Hello everyone, today I will be talking about revision methods that I have benefited from personally (from timetables to mind maps- I’m covering it all today)! Firstly, I want to point out that not all of these methods will work for everyone, so try out the different types until you find a method that suits you, and revision should be much less complicated after that!
First off is timetabling! For effective timetables, I have found that working out i) how many days you have remaining until your exams begin, and ii) how many hours of revision you can do in a day (BE REALISTIC ABOUT THIS!!) is very useful in creating a realistic timetable; once you know these two pieces of information, you can begin to plan what to revise and when. Look at the module pages for your subjects on Moodle and make a checklist of all the topics and subtopics you can see. Once you have done this, see how many subtopics and topics there are to cover in total and then divide this by the number of days remaining before your exams to find out how much time to spend on each topic (e.g. if there are a total of 60 subtopics and there are 40 days remaining before exams, try to cover 1-2 topics every day; cover 2 topics on the days you are able to get more hours of work done and cover one topic on slower days- just make sure you are completing revision for at least one topic per day so that you can check it off of your list by the end of the day and therefore stay motivated due to feeling like you accomplished a goal each day).
Mind maps are very useful for planning answers to essay questions- put the topic in the middle of the bubble and branch ideas off of it. Think mainly about your line of argument, the key tensions between opposing viewpoints, key scholars/ critics to include in your writing, key descriptions, and any other important information you would like to include to answer the question (e.g. for law it would be key statutes or cases). Once you have completed the mind map, on the backside of the paper create a brief essay plan using any subheadings you would include in your essay- under these subheadings, organise the key points you have just jotted on your mind map and then you should be able to see your essay beginning to form/ take shape!
Flashcards would be useful for information that you need to memorise, for instance in the case of law it would be statutes/ case names and their facts/ details. Try not to write in long paragraph form here, but rather in bullet points. This will ensure that you are only including key information and that you are being concise with the details that you are memorising. Once you have made all your flashcards, read over them before you go to bed every day so that you are memorising them. Get a friend or family member to test you on the details (or cover the flashcard and test yourself), and highlight the flashcards where you got the answer wrong or messed up the memorisation. Pay extra attention when memorising these marked flashcards and spend more time on them, but also remember to routinely look over the ones you know well in order to keep them in your memory.
Pomodoro timers are great ways to plan your revision sessions- they can either be 25 minutes of revision with 5 minute breaks in between, or 50 minutes of revision with 10 minute breaks in between. I have found that this method helps to keep you focused on the task, as your breaks are not too long that you lose focus, but are long enough that you get to rest briefly before starting to work again. Try both timers and see which suits you better. If this method works for you, I would suggest working from 9am to 5pm (full work day) using this method and then relax in the evening so that you do not get too stressed out by the revision. It is important to rest as well, so go exercise, read a book or watch a movie- it is a well earned break after working all day!
PRACTICE PAPERS/ QUESTIONS
Lastly, make sure you practice answering questions in timed conditions and in full rather than in note form. This will prepare you for sitting the actual exams as, from my experience, I have found that this helps you write quicker and better under pressure. Do this step after trying the other methods, as what you prepare should be able to help you answer the practice questions.
Now that I have covered all the basic methods for revision (according to what I have found beneficial), it is up to you to commence trial and error to see which method(s) suit you. It may be a combination of methods or just a single method that works- either way, hopefully you will be able to start revision with a bit more confidence now!
As always, let me know if you have any questions in the comments and I will reply as soon as I can!