Future Voices: Revision tips for when nothing else is working

A science festival at Ormiston Victory Academy to help year 11 students from Victory, Venture, Endea

A science festival at Ormiston Victory Academy to help year 11 students from Victory, Venture, Endeavour, Cliff Park and North Walsham High School with revision. - Credit: Archant

Revision is a fundamental part of achieving success at any level of education.

Whether it is at secondary school or university, mock exam or the real thing, it is vital that students are able express their knowledge fully and well.

However, revision can be often be laborious and tiresome. There are no one-size-fits-all techniques, either.

To overcome these problems there are some unusual methods that may help students whose conventional revision is not paying off.

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• Recording Yourself

This is particularly efficient for memorising poems or sections of writing that need to be recalled and quoted accurately in an exam. Simply recite the poem or section of writing you need to remember over and over, record yourself doing it, and then listen to the recording.

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Repeat this process until you can recall the text perfectly. The audio can then replayed anywhere, so revision can be done on the walk to or from school, in the bath, or at any free moment.

• Watching YouTube Videos

There are some fantastic resources on YouTube for revision, with the best videos being made by other students or by teachers.

At A-level I found a channel named Mr Pollock integral to my success at biology. You may even want to create your own videos and upload them as a form of revision, helping other students in the process.

• Taboo Acronyms or Diagrams

Students recite information better when they have memorable cues that allow them to access it. Taboo acronyms or diagrams serve as incredibly effective cues - they stick out in our memory as they are distinct and unconventional stimuli, rather than decaying like mundane memories which sink into the realm of the forgotten.

Next time you need to remember Eastern Daily Press, use the acronym EDP and construct a sentence, using words whose first letters match the acronym that you might hide from your parents. It just works.

• Cover Your Room In Mind Maps

Mind maps are consistently found to be the most effective form of revision. However, once you finish them don't put them away, instead decorate your room with them - put mind maps on walls, windows and the ceiling above your bed.

Seeing the information you need to remember constantly will keep it fresh in your mind and make it more easily accessible.

Create mind maps that are as bright and colourful as possible to make them even more memorable.

• Can you think of any other unusual revision tips? What works best for you?

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