20 February 2017

How you revise is a personal and individual process. When you revise your work, you approach it with your own understanding and knowledge and use your own revision techniques. We are all strong in some aspects and weaker in others. To revise appropriately you need to know your strengths and weaknesses so you should take some time evaluating your approach.

Here are some tried-and-tested exam tips that will prove helpful during exams:

1. Focus on quality, not quantity.
Revision has to be matched to what is required from you rather than random, unstructured effort. Make sure that the time you spend on revision is quality time, where your concentration is at its peak, using the most appropriate revision method.  Build in suitable breaks to give your brain time to consolidate the learning.

2. Time your revision sessions.
Set a definite end time for each revision session. Your revision time should be short enough to hold your attention throughout.

3. Scope the work that needs to be covered.
Identify the scope of the work you need to revise prior to the exam and make a list of what you need to cover and in how much detail. This will provide you with some time to collect any additional information or get any support prior to starting the serious work.

4. Revise actively, not passively.
Passive revision involves you just reading notes and copying out passages with limited to no understanding of the content. Active revision, however, involves organising your material and making a real effort to understand content.

5. Develop a revision timetable. 
Develop a revision timetable that will allow you to build in repeat sessions where possible. If you start revising early enough this should be possible. 

6. Monitor your progress.
Constantly monitor your progress and change your revision timetable so that is remains effective for you. 

7. Use memory techniques.
Memory techniques are useful for remembering facts or processes. Make up your own memory techniques to help you remember a list of ideas, questions, calculations etc.

8. Test yourself.
Create a list of question to test yourself on what you know. Ask ‘when’, ‘where’, ‘how’, ‘why’ and ‘what’ type of questions.  Build in some time during the revision to think about what you have just revised.

9. Work in a group.
Don’t forget the value of working in a group. Consider working in a group for some revision sessions. Allocate certain topics or themes to each person in the group, so when you meet, each person can give a short talk on what they have done.

(Source: Adapted from Solutions for All Life Orientation Learner's Book Grade 12. Adapted from Farhangpour, P., Iyer, S., Kennedy-Smith, L. & Rentel, J. 2013. Macmillan Education)

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