Exam season seems right around the corner and you may be worrying about when to start revision and what is the best way to begin. Or maybe you haven’t really thought about it yet and this is can be your reminder. Looking for some helpful revision tips? Look no further. I’ve set out five tips that have helped me with my exams in the past and I hope they can help you too.

1) Start early:

You may be thinking that this is an obvious step and you’re right, it is, but some people may be wondering how early exactly they have to start. I have to admit I don’t start making my mind maps too early but I think it’s important to start planning early. Once you know the topic of the exam questions you could start noting down what you want to include and key arguments. This can also be the time to start reading up on the topic and expanding your knowledge on key players in the subject. Making your revision notes could start a couple of weeks before the exam.

2) Map out your thoughts

Personally, I find the best way to organise my thoughts is to set them out in front of me. My preferred method is using a mind map, but you can use flashcards, a flow chart, spider diagrams or even PowerPoint. Organising your revision can help you be able to focus on the most important aspects or the parts that you are finding more difficult to learn. Breaking all the knowledge down into categories or sections can make it seem less daunting when you come to look at it.

3) Use lots of colour

Using colour can make your notes easier to read and separate. By highlighting key dates, facts and case studies in certain colours, they stand out and this might help stick in your mind more. If you are revising for an essay-based exam, setting out your main points in different colours can help you remember the corresponding information easier. Certain colours such as yellow can actually help you remember things.

4) Test yourself and others

As the date of the exam draws closer you may want to try quizzing yourself using your revision notes. This may work best for key dates and case studies. Using the revision notes you have means you can read them then cover them up and try to recall the main points they set out. This can also work in groups as you can ask people to test your knowledge, or you can test others if you are answering the same question – helping you both to revise.

5) Condense the information and use repetition

If some of the previous methods I have mentioned don’t work for you another way you can revise is taking the information and condensing it into the most important parts. Trying to learn a condensed version is much easier than trying to memorise the whole module. Some people like to simply write out their information in paragraphs and if that is the case for you then repetition could really help. Whether this includes writing it out over and over or reading it out loud to commit the information to memory repetition. This may help you recall the information in the exam.

I hope you find at least some of these tips and methods helpful. Testing them out and seeing which one works for you would be best. Good luck with your exams!
– Bethany Lilly Dixon –