Exam season has kicked off, which means the end of having fun or doing anything that isn’t related to passing those exams. But just because you’re focused on passing your exams, doesn’t mean that you have to spend the next few weeks with your head buried in books. There are more fun ways to revise – that are probably more effective than just reading for hours on end. Plus, with a lot of these, they’re a lot more fun if you get stuck in with a group of friends rather than slogging it out on your own, so if you’re looking for an excuse to get some friends round…
One lesson from school that I’ll probably never forget is my Geography teacher standing at the front of the class and getting us all dancing like a member of Steps to help us remember the different types of plate movements. I’ll also probably never forget the exam where we all sat there waving our arms about like backing dancers as we tried to remember what those movements were. What I’m trying to say is that if you have information that you need to remember, one great way of doing this is to assign key bits of information to a physical action. It’s all about association and coming up with ways to help you remember the information when you get into that exam hall. Plus, getting active can help improve your memory!
Watch online videos
No, we’re not suggesting you spend all day laughing at funny videos of chickens on YouTube. There are actually loads of really helpful videos out there that will explain things you don’t understand. Those lovely folks over at O2 have got a whole website dedicated to helping you with your revision through the art of video. And to be honest, there’s some pretty good videos on there – we particularly like this song to help you remember how to work out the circumference and area of a circle.
Making posters or drawing spider diagrams with lots of colourful pens not only is great fun but has been proved to make you more effective in your revision. One thing I used to do when I was revising is make posters on big A3 sheets of paper and stick them all over my room so that I was always surrounded by them. Admittedly it did mean that I couldn’t see my mirrors for the duration of my exams. But they’re exams, the important thing is that you’re there, no one really cares whether you’ve brushed your hair or not.
We’re not giving you excuses to procrastinate – honest. And we’re definitely not encouraging you not to read the whole book for English Literature – seriously, don’t do this. You will regret it when you have to write an essay on Atticus Finch and you can’t remember anything he actually said because you fell asleep at the crucial part of the film. (I might be speaking from experience here.)
That said, watching the film of the book you’re studying can be a great way of understand it better and getting a better picture of what’s going on. Or if you’re doing languages you could watch the film in the language that you’re learning (you’d be surprised by how many DVDs have French, Spanish and German as language options). Watch with or without subtitles, depending on how confident you’re feeling.
Listening to your voice back on tape might be something that fills you with fear and makes you want to throw up. But it’s actually a great way to go through your notes without just writing them out time and time again. Apparently you can learn while you’re asleep too so if you record yourself reading your notes or explaining something to yourself and then listen to it while you’re sleeping, you can learn it while catching up on some very important sleep. Bonus!
For more advice on revision and exams have a look at…