Revision will haunt you throughout your life (sorry to tell you this!) You will have to revise for your A levels and then your degree but more than likely you will also be examined and tested in your employment. So hopefully I can provide you with a few efficient and successful ways to revise.
But before I do, I think it is important for you to recognise that everyone revises, stores and recalls information differently. It is about trying lots of different methods, testing yourself and finding which works best for your brain.
- Read the examiners mind! No I am not expecting Derren Brown powers but there is a nifty resource that your exam board will have on their website: mark schemes. These often present what examiners would be looking for in certain answers and also examiner’s comments from previous exam years. This is your most powerful resource, as these tips come straight from the people who will mark your exam answer (yes the questions won’t be exactly the same but there are still only so many variations of questions they can ask). You can find OCR R.S ones here: http://www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications/as-a-level-gce-religious-studies-h172-h572/
- Get creative! Posters are a really good way of summarising the key points into one area with pictures and colours (anything to make your revision more interesting)
- Make friends! One of the most successful ways of revising is having a study buddy – someone who will test you on key ideas/ arguments/ names/ words etc as they may ask different questions from what you have focused on or word things slightly differently. Different is good as it preparers you for anything. (If non of your friends will help ask a parent.)
- Flip Out! Flip cards with key words/ names (question on one side, answers on the other) or maybe check out Assessing the Obvious: Key Knowledge Tests for designing specific questions per topic.
- Colour Crazy! Highlight booklets and class notes (use different colours to co-ordinate information e.g one colour for key words and another for key names) A lesson without highlighters is like a day without your mobile phone = I would be totally lost. I get my students to highlight everything from key words in their notes, to exam answers (e.g strengths in one colour, weaknesses in another) to must know information. Why? The information stands out, you recognise it more quickly as important and it makes your work more colourful = easier to remember.
- Flash! Summarise information onto flash cards
- Come up with a plan! Plan lots of exam answers, these are easier than writing full answers, you can check your knowledge of an area quickly and then your teacher might also quickly check them for you to make sure there are no big errors or missing key ideas (by plan I mean bullet points notes)
- I love glossaries! My new obsession over the years (my students will confirm) are glossaries. This is basically a list of all the key words and names in a topic with a brief outline of what each means. They will help you remember what the key words are, they are also a useful resource for a friend or parent to test you on.This is a copy of the glossary I’ve done for Aristotle
- And saving the best until last: The Coveralls! These sheets cover all the content from the power points in one place (similar to revision posters). What makes these unique is the use of structured boxes to help recall information and support essay writing. (For further explanation see: Revision ‘Secret’ Weapon: The Coverall!)
To see a coverall in action check out this Revision Podcast on Situation Ethics (using the ppt found on YouTube) whilst a student makes notes on a coverall sheet:
If you would like access to all 30 revision podcasts then join I Think Therefore I Teach’s exclusive membership on the Home page. Here you will also have access to Mark with Me videos where I go through top mark exam answers, Tired Teacher videos which support essay technique and exam preparation and the Discussion Forum for all your questions.
For more ideas:
There are a lot of revision resources designed for the new spec in the shop, including Revision Packs, Key Knowledge Tests and Activities. Just click on the image below to be transferred:
Revision Guides: (for a review of these guides go to Revision Guides: Which ones are worth your money?)