REVISION TECHNIQUES WORKSHOP Catherine Jeanneau LANGUAGE SUPPORT UNIT
Skills required to prepare for exams and do well on the day.
Prepare your revision
Keep stress away
Tips for the exam day
Organise yourself 1
Find out from Student Services the exact dates and times of your exams.
UL Homepage-Current Students-Student Timetable-Exam Timetable
Look at past papers to know what you have to focus your revision on. Check with your tutors/lecturers that the format has not changed. Past papers will also be useful when you want to check how much you have learnt (see revision techniques).
Organise yourself 2
Make a revision plan that includes all your subjects (don’t leave the revision for your last exam for the last few days as you will be tired and less able to learn by that time). Think of revision as part of your course.
Your revision plan should:
- have a daily outline including times for meals, breaks, exercise and sleep. Leave time for recreation.
- mix strong and weak subjects so that you don’t do all the difficult topic(s) at once!
- include learning targets you can achieve & tick off when accomplished (it is a great confidence boost!)
- have learning periods of 30-45 min otherwise your concentration goes. Alternate learning periods with breaks or information/notes organising.
Prepare your revision
Once you have a revision plan:
- make sure you have all the class notes (If you missed classes, try to get notes from other students on your course)
- read through your notes and if there are grey areas, use your reading list or books in the library to cover them
- find a quiet place to study
- talk to other students on your course to make sure they are revising the same topics and see if they wish to plan revision groups.(Possible to book rooms in library for group study)
Before looking at revision techniques, check your memory style! Flanagan (1997) argues that we remember: 20% of what we read 30% of what we hear 40 % of what we see 50% of what we say 60% of what we do And… 90% of what we read, hear, see, say and do!
Always use past experiences to improve.
What did you do last year/term to prepare for the exams?
How did it work for you?
What can you keep? What should you change?
Are there some revision techniques you use in some subjects that can be transferred to other subjects?
Revision techniques 1
Rewrite and organise classnotes & info .:
Rewriting helps the memory process.
Summarise notes ( 1 page per topic). Write topic
headings and key points on index cards. Use back
of index cards for quotations etc.
Highlight : use either various colours or
symbols to indicate what is essential to learn
(it helps your photographic memory).
Record : Record essential points (on your phone or MP3 player).
You can then listen to them as you rest, walk,
eat.. Good for your audio memory.
Speak out : Read your notes out loud, good for your audio memory too.
Revision techniques 2
Recall : Hide a part of what you have learnt
& try to recall the essential info (very good
for word lists, grammar tables..). Use colour.
Test yourself : Try for example to do a
past exam respecting the time allocated.
Pool your knowledge : organise group
revision sessions: good to keep you motivated
(deadlines), the discussion helps you to
understand and remember, good for low
concentration (in the pm after intense
Revision techniques 3
Jazz things up : Organise the info in tables,
diagrams, drawings or even cartoons to help. (see
mind maps, next slide)
Memory hooks : ‘Hooks' are things you can
associate with the information to help you
remember it. Give meaning to what you are
trying to memorise.
Use your own techniques to remember: make
word associations, mnemonics (turning letters of
a list into a word that is easy to recall), poems or
stories to remind you of main points), for
grammar, make up example sentences
Revision techniques 4: Mind Maps
To make notes on a subject using a Mind Map, draw it in the following way:
Write the title of the subject in the cent re of the page, and draw a circle around it.
For the major subject subheadings, draw lines out from this circle. Label these lines with the subheadings.
If you have another level of information belonging to the subheadings above, draw these and link them to the subheading lines.
Finally, for individual facts or ideas, draw lines out from the appropriate heading line and label them.
As you come across new information, link it in to the Mind Map appropriately.