REVISION: FACTS & RESOURCES

30 Mar 2016

I'm going to do that annoying thing here where I've learnt one piece of information and think I'm a psychologist but I know that if I keep these facts to myself, I won't be helping anyone and with some of this being on my psychology exam it's actually helping me. So here is some information as to why certain revision techniques are successful as well as some online resources to help you along the way.

SOME FACTS

ELABORATIVE REHEARSAL

This suggests that, to remember information, you really have to understand it. Don't just memorise the words on a page but think as to why it supports an argument or why it explains a certain theory. It's like when they say show your working out in maths- you don't just know the answer but you've worked out why that answer is what it is. By doing this, you're rehearsing information even deeper than just writing out notes. This suggests it's not always about the amount of revision that's done but the way it's done that is the key. 

SUMMARISING

If I hadn't of leant this, I would have been sat at my desk just an hour ago summarising and condensing topics but it's found that, unless you've revised the information repeatedly in it's entirety, summarising won't help. It should be one of the last steps in your revision and not one of the first as then the summaries will jut act as cues to the long explanation you can give on that certain topic.

HIGHLIGHTING/COLOURS

Now, please don't think this means that going through and highlighting a textbook is going to help you remember everything. But if you pair this with other techniques such as writing out your notes before going back and highlighting it can, as you probably know, help remember key phrases. If, like me, you're quite a visual learner, writing out a certain block of knowledge in one colour can help you link the colour to the information in the exam. This also links to mind mapping and being able to visualise the information as you're writing your exam. This also links to my next point...

DUAL CODING

This is all about words and pictures and is based on the idea that they are processed separately. Therefore, if you can place a relative image next to a word or piece of text, the information will be double encoded and more likely to be remember. This idea helps explain the success on the beloved mind map.

PRACTICE TESTS

Research has suggested that you can double the amount of information remembered by including practice questions in your revision so if that isn't a big plus to practice questions what is? Most teachers will set practice papers for homework or in lesson time but it doesn't mean you can't do more. Create flash cards for others to ask you, give the past papers another go even if you've already done them, write out the longer essays then highlight key points(two in one there!).

SOME RESOURCES

If you haven't already see what type of learner you are and find methods specific for you here.

If you're teacher's not the best or you want to see teaching from another perspective, find  power points among other great resources on slideshare.net. You can search a subject and an exam board and someone will more than likely have uploaded something on the topic. 

An app I found which can be a great last minute practice help is Gojimo. It asks questions specific to subject and exam board. I used it quickly before my mocks and I know I'll be using is again soon; it's available for Iphone and Android and also online here. There are some other really useful apps out there(I've got a great psychology one) so definitely have a look around because you might find some great ones. 

S-cool is another website to have a gander. Some pages have a few activities and, while some information may not be what you're teachers have taught, don't worry as extra information is included on the site to cover all way different teachers teach. 

Another website that I have dabbled in the past to just read over research or essays is Get Revising. With teacher's on board with the site, it's definitely reliable and proven effective. Just sign up and have a look around. 


So I hope this post didn't bore you too much and manage to find something interesting that may alter your revision or just confirm that the way you're revising is working. 
Have you got any good revision tips or resources?
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x



REVISION: HOW I REVISE

29 Mar 2016

There are hundreds of ways to revise and everyone learns in different ways. If you haven't already I suggest taking a test to see what kind of learner you are as this can really help find out what revision techniques are best for you depending on whether you're a visual, auditory or kinaesthetic learner. Click the link here to do the test and it also gives you a few pointers on some little things that will be helpful for you depending on what learning style is best for you.

Like I said, everyone has different styles and so I thought I'd share a few of my ways. It's also worth pointing out that the subjects I'll be revising for a mostly essay based as I do English, Psychology and Sociology. 

REVISION TABLES

At A Level, there is a lot of focus on evaluation and evaluation explanations and so splitting information up into explanation, examples and evaluations has proven really good for me especially in Psychology and Sociology. I have actually made the revision available online here and so you are able to see what I really mean. The notes shown are based on Sociology Religion & Beliefs so if you're taking that exam feel free to have a read over my notes. They are here and I apologise for any awful spelling mistakes or bad grammar- I promise I'll be reading over them before my exam.

