There can be a lot of stress around revision, especially for something as daunting as your final stage of exams before heading off to university.
There are so many ways that you can use revision to learn topics and subjects. What’s important is finding the revision method that plays to your strengths.
So if you’re looking for ways to get the grades you need for a psychology degree, we’re going to discuss some great ways to revise that are sure to make that info stick in your brain.
Visual & auditory stimulants
Revision centres around repetition and association. But reading through the same information from a piece of paper or book over and over can quickly become monotonous. Mixing up the way we intake the information both visually and auditorily can drastically improve the way we learn.
While the idea of people benefiting from only visual or auditory learning has been debunked, it is still useful to know that there are other methods of learning beyond simply reading. Using different stimulants for different subjects could help retain what you’re learning.
For example, if you’re doing foreign language subjects like French or German, why not record yourself speaking in that language and listen to it back? Or for subjects that require a lot of equations, like sciences and mathematics, using coloured or themed sticky notes in certain patterns to create a visual in your mind for which equation is needed where could come in handy.
Embracing fun and games
We all love finding fun where we don’t expect to, and revision isn’t what a lot of people would think of as ‘fun’. So why not take the opportunity to change up your learning by making it into something that feels more like a game and less like a chore?
There are infinite ways you can do this and could be something as simple as making up mnemonics for certain topics. You can also use board games as a method of revision, such as adding questions to the squares on Monopoly where you answer them before you can buy the property.
Reframing your approach to learning in this way means that study doesn’t have to be something you dread. You won’t need to overcome the difficult obstacle of motivation either. Sitting down knowing you’re about to play a game rather than just reading and re-reading page after page of information will encourage you to revise more.
Of all the study ideas listed in our article, this might be the best-kept secret. Every year, the A-Level examiners release a report detailing what they like to read on exam papers. And the best part is they’re released to the public, completely free of charge. These reports are incredibly useful for all students approaching further education exams as they give a clear insight into what markers will be looking for at this level.
These reports are a great resource to use for studying alongside past exam papers. They outline how to answer specific questions for the maximum marks, as well as offer reviews of the most common mistakes made by students.
The wealth of knowledge these reports provide makes this an absolute must for students taking any higher exams, not just A-Levels. Knowing what experienced examiners look for could be the difference between a lower or higher grade.
Revision can become a lonely affair. There’s a lot to go through in preparation and exam stress is on the rise.
A study done by Cambridge Assessment reported that 15% of male students and between 30 – 35% of female students experience high levels of anxiety around exam season. Creating a study group for collective revision can help to dispel exam fear and learn more in the process.
Collaborative learning is great for fielding ideas and learning new ways to study from your peers. It also encourages further bonding and camaraderie as you’re all revising for the same exam that none of you have seen before.
Change up your study space
Much like how we get bored of our own company, the same four walls of our bedrooms and offices can weigh on us at times. Especially as some articles recommend up to 12 hours of independent study per week outside of classrooms. That’s a lot of time spent in one place!
Changing the environment you work in provides not only a change of scenery but could change the way you approach or view a subject. Give your mind a soft reboot, and you could see a world of difference in how you retain information.
Revision doesn’t require too much internet access, but there are loads of places you can go to sit down at a table and get working. Whether it’s a café to enjoy a nice warm drink while you work, a quiet library for a quieter environment, or even a relative’s home to be somewhere comfortable and familiar but different.
Do your best!
You can never be 100% prepared for exams, and there will always be a question or two that throws you off. But when it comes to further education qualifications, they’re the first opportunity you get to focus your studies on subjects that have been entirely chosen by you.
No matter which way you revise, leaving the exam knowing you gave it your all is what counts. We’ve given you examples of some of our favourite revision methods to help you get the best possible results.
So whether you create a word game, record yourself speaking, or form a study group, we hope you try some of these out and get the grades you want!
By the undergraduate team at Heriot-Watt University