How To Revise- The Top 7 Revision Tips
From grapes to past papers, there are lots of neat revision tips that can guarantee that top grade. Here's 7 of my favourite
1. Chewing GumChewing gum has several benefits in terms of learning new things. First of all, a study found that it can improve your short and long term memory by up to 35%! It's also been shown that chewing a certain flavour of gum when learning something, and then chewing that same flavour again when you have to recall it helps, and it helps with the stress and anxiety of exams. Whether you believe these studies or not, there's no harm in trying is there? And you never know, believing that chewing gum can do all these magical things could trigger a sort of Placebo effect.
2. Past Exam QuestionsLearning everything there is to know about a subject doesn't guarantee a good grade. You need practice in answering the sorts of questions which they might set; examiners are often looking for certain keywords or explanations, and knowing these can secure you a top grade. Do as many past papers as you possibly can, and then mark these yourself with a mark scheme. Note down any errors you make, and pay particular attention to questions that come up every time.
Learn model answers to these recurring questions and learn how the examiners word questions. For example, if a questions asks you to 'Describe' a process, you probably won't get any marks for giving an explanation. It's also best to do these past papers in a different, empty room, and time yourself. Give yourself less time than what's allocated in the exam and work towards getting your target grade.
3. WaterBuy a large water bottle and keep it filled up on your desk. Aim to drink about 1.5 litres a day to make sure you're properly hydrated. The brain's mainly water, and being just slightly dehydrated can negatively effect brain performance. Furthermore, drinking water can improve your brain performance straight after as this study shows. Water has numerous other health benefits such as clear skin, healthy weight loss and reducing your risk of certain cancers (for more benefits click here). There's no downside to drinking a healthy quantity of water, and it's definitely helped keep me working efficiently in the past.
4. ElectronicsAlthough many people tell you to unplug your computer, and revise in an empty room, I say: keep it on. Computers are a great help when revising. If you need to know the precise definition of photosynthesis, you don't need to waste your time searching through a textbook, just open up Google, and type in "define photosynthesis". In addition to this, there're plenty of programmes that can make note taking easy. Some I advise using are, Mindnode for mind maps, Anki for flashcards and OmmWriter for writing down notes without getting distracted. Using these tools, you can save time and make revision more fun.
5. CaffeineMany people say to stay away from caffeine and just get a good nights sleep. Whilst it's probably healthier to do so, it's not always practical, and caffeine can be really helpful for giving you a boost. However, there are several things you need to know to utilise it properly. First of all, drinking caffeine will nearly always result in a period of alertness and superpowers (the high) and then a crash. You need to time both of these to truly master the use of it. Try having a coffee now, note down how long you feel alert for, and then note down when you crash. Say for example, you stayed alert for three hours and then crashed. It'd be best to have a dose of caffeine in the morning to wake you up, and then have one at about 6PM. At six in the evening, you are probably at your least productive, and will benefit most from the caffeine boost. Then you'll crash a 9PM and get a good nights sleep. Play around with timings and the dose of caffeine, and you should eventually master it. Of course, you can always replace the morning caffeine dose with a short walk, or a cold shower, however, I think that the evening caffeine dose is essential to maximise productivity.
6. GrapesKeep a big basket of grapes on your desk. They'll last a while, and they'll keep your blood sugar up.
7. The Night Before TipsSo you have an important exam the next day, and you want to know what you can do to perform your best the next day? You should revise, but keep it to stuff you're unsure about, there's no point going over things you already know. Also, try and do some past questions to prepare yourself for the paper. In terms of performing your best, you should try your best to get an early night. This way you'll be on top form for the exam. If however, you need to revise, then by all means stay up. Put everything you need to learn on small flashcards, and then you can keep on looking at these on your way to the exam. Hopefully, you'll know how long your caffeine high effect lasts, and you can use this to judge if it's worth having a coffee or energy drink before the exam to make up for your inadequate sleep. If it's a one hour exam, and your caffeine induced superpowers last for two hours, then go for it! If however, it's a three hour exam, you may want to look into bringing grapes or smarties into the exam room if you're allowed.
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