JUST WRITING

This is probably one of those ways I suggest to many and it really doesn't appeal to them as it's can be a long process and isn't the most fun and interactive way of revising but most of what you remember is from what you write and so while rewriting an information booklet isn't the most enjoyable thing to do, for me, it can really help me remember the information as well as condense it down by writing it in my own words while forcing me to make sure I understand the information and not just memorising it. 

MIND MAPS

The one everyone talks about and with good reason! They are what I turn to when all the writing out has been done and revision tables. Mind maps can condense information even further into just a few words. There's been a lot of research done into the effectiveness of mind maps and they are a very popular method of revision. A heads up for tomorrow's post is actually some facts about your memory and revising. might not sound the most interesting but it will definitely will be useful.

KEY CONCEPT CARDS

There's always key phrases or key researchers that you need to remember so these cards make it easy to do a quick test on the definitions of concepts or a brief summary of a researcher's study to jog your memory. It's a great way to test yourself as well as getting family and friends to help you out as well.

MIX IT UP

There are so many ways to revise and these are just a few ways I prefer to tackle my revision. But I don't just revise information one way but I go over it in multiple ways because the more times you go over it in a bigger variety of ways, the more likely you are to remember the information. So don't just write it all out or don't just do mind maps. If you have the time, do both what's the harm in trying to help yourself remember that information just a little more. 

They are my personal favourite ways to revise. How do you study? I would love to know!
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x

REVISION: GETTING STARTED

28 Mar 2016

While it was only a five week term, I'm so glad the Easter holiday' are here and I have two weeks off to relax a little and de stress before heading back into the final stretch, before stressful resits and  before A level exams. Having said that,I don't think much relaxing will be done; I really need to get stuck into my revision and if you have any exams coming up to I think you should to!

I haven't been very active on my blog due to revision taking over so I thought why not share some of my revision knowledge with you- a week long feature that will help some of you. Starting today.

Getting started on the mountains of revision you need to do can be daunting and so, to give me and you the push to get organised and cracking on revision, I thought I'd share with you a few ways to get started.

1. CREATE THE PERFECT ENVIRONMENT

Clear a space. Find somewhere quiet and uncluttered to revise. If you're having trouble finding somewhere, give your room a tidy and sit on your bed; this isn't recommended as it's best to do it somewhere else other than where you sleep but if you're most comfortable there by all means revise from the comfort of your bed. Personally, sitting at my desk help me get in the zone and I tend to be more productive. I usually find, if I cant concentrate it's because my surroundings are messy so give your room a quick tidy and you'll be ready to go. A tidy room is a tidy mind!

2. "WHAT DO I NEED TO DO?"

It's very easy for me to dive in and get cracking on revision only to find I've completely forgotten about something I've needed to revise. I'd recommend writing a list of all the subjects, topics, sub-topics you need to revise and decide how you're going to revise for each section. I'm going to do another post on Revision techniques over this next week so keep an eye out for that but if you've seen this and want to get started now, here's some old posts of mine on revision techniques herehere and here.

3. EASE IN- TAKE IT A LITTLE BIT AT A TIME

Don't go in all guns blazing because after a day or two you'll get sick of the sight of your textbooks. By doing half an hour of a subject each day to start with and building up to revising in bigger chunks is a great way to build up a tolerance to getting more done. I also find that once I've done half an hour I think "I might as well finish this section" or "well, I'm settled so I might as well do another half an hour". Soon enough your revision for the day will be done and you can take some well deserved time relaxing with a face mask and watching Netflix. 

4. PLAN AHEAD TO GET AHEAD

Wow, that sub heading makes me sound like a cheesy American advert but the premise is true. Make yourself a calender a few weeks in advance and add the times you have things on such as work, youth group etc. then allocate time to revise each topics. If you're like me and you have frees during college time, plan what you're going to revise then so you can make sure you have what you need prepared. Try and do an hour or two every night before you do anything when you get home from school or college. That way, you've not relaxed and you're still in a learning mind set.

5. GET GOING- START NOW!!!

If you have exams coming or a big test approaching take this as your sign to get revising! Even if it's next week it's never too late to pick up a text book and start revising. If your exams are like mine and are from May-June this is the perfect time to really focus on revision. Of course, take a break, have some me time before the pressure hits, but this is the best time for you to start studying!

