Top 10 revision techniques for students

As the new academic year begins, you may be keen to practice your revision techniques so that you ace all of your tests and exams. But some revision techniques are more effective than others. Simply reading over your notes isn’t likely to help you much. In this blog post we will discuss the top 10 revision techniques for students. These are all effective, active techniques which are designed to help you remember the information.

Before you get started with the revision techniques, it is of course important that you give yourself enough time to revise, and that you use this time wisely. Write in your planner all of your tests and exams that you need to prepare for, and start to block revision times for each subject. You will probably want to dedicate more time to subjects that you feel weaker in. Also remember to get enough sleep so that your mind is at its sharpest!

1. Post-it Notes

revision techniques

Post-it notes are a great revision technique for condensing information. They are handy as you can simply stick them up around your house as reminders. You should put them in places that you frequently look, like on your mirror or on your fridge. The more frequently that you see the information, the more likely it is to stick in your mind.

2. Test yourself with flashcards

Flashcards are another effective revision technique that you should definitely try. You can use flashcards to write condensed notes, but we find that they are most useful for testing knowledge. So you should write a question or a term on one side of the flashcard, and then write the answer or definition on the other side. Then you can test yourself by trying to guess the answer before flipping round the flashcard to check. This allows you to check your knowledge. You can also get someone else to ask you the questions and test you. Try not to fill your flashcard with too much information, the goal is to make sure you can remember the information. Drawing little pictures on your flashcards can also help you to memorise concepts.

3. Look at past exams

revision technique

If available, you should look at previous years exam questions. Of course the questions won’t be exactly the same as what will come up in your exam, but they will help familiarise you with how questions are worded and give you an idea of possible topics that could come up. You should write up answers to these exam questions and then score yourself using the marking criteria. This will give you some practice in writing for the real exam. It can also be a good idea to time yourself so that you are getting the true exam experience. If allowed, you could even get a teacher or lecturer to look over your answers and give you any feedback.

4. Record your notes

If you find that you are an auditory learner that learns better by listening to information, then this is a great technique for you. Start by condensing your notes into manageable chunks, and then record yourself reading them aloud. You can do this easily with the voice memos app on your phone. You can then listen back to these whenever you like, whether this be when you’re on the bus, on a walk, or before bed. If you listen to these frequently enough this information should be stored in your memory.

5. Get a study buddy

Studying with another person can be beneficial, as you can share your knowledge and help each other in your weak areas. But it is important to choose your study buddy wisely. You might want to study with your best friend, but this is pointless if you are going to get distracted and go off-topic. Buddy with someone that is equally motivated to do well in their exams. Research has actually shown that if the person around you is working hard, it is likely that you will be influenced by this.

6. Teach someone else

Teaching someone else is another great revision technique. This method allows you to see if you fully understand a topic or not, as you must know it well to be able to teach it. And the person that you are teaching may ask you questions that you may not have considered before. You can do this with a friend or with another student. But it is best to teach someone who isn’t as knowledgeable in the subject as you are, as this is the best way to see what you know.

7. Create a mind map

revision techniques

If you are a visual learner, a mind map is a great way to retain information. Write your main topic or subject in the centre of your mind map and then use branches to break it down into the main themes and points you need to remember. You can have fun with mind maps, by using highlighters or pens to colour code. And you can draw pictures that relate to the themes. The key to a successful mind map is making it as memorable as possible!

8. Create a quiz

Creating a quiz is another useful way to revise a subject and test your knowledge. Look over your subject topics and then come up with some key quiz questions. You could make your answers multiple choice if you’d like. You can also quiz with other people by creating teams. Or you could create a quiz for a friend and vice versa.

9. Watch video tutorials

Watching tutorials on a subject is another great way to revise. Hearing things being explained in a different way than you are used to can be the difference between you understanding a topic, or not. And there are no shortage of free resources on sites like YouTube, with so many different videos that you are bound to find something that is relevant to you. And if you aren’t a fan of videos, you can always try podcasts instead.

10. Try the Pomodoro technique

revision techniques

The Pomodoro technique is basically a fancy way of saying you should take regular breaks. Every 25 minutes in fact, according to the Pomodoro method. This is especially useful if you find you start to get distracted or tired during long revision sessions. Fully focussing on your revision in 25 minute chunks makes it feel much more manageable, plus you are more likely to work hard as you know a break is never far away. Though 25 minutes is suggested, you could make it a bit longer to 30-40 minutes if that works better for you. For this technique to work well, you should set up a timer (preferably a kitchen one). The idea behind this technique is that the timer creates a sense of urgency and makes you work harder.

This technique recommends a 5 minute break between each 25 minute Pomodoro, and a longer 15-30 minute break after you complete 4 Pomodoro’s.

We hope that you found these revision techniques helpful and that you ace your exams this year! Let us know in the comments if there are any other revision techniques you’d like to share.

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