Four steps to successful revision

Step 1: Understand

  • Study the topic to be learned slowly. Make sure you understand the logic or important concepts.
  • Mark up the text if necessary – underline, highlight and make notes.
  • Re-read each paragraph slowly.

Step 2: Summarise

  • Now make your own revision note summary:
    • What is the main idea, theme or concept to be learned?
    • What are the main points?
    • How does the logic develop?
    • Ask questions: Why? How? What next?
  • Use bullet points, mind maps, patterned notes.
  • Link ideas with mnemonics, mind maps, crazy stories.
  • Note the title and date of the revision notes (e.g. Mathematics: Trigonometry, 3rd March).
  • Organise your notes carefully and keep them in a file.

Step 3: Memorise

  • Take 25 minute learning ‘bites’ with 5 minute breaks.
  • After each 5 minute break test yourself:
    • Cover the original revision note summary
    • Write down the main points
    • Speak out loud (record on tape)
    • Tell someone else
    • Repeat many times.

The material is well on its way to long-term memory. You will forget 40% if you do not do step 4.

Step 4: Track/Review

  • Create a Revision Diary (one A4 page per day).
  • Make a revision plan for the topic, e.g. 1 day later, 1 week later, 1 month later.
  • Record your revision in your Revision Diary, e.g.
    • Mathematics: Trigonometry, 3rd March 25 minutes
    • Mathematics: Trigonometry, 5th March 15 minutes
    • Mathematics: Trigonometry, 3rd April 15 minutes ... and then at monthly intervals.
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