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Revision methods

  1. Jan 28, 2007 #1
    I am currently in year 12 in england taking maths, further maths, chem, physics and geography.
    I get fairly good grades and aced my gcses last year, but i have realised that i have NO method for revising, and it is starting to show up in tests. I wondered if anyone could tell me if they have any good/efficient methods for revising these subjects.

    And also anything about time management would be welcome too, I cant do that to save my life :tongue:
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 28, 2007 #2


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    If the tests are bothering you, try getting a copy of some previous question papers and work them out. That way, you'll know which areas you need to revise.

    Apart from that, there's the usual yadda yadda on planning, making a time table, daily revisions and all that. There's a lot of similar threads in this forum which may help you.
  4. Jan 28, 2007 #3


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    Your story sounds somewhat familiar- I did those subjects, apart from Further Maths. The moment I realised that I had more or less no revision technique came after my AS chemistry exam. I remember the night before I was sat on my bedroom floor with my books spread everywhere, in a desperate attempt to try and cram as much as I could for the next day. I ended up giving up on most of it, and just guessed a few questions that would be on the exam. Well, the next day, I was very lucky, since I could do most of the paper, but I decided I needed to buck my ideas up, since the chances of being able to guess all the exams was very slim.

    For the science subjects, the way I discovered how to revise was to go through my notes after the syllabus had been completed (for maths, for example, we had about 3 months between the end of the syllabus and the exams) and make sure that I understood the concepts of the majority of the work. After reviewing a chapter, when I thought I'd understood it, then I'd attempt the questions for the chapter. I'd carry on doing this until I got through the course. Then, get your hands on as many past exams as you can, and practice actual exam questions-- you'll start to get the hang of how to solve the sort of questions that you will be given in the exam. (Note that this may not be the best advice on how to learn the material in your courses, it's simply what I found out, and practising past exam papers definitely helps you get better grades!)

    As for geography, I can't really remember how I revised for that exam. I do remember writing out loads of case studies, etc, and then trying to write practice essays.

    Finally, my time management was (and still is) dreadful! Basically, when I've got work to do, I have to get away from any and all distractions (e.g. computer, TV, friends!). I usually go to the library nowadays, since I can go there and not get distracted! Also, whilst taking my A levels, I realised that I was amazing at planning revision- drawing up extensive revision timetables, but I was awful at sticking to them! I think for this you just need to be tough on yourself.

    Anyway, that's my experience on the matter; hope some of it helps!
  5. Jan 28, 2007 #4


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    My method, although probably not as thorough as it should have been, was to pay close attention in class when a new subject was introduced and then go over that topic that afternoon/evening, trying to get an understanding, and also reading ahead in the book so as to get a good idea of what it is about.

    Then once you understand it, revision will always be easier. Most of my classmates didn't pay much attention to the work when it was first taught; they struggled through the homework without getting a good understanding of the subject matter and then they needed much work before exams.

    Of course, revision means going over what you know, so you must already know it before you revise it! If you put the effort in to getting a good understanding, it should be much easier. Of course it also helps with tests because if you understand the work then you should never be caught off guard in a test, like that you didn't learn the particular question that is asked. For most subjects, you should be able to work through almost all the questions if you understand the subject well.
  6. Jan 28, 2007 #5
    The thing is for maths, further maths means we do 2 years worth in 1. So we basically have no time to actually go over the work before we move on.

    The going over things the evening after sounds like my best bet. I'll also move AWAY from friends in class to help concentration, should help a lot.

    Any tips for NOT getting distracted?
  7. Jan 28, 2007 #6
    I usually find my revision works better if I leave things a long time before I look at them again - at least two weeks. This ensures that you're dredging up the material from long-term memory, which your brain organises much more thoroughly and as a result is much clearer. At least, that's my theory and it explains my observations.
  8. Jan 28, 2007 #7


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    This tip should probably not be followed. I didn't get distracted because I had nothing on the desk. I used to listen in class without taking my book out, but if the lecturer was boring and I felt I wouldn't miss anything then I would read ahead in the textbook/notes. It's probably unique to me, but I seem to have a one-track mind; if I take notes I tend to miss what is being said.

    Also be warned, I was top at mathematics in my year throughout highschool; what works for me probably wouldn't work for everyone (I only mean that my needs are probably somewhat different).

    But nevertheless, I think listening to the teacher/lecturer is extremely important.
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2007
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