Revision, Not Television

A strategic guide to achieve your academic potential


You must revise in order to reach your full potential. It is not easy, but effective revision can be highly rewarding, both intrinsically and extrinsically. You must first identify your learning style, once recognised you can shape your revision style. From there, other factors such as regular breaks, diet, exercise and making the most of your teachers & tutors greatly helps. But the most critical point is that you must personally invest numerous active hours to your subject rather than to your television. Remember revision, not television.

Revision Styles

The 3 main styles of learning are visual, aural and kinaesthetic. The only way to learn what style best suits you is through trial and error. Divide your next homework task into 3 pieces and assign a piece to each style. For example, 1/3- Make a poster with lots of colour and bold images. 2/3- Record yourself reading the data, then play it back to your self. 3/3- Tag pieces of data to objects in your room, then as you walk around recall what each object is. Test yourself of the data and which ever section your score most highly in is your specific learning method. Remember its not always one or the other, you maybe best suited to a combination of these techniques.

Past Papers

Come exam season, you want to become more comfortable with the paper itself. Past papers are a must as they teach you how to specifically and effectively answer the question. In addition, use the mark scheme to your advantage. I’m not saying to complete the paper with the answers in front of you, but rather mark your papers accurately and identify your mistakes. Then focus on your mistakes. This is a fast way to identify and fill gaps in your knowledge. Don’t rely on past papers! They are final stage of revision. Make sure you have fully grasped the 1st principles of your subject matter, as papers are highly plastic as the structure and question style can change. If you have only memorised the mark scheme and don’t have a solid grounding of the material, you could be caught out.

Keep Healthy During Revision

Other factors can directly help your revision. Diet is key, as your brain can’t function properly if you are hungry, as you are thinking about being hungry rather than your work. Eating healthy keeps you healthy. Getting ill during exams is not pleasant, I have 1st hand experience.

Make sure you take regular breaks, your brain gets tired if you keep working it, much like any of your muscles. Give it time to recover. Breaks also give you a good excuse to exercise. This not only prevents you getting ill, but causes a mass release of endorphins which pick up your mood and give you a greater motivation to study.

Make your revision sessions fun. This is up to what you find fun. i.e. have music on in the background, use stickers, crayons etc. It makes it far less tedious. Trust me.

Ask Your Teachers For Help

Make the most of your teachers. They are fonts of knowledge who can dynamically impart wisdom far better than any textbook. Hound at their door, ask them to give feedback on your papers and essays. Ask them to discuss your mistakes. Have discussions with them to give your understanding of an area greater depth. Use your teachers!

Using Your Time During Revision

Make sure you actively invest the hours in to revision. Its not easy, its not super fun, but it is your responsibility. If you don’t, your marks will show it, its that simple. Being active is key. Just sitting at your desk for 6 hours won’t get that A*. You must push yourself to be as productive as possible and to be fully committed to your studies.

Overall to be as successful as possible you must identify your specific learning style, establish the 1st principles of your subjects then use past papers responsibly. From there, ensure you eat well, take regular breaks, keep up an exercise routine, make your sessions fun and engaging and squeeze your teachers dry by getting as much help as possible. These are all helpful tips and tricks, but you must remember that you need to invest the hours. Not your parents. Not your teachers. YOU!

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