Revision techniques: The ULTIMATE revision guide

by on

Finding the most efficient revision methods for your learning style

As students, I’m sure we’re all aware of the ever-impending doom of ‘the big tests’ or perhaps even mocks for those GCSE students currently facing this stressful time. However, I’ve got some pretty handy tips and revision techniques that’ll match your learning style and hopefully make a difference to your study habits and routine.

So, if you’re interested in doing better in school, then feel free to focus, get comfortable, and read ahead! I hope these help!

revision technique 1

Photo by @study.chiaa

#Revision basics Before I move onto different methods, here are some basics every student needs to know. Think of these steps like criteria for your exam board specification; except, these steps are to increase your chances of success.

  1. Firstly, create a revision plan for all your subjects’ revision! Adapt is the perfect app for that; imagine hours of planning cut down to a few seconds as Adapt’s algorithm calculates everything you need to cover in a few seconds! Win-win, right?

  2. During revision, be sure to take good breaks between study sessions! Studying long hours not only burns you out, but tires your mind to the point it won’t be able to function as well as it could. I recommend the pomodoro technique, as it’s scientifically proven to give you better grades! Here’s a link if you’d like to know more. Other awesome apps to aid you with productivity include Forest and Flipd.

  3. Besides that, sleep! Don’t try to stay up all-night because all-nighters are going to bring you down, especially during the weeks leading up to mocks/final tests. **Sleep relieves stress, improves memory retention, and feel fresher and more motivated to work when the time presents itself. **

  4. Lastly, know your learning style. If you do know it and it seems to work, then that’s awesome. If it doesn’t work for you, try new methods. There are three types of learners; visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners. If you don’t know your learning style, try taking this quiz to find out which one you are before reading on, since these different revision methods will be for different learners.

revision technique 2

Photo by @study.chiaa

#Flashcard Frenzy One of the most popular methods of learning is flashcards! If you’re not aware of this method, let me inform you. Flashcard revision is a system where you fill in cards with condensed information, key terms, and/or quick fire questions to jog your memory when the time presents itself. Answers and questions are filled on opposite sides of the cards, so you can actively recall them. This method is best for ‘seeing’ or ‘memory’ subjects such as languages, Science, English and Maths!

If you’re interested in buying supplies or need some inspiration on how to format your flashcards, here are some really helpful videos:

Flashcards are great at summarizing information, and go really well with sub-topics. In case you’re not keen on making physical flashcards, there are some super helpful apps to create digital ones, such as StudyBlue, Quizlet and Tinycards.

Pros of this revision method include:

  1. Long-term memory, due to constant repetition of knowledge/words.

  2. Focused learning on one topic of potential struggle.

  3. Active recall (as you attempt to remember and explain rather than just read off a textbook).

  4. Also, research has shown that students using this technique have significantly higher grade rates.

Cons of this revision method may be:

  1. It can take a long time to make the flashcards.

  2. Physical flashcards can easily go missing.

  3. It can get full/heavy after a while due to loads of cards.

revision technique 3

Photo by @study.chiaa

#Review Sheets Review sheets are another popular method of revision. A review sheet is basically one sheet of A4 paper where you take different sources (textbooks, class notes), condense and summarize them, and write down all key information on that one piece of paper for a topic!

For example, you could write a review sheet on Momentum.

The great thing about this revision method is that you have total control of the look. Here are some study accounts that are amazing resources for inspiration: tbhstudying and sashimi.notes.

This is mainly a physical revision method, but here is a great app if you’d like to do digital review sheets: GoodNotes 5. I find that this method is best for content-heavy/methodical subjects such as Business, Science, and Maths.

Extra tip: if you learn by colour, be sure to stock up on some highlighters! Here are some links to common products used to create them:

Pros of this method include:

  1. Active recall and learning (it reinforces memory as you’re not just reading; you’re summarizing and understanding information).

  2. Relative ease in finding review sheets.

Cons of this method include:

  1. It takes time to make and it may be tedious if you are short on time (it’s best to do this throughout your course, and not all at once as you cram for exams).

  2. You may also run out of space.

revision technique 4

Photo by @study.chiaa

#Old-fashioned notes Whether they’re bullet point style, cornell style, or even just some random scribbles, as long as you summarize information from sources and understand your personal notes, there shouldn’t be much of an issue.

The most beneficial style however, (in terms of research) has been found to be Cornell Notes. If you’re interested in learning more about it, here are some great resources:

A really popular product that you might like for Cornell Note taking is this notebook!

Pros of this revision method include:

  1. Format contribution, where it teaches you to think in terms of main concepts and key knowledge (which reinforces memory on important details).

  2. Space to list extra information.

  3. Consistent summarizing.

Honestly, most subjects would definitely benefit from this method of revision!

Cons of this method include:

  1. Time, as you need quite a bit to note-take.

  2. It may not be your ideal note-taking style.

  3. Cornell Notes may take some getting used to as you learn the layout.

  4. Potentially running out of space is definitely a major con as well.

revision technique 5

Photo by @study.chiaa

#Practice, practice Past papers and topic questions are going to be your absolute best friend as you prepare for your GCSEs and mocks! This method is super important. You can normally find loads of past papers on your exam board’s subject’s website, but some websites such as Physics and Maths Tutor, Save My Exams and Revision World have great resources for the three Sciences and common subjects.

