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Revision strategies

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The purpose of revision

Revision means going over work in order to:

1. Check your understanding.
Make links between different topics to see how the whole subject fits together.
Remind yourself of material you have forgotten.
Reinforce your learning.
Identify and fill gaps in your knowledge.

Revision techniques

There are countless ways of revising. The least effective ways are those that involve just reading through notes over and over. The most effective ways are those where you interact with the material, making it meaningful to yourself, for example:

1. Using your material to answer a question or address a problem you have not previously tackled.
Reworking the material into a chart or diagram.
3. Summarising material under headings onto index cards.
4. Discussing the material with other people.
5. Make links, comparisons and contrasts between different areas of your programme.
6. Evaluate different theories.

Seven tips for exam revision

1. Start early.
2. Make a revision timetable. Avoid wasting time re-writing this over and over again.
3. Answer questions from past papers.
4. Identify the key points, examples and evidence for each topic- you will not be able to write very much on each in the exam.
5. Prepare for questions that combine two different topics.
6. Prepare for unusual questions or angles for your ‘best’ topics.
7. Go over the same material quite quickly several times rather than spending a long time on one occasion.

For more advice, see handy tips for assessments, essay writing: revision, and the free audio download on exam skills.

The Study Skills Handbook For further information please see Chapter 14 of The Study Skills Handbook and The Exam Skills Handbook by Stella Cottrell.

The Exam Skills Handbook