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How to memorise content better?

I’m doing my GCSEs next year and I’m struggling to remember the content from year 9/10 even though it wasn’t that long ago. I am falling behind because of this, and I have to keep going back. I usually rewrite all my notes to remember things, and even things i have revised previously and already have notes on, I have to redo to get it to stick. I’ve tried flashcards and they don’t really work for me, I’ve even tried drawing out diagrams/trying to use acronyms etc and none of it works. Any suggestions? Thanks :smile:
Original post by B_____
I’m doing my GCSEs next year and I’m struggling to remember the content from year 9/10 even though it wasn’t that long ago. I am falling behind because of this, and I have to keep going back. I usually rewrite all my notes to remember things, and even things i have revised previously and already have notes on, I have to redo to get it to stick. I’ve tried flashcards and they don’t really work for me, I’ve even tried drawing out diagrams/trying to use acronyms etc and none of it works. Any suggestions? Thanks :smile:

Rewriting is not a good revision method unfortunately so that’s probably the problem there. You need to use active recall techniques that involve you actively having to remember the content when you revise, e.g. instead of just rewriting you could write down everything you remember about a particular topic before looking at your notes/textbook or whatever you use, and then go back in a different coloured pen and fill in what you didn’t know. I personally found flashcards the best way to memorise content (question on one side, answer on the other, sort into piles of ‘know’ and ‘don’t know’ and keep going over the ‘dont know’ cards until you know them) which you could try again physically or online if you think that might be better. BUT it’s totally fine if they don’t work for you, everyone’s different and you might just need to try out lots of different revision techniques to see what works best and then go with that.
Original post by B_____
I’m doing my GCSEs next year and I’m struggling to remember the content from year 9/10 even though it wasn’t that long ago. I am falling behind because of this, and I have to keep going back. I usually rewrite all my notes to remember things, and even things i have revised previously and already have notes on, I have to redo to get it to stick. I’ve tried flashcards and they don’t really work for me, I’ve even tried drawing out diagrams/trying to use acronyms etc and none of it works. Any suggestions? Thanks :smile:


Active recall. After going over a topic (ensure you understand what you've just read), try to recall without using your notes. Confirm your recall and fill in the missing spots. Then try to recall several times throughout the day. Then throughout the week. Use flashcards for prompts if you need to. You need to revise constantly for about 2 weeks.
(edited 9 months ago)
Both of the replies so far mention active recall, and they are correct. Spaced repetition for flashcards is essential if you want to get the best out of them. I find this easiest by using online flashcards (specifically StudySmarter as the spaced repetition feature is free, unlike Quizlet).
Reply 4
As the others have said, active recall is the best.

That's what I do and I revise in regular intervals. That is, I go over some topics today. Then, I go over them again three days later. Then again after a week. Then again after two weeks. I just keep revising the content in increasing intervals until I can recall the key points if someone wakes me up from a deep sleep at 4 am.

Another thing you could try instead of rewriting an entire note is summarising as a final revision technique. To summarise a topic, you must understand it so well that you have the ability to cut out excess information without taking away from the main points of the content. If you can't summarise a note effectively, that means you have to go back to your active recall methods and study it more.
(edited 9 months ago)
Reply 5
Hi, I just finished my A-levels so hopefully some of these techniques can help:smile:
- Flashcards= Active recall is the best as others have mentioned
- Brainscape is a great app that helped me
- Essay plans for past paper questions.
- LOTS of past paper questions is a great way to keep recalling information
- Blurting- instead of rewriting, read your notes for 5 minutes and put them away. Then get another piece of paper and dump everything you remember onto it. This is another form of active recall.
Original post by B_____
I’m doing my GCSEs next year and I’m struggling to remember the content from year 9/10 even though it wasn’t that long ago. I am falling behind because of this, and I have to keep going back. I usually rewrite all my notes to remember things, and even things i have revised previously and already have notes on, I have to redo to get it to stick. I’ve tried flashcards and they don’t really work for me, I’ve even tried drawing out diagrams/trying to use acronyms etc and none of it works. Any suggestions? Thanks :smile:


Redoing notes and flash cards aren’t really great, unless you use them correctly.
What you need to do is test yourself and apply the knowledge to various situations, which is why flash cards can be good; with flash cards what you need to do is write questions on them and answer them to yourself before showing yourself the answer, or have another person do it.
Redoing notes should be avoided unless you are simplifying them or connecting the information to new content you have learned

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