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Revision strategies & techniques

When deciding on a revision strategy, it may be useful to think about the most effective ways that you learn. Recognising how you learn best means you can revise more efficiently and so save yourself time. You may want to use different techniques to create your own revision strategy. Your revision strategy might include a variety of the following techniques: 

  • You may find drawing pictures, diagrams and mind maps helpful for revision. You might like to use colour or make patterns out of your notes. Watch a demo of a mind map being created for revision. You can draw mind maps or spider diagrams by hand, or use computer software such as MindGenuis2005 and MindManager
  • You may find it useful to engage in discussion with other students, or read your notes aloud. Try recording yourself reading lecture notes or an essay and replaying it
  • You may learn best by hands-on practice and doing. Demonstrations, lab work examples and case studies can act as aids to revision. You may find it useful to re-enact situations while studying or make up actions to go with key words or concepts. Use index cards or try making charts out of the key main points
  • Go through your papers and make condensed notes for exam purposes. You might want to use separate folders for each topic. These folders can be electronic, or you may want to use real physical folders, perhaps in different colours to help you get organised. Take a look at our note taking and note making resource (activity) for detailed advice and activities on general note making strategies
  • Rehearse exam answers
    Advice from the Open University on writing a mock exam as part of your preparation
  • Memory aids (PDF)
    Flash index cards and mnemonics can be useful for remembering facts, and are easy to create
  • Tips and tricks to improve your memory
    Tips from the BBC archive on techniques you can use to improve your memory
  • Get friends to 'test' you on a few facts, figures, quotes, theories, definitions etc.