Revision Tips

You probably won’t be too surprised to learn that this is the time of the year when revision advice is thrown around more freely than confetti at a wedding. If you’re taking an exam in the next few months it probably feels like everyone and their dog is only too willing and able to offer guidance about how to revise.

exam tips poster

And I, of course, am no exception.

Although in my defence I would say I’m not so much offering advice as conveying that of others.

Which in this instance is some useful stuff I’ve found on the Innerdrive web site – a site that’s well-worth the time to visit for things like free posters and studies. Although you should probably be aware they really, really, really, like the work of Rosenshine and, to-a-lesser-extent-but-even-then-I-personally-wouldn’t-touch-him-with-a-ten-foot-pole, Lemov.

Even if you’re not particularly interested in Rosenshine (he seems harmless enough) and his “10 Principles of Instruction” the site actually offers a lot of solid study-related information and their “10 tips to prepare for your first exam” (I’m starting to sense a theme here…) gives teachers a Pretty Poster to put on the wall (so that SMT can see how seriously you take this whole revision thang) and students revision tips that range from the essential (spaced learning!) to the “Maybe we should have just gone with 6 or 7 tips?” (“surround yourself with positive people”).

Regardless of whether you’re in for the long-haul or just want to pick-up a few decent bits of advice you’ve got a reasonable range from which to choose:

  • Spaced revision – don’t underestimate the power of good study habits.
  • Self-testing – and if you want to learn ways to do it, this short film on retrieval practice will help.
  • Ignore your ‘phone – which may seem a bit drastic until you realise that Thornton et al (2014)  found just having a ‘phone in sight when revising made students perform 20% worse than when it was out of sight.
  • Use your teachers – they’re a brilliant resource in all kinds of ways.
  • Sleep properly – the relationship between sleep and memory has been well-documented in recent years.
  •  Exercise regularly – it’s good for both body and mind.

The probably-less-useful-but you-never-really-know-do-you? advice that can’t hurt (and might conceivably do some good) includes things like:

  • Scheduling leisure time – all work and no play…
  • Being positive in your approach to revision – part of which also includes surrounding yourself with people who are being similarly positive.
  • Visualising what you’re going to do in the exam (hopefully something more than just doodling aimlessly).

Stay Updated

Enter your email to be notified when we post something new:

Archived Posts