Firstly find out exactly which topics you need to revise for each exam you are taking in the summer. Work out how much time you are going to put aside for revision on a daily basis. Write these times down in your diary and stick to them! Do not let Facebook, Twitter, friends or anything else eat into this time. If you have a year’s worth of revision and three weeks to revise it in, I suggest that you spend one week revising each term (or plan in this manner relative to your timeframe).
Second, work out which topics/subjects need the most revision. You need to spend three times as long revising your weakest topics than your strongest ones and twice as long on the medium ones.
These depend on individuals and how they learn best. Are you primarily a visual (by seeing), auditory (by listening), or kinaesthetic (by doing), learner?
If you are primarily a visual learner try making colourful mind maps*.
If you prefer the linear layout make colourful bullet points on cards. Make up a funny visual story in your imagination about the work you are learning, with the same cartoon or character for one subject.
Learn sitting comfortably with your arm propped up by a cushion so that the material that you are learning is above your eye line and therefore going straight into your visual memory.
If you are primarily an auditory learner, try reading the key points out aloud, recording them on your phone or on an MP3 recorder and play your recording back to yourself.
You can make up a funny story using mnemonics. The first letter of each word you are learning changes into the first word of your funny story e.g. for remembering the points on the compass – North, South, East and West, a well-known phrase is “Never eat shredded wheat.” This goes around clockwise to remind you where the points of the compass are.
Kinaesthetic learners can act out what they are learning on an imaginary stage, walking around the room as they learn and also make bullet points on cards and place them around the room that they are learning in.
A combination of these memory techniques is to use the Roman room system, where you imagine one of the subjects in each room, say science in the kitchen, so you would attach information about electricity circuits, and place them on post-it notes on the circuits in the kitchen. Learn about radio waves by the microwave, magnets on the fridge door, photosynthesis on the herb plant pot in the kitchen etc., remember it visually, and in auditory and kinaesthetic manner. Then use another room for another subject.
Some practical advice for the exam day…
With best wishes for all of your exams — Izzy
*Mind map — see Tony Buzan, ThinkBuzan.com
Izzy Harrap. Hornsby Dip. Dip AT. NLP Practitioner. AMT Master Practitioner.