Study Skills Guide

(F) Examination Revision

Three weeks before the examinations start you should make a revision timetable. Try to revise one subject for at least half an hour each evening. Closer to the exam week you should revise one subject for one hour each evening.

During the examination week you will have half days available to revise. Make a special revision timetable for this period. This time is not an extra holiday or a chance for you to stay in bed!

Never try to revise one subject for too long at any one time. One and a half hours per subject is long enough.


Revision Rules

1. When you learn anything "by heart" you must make sure that you understand it. Always go back to it after three days and make sure that you still know it. If you have forgotten it it means that it only entered your short-term memory. Learn it again and go back to it after a couple of days. Once you can repeat it accurately after three days, the information has entered your long-term memory. Keep checking every couple of days to make sure it has!

2. One sure way to learn something is to write it out three times. Again, check after three days that you still remember it by writing it out accurately.

3. It is useful to make revision notes from your textbook or file but you must not assume that making these notes means that you know them. Learning them takes much more time and effort and you must always check your memory after a few days.

4. Some definitions, such as those you are given in mathematics, must be learnt word perfect. It is not good enough to know the definition vaguely, you must be able to reproduce every word exactly. Write the definition out three times. Repeat it over and over to yourself when you get the chance. Check that you still know it after a few days.

5. Proper nouns (names) in subjects such as history, geography and science must be learnt.

This means you must know what they represent and how to spell them correctly. History usually means learning specific dates. Learn them and check after a few days that you still know them.

6. To revise properly you need to spend much time and effort. Revision is not something which can be achieved by just reading a chapter in a book and vaguely remembering a few sentences immediately afterwards. This is true for class tests as well as examinations.


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A.W. Damon 2011


Last modification: 2011-03-01