Today’s post is by Katy. She has provided us with her two main revision techniques that meant she was able to ace her GCSEs and wanted to share them with you! Both of these techniques can often be difficult to know where to start with them, so Katy has offered advice on where to begin.
Katy has tried both and believes them to be the best ones that worked for her!
First Key Revision Method - Mind Maps
Mind Maps are often misconstrued as a boring revision technique that doesn’t help to actively recall information that we need to know. Well - I am here to change your mind and convert you into using this wonderful tool to help you get ahead with revision this year.
Whether it be for a science topic, or to explore the themes in your English novel… mind maps can work in so many ways to aid your learning. Not only that, but they allow you to tap into your creative side and go wild with colour, text and images.
How to set up a mind map:
First things first, you need to be clear on what you actually want to include in your resource. Whittle the information down. Don’t bombard yourself with too much to include.
Next, you want to make it concise and only include the facts. Only use the key points for your topic or subject. Keep it to bullet point ideas so that it is crystal clear what tangent you are following.
Here, I wanted to create a contextual resource on Hamlet by Shakespeare. So I made a super quick post it note on the elements I wanted to cover. This can be helpful to do before you get started with the colours and calligraphy…
Then comes the fun part where we get to start building this thing. It’s really easy to get going. I recommend starting in pencil.
- Plot out your title and placement of each subheading. You can connect with arrows from the centre or use a different colour so its really clear. Decide on your colour scheme.
In this example, I chose purple for the title and blue for the other topics. Note down the information from your source, keeping it nice and neat. You can experiment with colour and text - adding capitals, underlining, or boxing key information to remember.
I like to use felt tips for the titles, pens or fineliner to write with and highlighters to emphasise certain facts. I also find it helpful to include little drawings or images that relate to the topic.
Top Tip - Keep your writing small and neat so that you can cram in a lot of information whilst allowing the text to be legible.
After an hour or so of hard mind mapping graft; you are done!
This resource can be used to help you consolidate knowledge, recap key topics, summarise information and is a unique, creative way of learning. Mind maps like this are also super handy pre-exams as a quick revision tester. Once you have done one, you can go onto make as many as your heart desires!
You will get speedier as you go so don’t panic if the first one took you awhile. And there you have it! You are a mind mapping wizard. Let me know how you got on with my technique.
Second Key Revision Method- ‘Splurging’
Splurging is a term that has been christened to this great revision technique. Often it can be really difficult to pinpoint exactly what we need to practice in order to improve grades. Whatever subject you are struggling with, this will help you to know exactly what information you are retaining and what might be missing.
So how do you do it?
You want to start by going over a topic. Read a textbook, look at your flashcards, or study that mind map.
After this revision session, grab a piece of scrap paper. Close all of your resources away and write down everything that you can remember from your studying.
Then, once you can’t remember anything else - read over the page you have just created and look for any gaps in your learning. It will become obvious to you what knowledge you have lost in the midst of your revision.
This skill is really useful prior to an exam. On the morning before your test, use this ‘splurging’ technique to check your understanding of any last minute ‘need to know’ information.
You can see in the example below, I created a splurge page on Rossetti before my AS exam. I included all of the key quotes and context I could remember that I wanted to add into my essay or, that I thought would be relevant. Anything I missed, I could then quickly look over before the exam. It made me feel confident in my knowledge and assured that I had a good understanding of what I was going to write about.
I hope this blog post helps you!
Remember- Not all revision techniques work for everyone. Try these ones out and see how they go for you.
P.S. Please be kind to yourself during exam season. Look after your health and try your best cause that’s all you can do :)
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