This weeks Study With Soph post is all about what I personally find the best revision methods to use. I use lots of methods to revise, ranging from notes, revision cards, mind maps, post it notes and more, all of which I find useful in their own ways and are relevant to the different ways I revise for each subject. I think it’s very important to use loads of different revision methods, not only so that you don’t get bored whilst revising but so that more information actually goes in – or at least I like to think more information goes in by using loads of different methods! Anyway, I’d best just get into all of the ways I find best to study.
Whatever you call these – revision cards, flash cards, index cards or Q cards – flash cards are so useful for revising. You can use them in so many different ways, and they’re probably my favourite ways of getting information/facts to stick into my head.
- The first way I use flashcards is simply with a question on the front and the answer on the back. This is really useful for sciences because you can learn all the facts you really need to know for the exams in a fun (ish) way. I also like to do this for history to learn dates, for example on the front I’d put the date and on the back I’d say what happened and it’s significance – it’s always important to include a lot of concise information on the back of the card so that you’re getting all the possible information but in an easy to learn format.
- The second way is to have all the information on the front as a deep look into a specific topic, and then on the back have small symbols or abbreviated words to remind you of the information on the front and then try to recite the information on the front from the small prompts on the back.
- Another way I use flashcards, which is perhaps the most useful way for me, is to learn quotes for English literature. As all of our exams are now closed book, we need to learn quotes from 15 poems, a shakespeare play (I’m doing Romeo and Juliet) and two novels; Jekyll and Hyde and Lord Of The Flies. It means learning lots of quotes, and I find that writing the quotes out on cards and putting them on my wall with blu tac is an easy way for them to stay in my memory. It’s also useful to do this with formulas for maths and physics as I find it tricky to learn those too.
I think flashcards might be the BEST way to make sure that you get facts or important bits of information like quotes really whacked into your memory for the exams!
Notes are another one of my main ways of revising, simply because they’re quite easy and pretty to produce, and a good resource to have and reference. They’re very versatile because you can include diagrams, flow charts and all sorts. I like doing these for content heavy subjects like history and sciences, because it allows you to get all the relevant information down. I also really believe that writing out information helps it stick into your mind, but mindlessly writing is pointless; make sure you’re writing, re-reading, highlighting and reading again, then answering a practice question or doing some activity that relates to the subject you’ve been studying with those notes.
Mindmaps are an excellent way to do topic overviews, for example for science, or to show different things relating to a subject, so you could use them in history regarding all the different factors that effect a subject or relate to something that happened. I also find mindmaps incredibly useful for character overviews, both in history (for example looking at what Queen Elizabeth I was like as a person) and in English literature to explore characters of a play or novel, and what themes relate to them. Mindmaps are a great tool for looking at something in detail, or more of an overview, and they can also be made very colorful, and the use of colour in revision is very useful for some people as it helps them to remember information.
This is another bracket of mindmapping, which is way better explained in a video by Unjaded Jade, which you can find here. The concept of this revision technique, which I recently found the name for but have been using it for some time, is to do a mindmap with a topic in the middle, or a chapter title or something to focus on, and then write down everything you can remember about that topic, timing yourself for five minutes (or however long you want to give yourself). This is something I find really useful for topic tests in class as it reassures you that you know all of the knowledge needed for the test as you are able to ‘blurt’ it all out without any prompts or textbook information, simply from your own knowledge.
Timelines are one of my FAVOURITE ways of revising dates and key events for history, as it’s really important to be able to write your essays with a chronological style of writing. For example, I use timelines to remember how the Cuban Missile Crisis happened, as there are lots of dates involved. They’re easy to display on your walls, and you can learn from them each time you see them. Flashcards with dates on the front and the event on the back are amazing activities too, as you can arrange them in order and check from the dates on the back. Knowing dates and having a sound chronological knowledge for history is really important, and something which can seem overwhelming but I know this always helps me learn dates.
POST IT NOTES
Again, my love of post it notes shines through in revision as these can just stick on your wall with info you need to learn, and voila, every time you pass it you can say it outloud to yourself three times until you’ve learnt it. I have post it notes stuck up all over my bedroom before a test to try and learn information and facts.
QUIZLET & MEMRISE
To learn languages vocab, I deviate to quizlet and memrise every time. Quizlet is great for making your own flashcards on any subject, and it also has loads of activities and games you can play to learn the information. Memrise is also great, as the AQA GCSE French Vocab for my gcse has been set by our teacher to learn on there, and you get points the more you learn and level up (I’m a bit sad to say that i get quite competitive with this).
Those are my most commonly used, favourite revision methods! Do you use any of the same, or are yours different? Make sure to tell me in the comments, or chat to me about how your life is going at the moment! For me, school is really stressful as I’m coming up to mocks in january and need to start revising now, along with many practice mocks and tests in class. I have mock interviews and sixth form applications, everything is just so mad! Hence why this post is up Friday night instead of Wednesday as I didn’t have time to write it midweek but I had a training day this Friday and although I haven’t got much work done, me and mum did go shopping which was lovely! I’m going to a Christmas light switch on tonight too!