Revision is a study skill that helps improve memory and enhance learning when preparing for an upcoming exam.
Practice and preparation are critical tools for educational success, however; there is only one set rule when revising for a test – stay organized.
Beyond that, students approach these methods in different ways. The revision techniques will depend partly on what you are studying, but some common tips do apply to every subject.
Regardless of grade level, fundamental revision principles can help develop strategic study and foster memory improvement.
Mind mapping takes a topic and adds a visual component to seed it in memory. Creating imagery forces the mind to associate facts and details with a picture.
- Start the process with a clean sheet of paper.
- Sketch a quick picture of something that represents the category of your subject matter. For example, if studying frog dissection in biology, draw a caricature of a frog. The art doesn’t have to be fancy, but it should be recognizable. If necessary, you can just write the word frog.
- Next, take the main categories and create branches off the original image. You might write digestive and circulatory system, for instance. The words should extend like branches on a tree around the frog.
- Continue to build on the tree structure with facts you have to remember about the anatomy of the frog. The branch titled digestive system would have details about the stomach. The more detailed you make the map, the better the memory association.
Reading comprehension is a vital part of learning. One way to concur the memorization difficulties that come from reading dry text is to create a summary of the details.
Read the section through once, focusing as much as possible on the facts and potential exam material. Once you complete the read through, immediately write out a summary of the text. If you are struggling with memory retention, complete the task in small sections. If necessary, summarize one page at a time.
This differs from taking notes as you read. With summary revision techniques, you read the material all the way through and then write the notes. In a sense, you are teaching your brain to focus and remember key parts. After you take a break, glance through your summaries to get back on track before continuing.
Create a Mock List of Questions
As you study, create a list of questions that might appear on an exam. If possible, review previous exams to get a sense of the teacher’s style. This will help format the questions. After you make the list, go through and verbally read and answer the queries.
Take the initial list and revise the questions into a different style. For example, if you created a fill-in the blank mock exam, redo the questions in essay form or as multiple choice. The more ways you present the material, the better the memory enhancement. If possible, find a study partner and swap questions to cover more of the subject matter.
Don’t Get Sloppy
Cutting corners is not the way to study for an exam. Use common sense when revising.
- Sit in a room that is quiet and without distraction.
- Start the revision early to give yourself time to memorize details.
- Revise the topic more than once. The more times you cover the information, the better your memory.
- Create a revision timeline. This details your study schedule, subject matter and revision techniques you use each day.
- Take breaks every 30 to 40 minutes to give your mind a rest period. Over taxing your memory center leads to fuzzy details.
Revision techniques that work for one student may not be right for another. It is crucial to develop your own strategy and stick to it. Revision is one of the most critical study skills a student can learn. Creating techniques that improve memory retention and enhance learning will make school a productive experience.
Category: Memory Power Tips