Revision Techniques – How to prepare for your exams

Exam season can be a fairly stressful time for most students and finding the best way for you to revise may be the key to your exam success and getting the results you’ve worked hard for.

We all have our ways of revising and there are numerous techniques available to help you memorise an important case study, key statistic or even how to structure your answers correctly.

Here are just some of the few;

What Technique is for Me?

1) Manage a healthy diet and sleeping pattern.

This may not be a particularly fun idea as a student, but your mind can only focus so much while running on the energy provided by a pack of instant noodles. Many students find that having a balanced diet and a good amount of sleep can benefit how much they remember during an exam, giving them a better chance of getting those essential grades.

Having a healthy diet doesn’t have to break your bank account, instead of bulking out on fatty snacks perhaps invest in some healthier cereals (some of which can still give you a chocolate fix), packs of instant oats that are a great slow burner (that goes great with golden syrup and banana) and maybe some fresh fruits for some extra sweetness. Additionally, whether you work more efficiently throughout the day or at night you should always take time to rest. Remember to give yourself breaks, take that well-deserved nap and don’t rely on caffeine as a study buddy, water is much better despite how boring it is, but you’ll thank it later.

2) Notes, diagrams and graphs

Make use of your wall space with some colourful posters, Post-it notes and pictures. If you prefer to revise in a way that doesn’t require writing lines upon lines of information, then it may be more beneficial for you to be creative and draw them out onto paper to get a better idea of the topic you’re trying to learn. This can be a beneficial technique but may be quite time consuming, so perhaps limit it to the topics you want to remember the most. This method may benefit for the more visual orientated exams in which drawing and labelling objects can be a useful strategy (this often comes in handy when revising for anatomy exams!). Use your creativity to your advantage and give yourself the best chance of memorising information.

3) Associations

If you’ve already conquered the balanced diet and informative notes, then perhaps try some of the more unusual methods of revision. Many students tend to use the method of association to remember cases, equations and quotes. Some students like to use sweets and perfumes as the association found between the particular taste or smell helps them to remember a particular piece of information. An example would be to revise one module whilst eating mint sweets, then when it comes to the exam if you eat the same sweet you may remember something useful. However, if you can’t have sweets then varying colours works just as well. Others tend to utilise their own haikus, anagrams and mnemonics as a technique, but sometimes the simpler option is much easier. This may not be the most beneficial technique, but it could be worth a shot!

4) Peer group revision

If you prefer to revise co-operatively rather than independently, it may be beneficial to create a revision group with your peers. During this time, you could work together to create the perfect answers and perhaps use some creativity skills to develop revision resources such as colourful spider diagrams,1 to 1 topic discussions, voice recordings or some fun question & answer games. Working with others to revise is a great way to learn and have fun at the same time, you may even learn something new from another member of the group that you wasn’t even aware of and could be the key to pushing you up a grade boundary.

Everyone has their own preference of revision techniques and some benefit from particular methods more than others. All you need to do is find the one that suits you best. Once your exams are finished you can treat yourself for your effort and watch those grades roll in with ease. Good luck!