Psychology helpWatch this thread
1. Spaced Repetition: This is basically repeating things over time after you learn them. Basically, once you learn something you should revise it immediately. Then, go over it again a day later, then 2 days, then 5, then a week, etc.. This helps fight the ‘forgetfulness curve’ which basically shows that even if people fully understand something when they first learn it, they forget it over time. Spacing this out helps retain information much better over time and prevents cramming right before exams.
2. Active Recall: This is the actual technique itself for revision. The idea is basically to set yourself questions and answer them. This can take several forms; the easiest of which is probably using Quizlet or Anki to create flashcards. You could also do past papers although I’d personally recommend using flashcards first for the bare-bones course content, then maybe applying this knowledge to past papers later down the track once you’re more comfortable with it. Another aspect of active recall I’ve found surprisingly helpful is if you literally just get a blank piece of paper or blank document and write out absolutely everything you can think of regarding a specific unit from the syllabus; then, cross-reference it with the syllabus and see what you missed or got wrong. Then try again a few hours/days later and see how much more you’re able to write down.
3. Pomodoro/Animedoro Technique: This is the best way I’ve found for actually just motivating myself to sit down and get on with work. It’s similar to spaced repetition in principle, but focused on attention span rather than memorisation. Basically, you do a “round” of 25 minutes studying, then a 5 minute break, i.e. 30 mins per round, then after 2 hours/4 rounds take a slightly longer 20 min break. The approach many people use of just sitting down at a desk and trying to force themselves to study for hours on end is super inefficient, after an hour or so you pull out your phone, get bored, can’t stay focused, etc.; whereas with Pomodoro you break it up in chunks, keeping your brain fresh and your attention focused.
There are also some good variations of Pomodoro. I find 25 minutes is often a bit short for me, especially for essay-based subjects. I also really like TV. So I found this method from a guy named Josh Chen on YouTube called the “Animedoro” method. You basically revise for 40-60 minutes, instead of 25, then take a 20-minute break, instead of 5. That way you can properly get in the zone studying once you’re 40-60 mins in and have a 20-min break, just long enough to watch an anime episode (or you can substitute it with The Office, Friends, etc.). Although if you need to improve grades quickly, like right in the build-up to Mocks, this probably isn’t recommendable and is a more long-term strategy for creating a work-life balance throughout the term whilst staying productive.
The one other thing I’d recommend is practicing exam technique. Unfortunately, the British education system is more about how you answer the question and not how much you know. It can be really useful to go to your exam board’s website and you should be able to find examiner reports from questions in past years; they’ll advise exactly how past applicants went wrong, what examiners are looking for, and how you should be responding to questions.
Hope some of this helps! Best of luck in improving. It can be super daunting but honestly just give some of those methods a go and figure out what works best for you. I’ve found all of them in conjunction is the best (gone from a D when I first moved to the UK to A*A*A* predictions and averaging 100% in tests this term), but it’s different for everyone and some methods might work better for you than others. Whatever you choose, just get it to work for you then stick at it and keep doing whatever you can to improve. You’ll get there eventually