16 Jun 2013

Revision is taking over my life and is probably taking over a lot of others especially this time in the school year. I am in year 10 at school and at my school we have mock exams in all subjects to prepare us for next year. Our headteacher also gives us something called a 'learn to learn' afternoon where he teaches us how to learn and how to revise. The tips he gave us all worked a treat so I thought i shouldn't be the only one who gets the benefit out of these but all of you so this post will consist of not only my revision tips but his aswell!

Firstly, you have to believe you can do this and you CAN revise; there's no point even trying to do it if you aren't wanting to do it but just remember if you don't learn how to want to revise you'll end up with a job you never wanted (harsh but true).
You also need to be sat or lying somewhere comfortable. Personally, for me I either like to sit in my bed as that is where i'm most comfortable but there it can make me just want to sleep all day so it's nice to sit somewhere different. If it's a nice sunny day why not go and sit outside? You can revise and catch a tan!
You should take regular breaks when revising; the average attention span for a boy is 5-7 minutes where as a girl's is 10-15 minutes so to make sure you are actually paying attention to revision you should take regular breaks to go to the toilet or stretch your legs or put the kettle on.
It is also good to make sure you have snacks close to hand so when you get peckish you are not sat there trying to revise but really just daydreaming about food. When I'm revising, I feel the best revision food is some cold,ice water with cucumber and lemon slices with a bowl of fruit especially mango (mango's are my baby) or something like some chopped pepper as it is known that eating fruit,vegetables and proteins make the brain healthier and more in the mood to crack on with some revision
A timetable is always helpful! If, like me, you are revising for more than one exam at once, it is good to make a schedule so you aren't focusing on one exam and forgetting about the others until the day of the test.
It is also good not watch the TV or maybe put on the radio or make yourself a playlist.However, when I'm revising history i use this as an excuse to watch 'Hitler; The Rise Of Evil' which surprisingly is an amazing film!
Now let's get down to the actual revision and some tops I have.
1) Chunking- This is useful for things such as science where I have modules which have different sections. I take the headings from every page in the text book and, splitting my page into how many sections are necessary, read through the revision text book and putting necessary information into the boxes. Most teachers say that text books have everything you need to know and this isn't true as one of my science teachers admitted saying the text book is full of 'fluff'- stuff that isn't necessary to your exam and will be of no help.

2) My headteacher gave us some statistics; we remember 20% of what we read, 30% of what we hear, 40% of what we see, 50% of what you say and 60% of what you do. So if you do all of these things you will remember 90%. I find to remember as much as I can, I will use the chunking method and do the do to then read and record myself speaking the notes onto my Ipod or phone to then listen back to it while reading it along again or just before I go to sleep.
3) Teaching others is a handy way of learning the things yourself so maybe revising with someone else is helpful as they can help you and you can help them. However, bear in mind that revising in a fairly big group is not advisable as you will not revise and will be to busy talking about what happened at that party the other night or what that boy text you that morning.
4) Test Yourself- There are many ways of testing yourself but for me,for such things as history where you have to remember so much it is good to right model answers out that you think may appear on the test and then taking the key points and on a separate piece of paper writing little  keywords that will be able to trigger your memory into knowing what the original answer says. After trying this a few times you can work on trying it with out the piece of paper and seeing if you know it well.
5)HIGHLIGHT, HIGHLIGHT,HIGHLIGHT! Everyone has a certain amount of a photographic memory and by highlighting keywords, it can trigger your memory into locking onto that certain word/phrase that you highlighted and will help you remember the rest of the information.
6)Have fun when revising! This is a massive almost impossible task when what you are doing is the most boring thing you will have to entail however, if you laugh during your revision you are more likely to remember your revision. If you think about what your first memory was as a child it will be something either upsetting or something of a happy/funny occasion and that is why we remember it as our first ever memory so if you have fun while revising and if that's playing some old S Club 7 then go for it!

Everyone has different revision techniques and i could think of so many more such as mind maps, queue cards or sticking post-it notes all round your room; but these are some of the ones I've been using at the moment.
My final most important tip is to NOT LEAVE IT TO THE LAST MINUTE;Revision takes time and planning even if you like me and are a 'cram reviser'
I also realise that this is actually a silly time to be posting this as most major exams such as A levels or GCSEs in the UK are nearly over but maybe you can keep these in mind for the next time you have a major test.

I hope this helps you and thankyou for reading!

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