I'm carrying on the revision theme of posts every day for the next week so I hope your enjoy them and find them useful!
Have you got any big exams coming up? Have you started studying yet?
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x

SPRING

19 Mar 2016

While it was only snowing just a week ago, the daffodils are starting to grow and it's starting to get warmer so Spring is definitely here! I shared with you a Autumn and Winter edit and I really enjoy showing you how I switch things up as I head into a new season so I'm going to carry it on and show things I reach for in Spring. 

I've already ditched the heavy coverage every day foundation and replaced it with a favourite of mine which is The Body Shop BB Cream. The coverage is super minimal but it's airy and feels so natural on the skin. I've done a full review here but this is the perfect base heading into spring and summer. 

My nail varnishes is something I always switch up and I've been loving my nudes recently and this Kate Moss Nail Varnish in Mystify Me is a go to. If I want to have pretty, pastel nails the Barry M Speed Dry Nail Varnish in Miss Me Quick is a great baby pink. Lips go from the warm warm nudes to more pink, light nudes- not a big change but enough for me. 

I'm a big contemporary book fan but it's this time of year that everyone puts those wintry historical books and picks up something easy. I read All The Bright Places last year and it's definitely one I'd recommend picking up. If you're still not sure about picking it up, I did a full review here. A more recent read but one that would be perfect to get you in the Summer mood is Aristotle & Dante Discover The Secrets Of The Universe which I've recently reviewed here

My White Old Skool Vans are definitely something I'm going to be wearing all Spring and Summer. They'll definitely need multiple washes over the next few months due to the amount I have already and plan on wearing them. Super comfy and are a little different from my old white converse. 

As always, I have a playlist for over Spring on my Spotify. There's already some great songs and artists one there such as KYKO, High Tyde and Coldplay. I'll be continually adding to that over the next few months so I'd love for you to give it a listen here. 

So there's just a few things I switch up in Spring and I'm sure I'll b posting some more spring related posts over the next few weeks and months. I'd love to know if there's anything particular you'd like to see.
Also what do you switch up in Spring?
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x

SOME BLOGGING HONESTY

6 Mar 2016


I'll admit it. I'm out of ideas. I've tried to plough through and I can't. It's only March and I'm already struggling and feeling burnt out so I'm just going to run it all down for you. 

I have been here on my little space of the internet for four years and I feel like I'm just repeating myself when I say I love my little audience; seeing the same people comment on my posts, it's like we're friends. But while I've been loving life on the small scale, blogs starting years after me have managed to saw with in months and already seemed to have quite their jobs and are blogging full time. While that is not the aim for me, it's slightly disheartening to see me still back in 2012. 

I'll admit it. It's jealousy. Seeing these bloggers do amazingly well; I'm so happy for them all but then I can't help but think over and over again what is it I'm doing wrong? Is it because I've not got my niche? Is it what I post? When I post? Or is it just me? 

I can't lie and say numbers don't matter. There was a time when they didn't and up until recently it's been that way but as I've started to struggle to find some originality in what I post, I've found myself almost obsessing as to how my posts are affecting my numbers. I don't want that. 

I've never really known what to post in this little space meaning I've not got one of those niche things everyone talks about. I'm just me. I've grown to hate when I open a post on blogging advice and the first line is "find your niche!!" because I think that's how I need to grow. I need to categorise my blog and stick with that but I can't do that. I'm a bit of an all over the place person. I think that might be one thing that's held me back- no one knows what my blog really is about. 

As my blog is super close to hitting 200 followers on bloglovin', I'm ready to celebrate but at the same time I'm left confused as to what the hell my blog is doing and where it's going and, sadly, I feel like my faith in blogging and my passion for writing here is disappearing. 

I don't want that and I think the only remedy is to relieve the pressure. I've already mentioned taking a break but I think that's going to have to be extended because I no longer want to post something that I don't actually really want to. 

What does this mean? Well, my posts are going to become irregular. I'm going to just post when I'm free, when I've had an idea that I want to run with whether that be book related, beauty related, anything related. This means I might be posting tomorrow or not till next week. I think I've finally decided that in order to move forward with my blog I actually need to take a step back. 

