Sunday, 6 May 2012

Study Preparation & How to Revise Effectively


  • Early on, decide how many days you will need to spend on each subject.
  • Make sure you spend time on your weaker subjects and don't avoid them, but not to be over-confident about your stronger subjects and neglect them.
  • Realize that there are distinct stages to learning: acquiring, understanding, memorising and testing knowledge. Allow time for each of these stages.
  • Be realistic in your planning. Don't set yourself target which you have no chance of reaching. Consider the work you have to do, the time that you have and how fast you know you can work. If you find you don't have time to do it all, go back and reconsider the number of topics you've decided to learn.
  • Try to keep your study sessions short. Most people find short and frequent work periods of about one and a half hours work much better than long marathons.
  • Don't put off revising by telling yourself you haven't got enough time. 20 minutes can be perfect opportunity to revise 'quick reference' cards.
  • If you set aside 1 hour to revise, make sure that you are ready to revise than. Don't allow yourself to spend 30 minutes putting on the kettle!!!!
  • Even if you deliberately set fairly easy reachable targets, you will still get a psychological boost each time you achieve your goal.
  • Never forget that a plan should be flexible. There is no way that you will keep exactly to your plan and you need to be prepared to alter it along the way.
  • Include spare days in your revision plan. These can be used to catch up on any topic, which you need to spend more time on.
  • Leave time for relaxation either as 'spare days' or as rewards at the end of a day - have a night off!!!

How to Revise Effectively
  • Make sure you know what the key phrases used in exams (e.g. "evaluate", "compare and contrast", "analyze" means and how to answer questions that begin this way.
  • Make the learning process distinctive in some manner. The more distinctive the learning, the greater the probability that you will remember it at the vital time. Read, make notes, speak into a tape recorder, prepare a presentation for a friend, use past exam papers, work with friends from your course.
  • Take short breaks during the working session to do something relaxing and different for 10 minutes and then come back relaxed and refreshed.
  • Use different coloured pens and papers. They will act as keys and aid your memory in exams. Similarly, rhymes or keywords will help you remember lists of information.
  • Make use of spider diagrams to force you to interact with the information, i.e. to process it in some form. This will aid your memory and comprehension of the material. Straight-down-the-page notes restrict you to a linear path of thought. A spider diagram enables you to connect information in many different ways.
  • Try using file cards to write down keywords that you need to remember on any particular topic. These can be very useful as memory-joggers once you've revised a topic. Finish your revision session on an interesting or good point.

Good luck and don't forget to pray to God for your success.

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