a look and experiment with some of these things you suggested!

Thanks again !


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SJbgs123
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Would you recommend A3 pr A4 paper for mind maps?
And after I draw this mind map do I review it afterwards ?


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aLittleBookWorm
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No problem, sorry it was such a long reply! For mindmaps, I'd say it depends on the topic - A3 is better ideally I think, you have a bit more space for everything, but I used A4 when I ran out of A3 and that was okay too

And yeah, it's always worth reviewing whatever it is you've revised - the more you revise and review, the better things stick in your head!
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SJbgs123
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Thank you so much for your time!


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aLittleBookWorm
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No problem, glad it helped
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CoolTreat4
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You can probably do either A4 or A3 but i prefer A3 as it is slightly more clearer.Yes what i like to do is to read it and then cover it up and write down as much information as i can remember from the mind map.Hope this helped
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