Pros of this method include:

  1. The building of exam technique (which is highly important for subjects such as Biology or Chemistry)

  2. It gets you familiar with terms that should be in your answer for full marks.

  3. It helps you apply knowledge and engage your memory.

  4. It lets you practice doing the exam under time pressure.

  5. It’s very useful to you as you develop and craft your future answers.

  6. In addition, it also gives you an idea of topics you struggle with.

The only con with this is that it requires a heck ton of printing on paper, and time to print. Though some of you may opt to answer aloud and do it digitally, actually practicing writing under pressure will be more useful as you try to answer quickly and see how you’d perform in real conditions!

revision technique 6

Photo by @study.chiaa

#Mind maps and diagrams Mind maps and diagrams are one of my personal favorites. Basically, you can take a large sheet of paper and just do spider diagrams of topics to connect ideas, and build images of processes in your head. I’m not the best explainer, so here are some really handy tutorials on how to make mind maps if this revision style interests you:

Again, if you’re not exactly a fan of doing things by hand, apps that are awesome at creating digital mind maps include: MineNode 6, Lucidchart, and Mind Mapping. This method would be best for subjects with lots of processes; so, subjects like Biology, Physics, Chemistry and etc would really benefit.

Pros of this method include:

  1. Creativity increase!

  2. It helps you make connections of concepts.

  3. It allows you to organize and understand information faster.

  4. It improves memory, active recall, and retention, and colors, images and key words also enhance your memory.

Cons of this are:

  1. If you forget the topic, it may be hard to re-remember and revise older mind maps if you scrawled random words or phrases.

  2. It may again also take time to make.

revision technique 7

Photo by @study.chiaa

#Teaching others Teaching someone else or saying things aloud to yourself is also a super amazing learning style. It is the best way to know if you understand content because you’re teaching someone else the content. The subjects that would benefit from this most are explanation-type subjects; these include the Sciences, Psychology, History, Business and etc.

Pros include:

  1. An improvement in good memory retention as you’re saying things aloud.

  2. It teaches others around you.

  3. You could also have questions from the person you’re teaching to see if you yourself know the answer.

Cons include:

  1. There’s no way to refer back to it as it’s solely dependent on memory at that point in time

  2. It may not work as well for subjects such as Maths, where it’s best to show rather than tell.

revision technique 8

Photo by @study.chiaa

#Best options for learner types Now that you know some handy revision styles, you must be wondering, which ones are the best for my learning style? Please note this is all based on research and qualities of each learning style! :)

##The best revision styles for visual learners

For visual learners the best methods would be:

  • Flashcards
  • Mind maps
  • Diagrams
  • Practicing past papers
  • Review sheets

These methods are all very ‘visual-heavy’, so visual learners who love to learn from diagrams or drawings would really benefit from this! Seeing drawings may be easier and more efficient for them, rather than something else.

##The best revision styles for auditory learners

For auditory learners, the best methods would be:

  • Teaching someone else
  • Explaining concepts to yourself
  • Using mnemonics to help you remember
  • (Perhaps) writing Cornell notes
  • Practicing past papers.

What’s key here is that you’re listening to something. If the sound of your voice helps you memorise more efficiently, then these methods should really help with revision as well!

##The best revision styles for kinesthetic learners

Lastly, for kinesthetic learners, the best methods would be:

  • Practicing past papers
  • Teaching someone else
  • Flashcards
  • Review sheets
  • The pomodoro technique.

Kinesthetic learners may get bored easily, so they’re more prone to losing motivation if they study for hours straight! The pomodoro method should hopefully give them time to both relax and be productive within the 25-minute/45-minute sets.

revision technique 9

Photo by @study.chiaa

#Conclusion Thank you so much for reading! Good luck on your mocks or GCSEs, and I really hope this helped! It’s certainly beneficial to see which methods may suit you, so I totally recommend giving it a try.

If it worked, feel free to message me on Instagram, @study.chiaa, or follow me if you’d like more information as well as study notes/bullet journaling posts. <3

revision technique 10

Photo by @study.chiaa

What is Adapt, and how does it help you manage your time and revision?

Adapt is a brand new app which creates a personalised, exam specific timetable for you, for free. Not only can you add revision to your calendar, but your homework, topic tests, and any other task you want to do! There are so many exciting features to discover.

Feel better about your revision today by using Adapt- the app that knows all your exam dates, all the topics you need to learn, and creates your perfect revision timetable for you. Oh, and don’t worry, if you miss a topic it will reschedule it for you! So, you are getting everything done without guilt, stress, or countless hours of planning!


Cover photo by: @study.chiaa

Follow Adapt on Instagram!

Sign up to the Adapt waitlist

Meet the team behind Adapt

Read the rest of our Blog posts

Join the Adapt Community

Revision

Parents: Here's how to keep your child motivated and productive during lockdown

University

How to write a UCAS Personal Statement that stands out

After exams

2020 GCSE and A Level grading system Explained

After exams

A message from Adapt during the COVID-19 lockdown

Revision

Revision techniques: The ULTIMATE revision guide

Planning

How to plan your revision

Revision

How to get an A* in English

After exams

How to balance extracurriculars with studies