Find your revision style - Exams
Discovering how you learn best is the key to successful revision.
You could spend hours poring over old notes, only to find that you haven’t retained any information! Maybe another study method will suit you better. Discover your “type” and find out how to make the most of your hours of revision.
Are you good at puzzles and mazes? Do you like to figure out how things are made by taking them apart, or do you remember things you have seen much better than things you have heard? You could be a visual learner. Visual-spatial learners find that they recall things much better through images and printed words. They tend to be quiet and creative people who notice small details, but can be forgetful of things they have been told!
Good revision rechniques for visual-spatial learners
- During lessons take lots of notes and highlight any important words, phrases or facts as soon as you can to help you to retain it. Re-read the notes in the evening after the lesson
- Make mind-maps to allow you to visually organise ideas, facts and keywords and you can use your visual memory during the exam to help you recall them
- Use flashcards, maybe with an image or chart on one side, and relevant facts on the other side
- Using any graphs, diagrams or pictures related to your topic as revision aids to help you memorise key information.
Do you find that you are able to remember people’s names after only being told them once? Are you good at speaking and like to join in class discussions? Then you could be an auditory learner. Auditory learners find that they process and comprehend information best through listening and speaking. They tend to like talking. However, a noisy environment in general will distract them!
Good revision techniques for auditory learners
- Listen to audiobooks or podcasts which will really help you to retain information
- Make your own YouTube video explaining the topic – you’ll be helping yourself and others to revise
- Learn poems, quotes and facts by reading them out to yourself or having someone else read them to you
- Get a group together – this will allow you to discuss topics and share ideas and opinions.
Do you prefer to participate than to sit and watch? Have you got high energy levels, quick reactions, good hand-eye co-ordination and fine motor-skills? Then you could be a kinesthetic learner. Kinesthetic learners find that they learn best by doing and need to be active participants in order to get the best from a lesson. They tend to move around a lot, and feel the need to touch things. They get satisfaction from building and making things and can often remember how to do something after only doing it once. They can become bored and restless during traditional lessons though!
Good revision techniques for kinesthetic learners
Make models, or carry out experiments. For example, if you’re revising Science, build a model of a cell and label the different parts.
- Visit a site that relates to what you are studying. For example, for History, you could visit a castle, cathedral, battle site or museum. If you experience something concrete you will find it easier to learn and remember facts
- Walk around while you are reading revision notes – when you are active you will retain more
- Be realistic – you are going to have to try other, more traditional, techniques too, but get rid of excess energy before you sit down to your books. Go for a run, visit the gym or take the dog for a walk.
Of course you may feel that a combination of some or all or the above suits you.
Top tips for all:
- Keep your phone out of sight – studies have shown that even having it in the room can distract you
- Avoid late night revision or cramming - you'll just become more tired!
- Don’t put revision off! Ditch the excuses and crack on!
All those studying for exams should also ensure that they get plenty of rest, eat well, keep hydrated and take regular breaks. Work towards your ideal study programme or apprenticeship to start your career.