You only need to Google ‘revision tips’ in order to discover a plethora of advice on how to tackle revision and find strategies to help optimise what has been taught during lessons. Revision always involves a combination of memorisation and the application of all one has learnt to specific questions.
There is a limited amount of information that a typical brain is able to absorb at any one time. Expecting the mind to retain large amounts of information through last minute ‘cramming’ is unrealistic. Excessive short-term bursts of learning activity may be successful for relatively straightforward and simple revision topics but this is not a good strategy for effective and optimum examination performance. It is important to plan your revision on a timetable to ensure that all the relevant subject areas are thoroughly revised and then revisited just before the examination to ensure the detail is retained.
Below is a list of things that you and your child should do to revise for any exam:
- Eat well: there is substantial evidence to suggest that eating a healthy, balanced diet aids good brain function. You need plenty of energy to work well and remain focused.
- Drink well: drinking plenty of liquid helps reduce dehydration. Those that do not drink enough water may find their concentration and energy levels adversely affected.
- Build a revision planner: map out how many feasible days are left to revise and all the topics that need to be covered. Breaking down work into manageable chunks helps to make it less daunting and easier to tackle.
- Allow time for final revision: it is always a good idea to allow enough time at the end of the revision process to go through all the topics one final time. This reduces the possibility of the ‘recency effect’, i.e. only remembering the things most recently revised and forgetting everything else.
- Read it, Recall it, Reproduce it: do not just glance at materials but check you have absorbed the information. It is useful to employ these three ‘Rs’ in your approach to revision. You should read through the material, then try to recall the information in your mind and, finally, see if you can write down the essence of it, or the important details that should be remembered. If it is a methodology or algorithm in maths, it is important to answer a number of questions to ensure you have mastered the technique.