I feel like the length of this little ramble is a little long and really what I'm saying is a bit dramatic but I hope, while writing this at 2am, that I've managed to get my point across (I'm talking to you redrafting Sarah at 10 am). With my posts becoming more irregular, I'd definitely suggest following me on bloglovin' or twitter where my posts will be linked- the links are on the right of my blog. 

All I want to say is how much I do love the people who take the time to read my jumbled up blog and take the time to comment. I hope you understand that I love what I do on this blog and I want to carry it on but maybe for me to get where I want to be and have ideas coming out of my mind left right and centre, I think I need to change things up a little.
Thanks,
 Sarah x 

DEAR 2013

2 Mar 2016


I think your what's holding me back. The fear you brought me I tried to escape as we entered another year and another etc. but the change of a number didn't take away the feelings you left behind in my mind. 

It's hard to come to terms with what happened back then. It was all a blur. I think I blocked most of it out. But the memories that have snuck between the cracks just to tease me of the past that I wanted to leave right there, have taunted me the past three years.

What makes this all the more difficult is that there's a part of my life I'e kept hidden; from people I knew, people I know now. It's a part of my life that's even unbeknown to my family.

You were the year I reached my limit, the year I gave up. did anyone notice? I don't think so. I don't blame them. I was already the 'quiet one' so being a little more quiet wouldn't have been noticeable. I mean, it wasn't as if I advertised how I felt with a big flashing sign and an arrow over my head like you see on the front of American Diners in films that flash "Open". I made sure I kept up social appearances, well, there was never many but I went to as many as I could handle. I made sure my grades didn't suffer; if a positive is to have come out of 2013 is that my grades were even high than normal. I didn't have much else to do when I could sleep but work.

I feel like you sat back and watched me suffer in silence and I try to come to terms with what I doing and failing. My attempts to actually opening up. But failing. 

I was distant but people would say that was just me. Good ol' introverted me! But I knew something had changed. Everything had changed. Everything was all of a sudden too much for me. I couldn't be around people. I didn't want to be around people. 

Go ahead, Say it. Say it was just a phase and that 'all teenagers go through it'. But how long is a phase? To me, it didn't feel like a phase, it felt like a lifetime. 

You were a lonely year. A year I was ridiculed for not being able to do certain mundane things like order my meal, eat in front of people, have a conversation without feeling eyes of someone in the back of my head or that someone was whispering about me and sniggering.

You drained me. I fell empty. But to everyone else I was full of life because that's what I do. I hide. I hide within myself, within my own shadow because sharing too much, to me is dangerous. I'll let you in on a secret, a little tip,I would say, if you want people to think you're an open person when in actuality you're just talking nonsense. Whenever there's space to, fill the silence with talking. Talk about anything because people will think "omg, yeah that Sarah she's shares everything even what she had for tea last night!!" 

I've never been an open book. But 2013 is a chapter that remains sealed with a lock because what's inside is too much to share right now. 

2013, you hurt me, you let me down but not as much as I let myself down...

----------------------------------


I'm never going to manage to share with anyone, at least right now, how 2013 really made me feel and all the details of 2013 but all I can say right now is that I want forget but I know I can't and so instead I need to embrace you; embrace the shit I put myself through. Your the reason I'm stuck in the past but I refuse to let you be the reason I mess up my future.

Yes, there's a chance the feelings may come back and I deal with them and I'll be able to deal with them a lot better. Maybe next time will be different. Maybe I'll open my mouth and speak out instead of hiding in the high school toilets literally and metaphorically. Instead of hiding in an attempt to escape my problems, the only way to defeat them is head on. I'll Expecto Patronum the shit out of my Dementors.

2013, it's safe to say you sucked and for a while I thought it was just going to get worse but not. 2015 came along an changed me; made me realise where I went wrong, what I was doing wrong. 

While I still have spells when I'm sad everyone has those and, if they are worse, I know how to deal with them. And while I may not be dealing with them in the right way I should right now, the fear you left behind is the motivation I need to push me forward and speak out.

I mean, what is it I'm doing right now?

Good Riddance 2013.

Sarah x 

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