How to become a pro at effective revision

Do you use some of these tips for your revision?

Ah, those long hours spent studying for upcoming tests and exams. Whilst we know, thanks to Sir Francis Bacon, that knowledge is power, we can often find ourselves wondering if the hard work is worth it. The short answer is yes.

The better you are at revising, the better your results will be – guaranteed. However, there is no reason studying for your next big test needs to be as tedious as it has been in the past! Here are some useful tips you should consider for your next examination:

Spreading your study sessions out over a longer period can help retain information.Spreading your study sessions over a longer period can help retain information.

1. Timing is everything

While the temptation to experience Auckland life as much as possible can be hard to resist, it really is important to start revising early on. Research by the University of Sheffield found people who wait around 24 hours between each study session are likely to score higher than those who crammed 50 per cent more time into studying in a shorter time period. 

The key thing to take away from this research is that less can be more even when revising. It's simply a matter of spacing out your study better. 

2. Let's get visual

Did you know 65 per cent of people are visual learners? If you fall into this group, you will have more success remembering what you study if you see it visually. So instead of trying to cram an entire book into your brain by reading something over and over again, try drawing graphs or mind maps to visualise the connections better. 

By structuring important information in a way that is easy for you to read over serves two purposes. Firstly, since you have to work through all the content to make it more digestible for your learning style, you're already ingesting a lot of information. Secondly, once you have done the hard yards of preparing topics in a more appealing way, you can read over your notes easier and faster. 

3. Get others involved

Form a study group with friends to quiz each other on different topics.

There is little as motivating as a bit of friendly competition. A great way to get both your study time in and see your friends is to form a group where you quiz each other on the topics you are revising for. Building skills and knowledge in a specific area always takes more than simply memorising the answers to questions. 

A good approach to avoid falling into this mindless learning trap is to get your friends to not only ask practise questions from a teacher, but challenge you to explain the topic. Having to actively express your knowledge to others will engrain all the essentials better. 

4. Practise makes perfect

One of the biggest mistakes you want to avoid doing is revising every area you will be tested on, but not how you will need to answer questions. Mastering multi-choice questions can be just as difficult as writing a long essay is you're not used to this type of examination. 

So, just as getting together in a study group is a great way to ingest the essential information better, doing practise rounds according to the exam's structure is a helpful way to prepare yourself.

So why do we tolerate, much less venerate and applaud, sleep deprivation? #SleepRevolution

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5. Take time to rest

As important as revision is, you also need to take the time to unwind and let your brain destress. Learning skills and building knowledge is most effective when you allow your body rest in-between study periods. 

Make nap time or the full eight hours of sleep a priority and you will be surprised how well you retain important information. 

Want to learn more about making the most of your studies? Reach out to the support team at Auckland Institute of Studies to talk about how you can make the most of your studies.