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. English Literature: Shakespeare, 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.
- English Literature: Shakespeare, 3rd March 25 minutes
- English Literature: Shakespeare, 5th March 15 minutes
- English Literature: Shakespeare, 3rd April 15 minutes ... and then at monthly intervals.