Peter Smith

Publications, Lectures and Other Stuff

Exam Revision Tips

Useful. I have been suggesting ideas like these to students for several decades now:

My version includes:

1. Repetition. Go over the material you have to study for the exam several times (or many, if your prefer 🙂 ).

2. Practice. As this article says practice the form of the exam, e.g. essay writing, short answers, etc..

3. Distributed learning. It’s impossible for most of us to absorb a mass of information all at once (It’s as difficult as trying to absorb an entire week’s food in one sitting). You can probably learn more effectively from 3 separate 20-minute learning sessions than 1 concentrated 1-hour one.

4. Give yourself breaks. Find a relaxing way of splitting up your revision time (e.g. study for 20 minutes; dance for 10. Repeat).

5. Find what works for you. Everyone is different. People can comfortably concentrate for different amounts of time. Some people learn better from visual material (one of my students turned everything she studied into artistic diagrams); others from what they hear.

6. Understand the material. It’s much easier to remember material we understand. Think how difficult it is to remember nonsense words. Structuring material for ourselves & writing it out helps.

7. Studying with others. Spend at least some revision time with a friend who asks you questions about the material.

8. Get a good night’s sleep before the exam. People who pull ‘all-nighters’ may have reduced memory. When I was an undergrad, one of my fellow students even fell asleep during the exam — and snored all the way through it.

Good luck !

Peter Smith


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This entry was posted on January 10, 2014 by in Education and tagged .
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