A quick internet search of ‘revision tips’ provides a lot of advice on strategies to help optimise what has been taught.
Experience and science both tell us that there is a limited amount of information that a typical brain can absorb at any one time. Expecting the mind to retain large amounts of information through last minute ‘cramming’ is an unrealistic revision strategy for effective and optimal examination performance. It is important to work with students to plan a revision timetable to ensure that all the relevant subject areas are thoroughly revised and then revisited just before the examination, to ensure detail is retained.
Experts also recommend a few additional things that a child should do to effectively revise and prepare for any exam:
- Eat well: there is substantial evidence to suggest that eating a healthy, balanced diet aids good brain function. A child needs plenty of energy to work well and remain focused.
- Drink well: drinking plenty of liquid helps reduce dehydration. Those that do not drink enough water may find their concentration and energy levels adversely affected.
- Build a revision planner: map out how many feasible days are left to revise and all the topics that need to be covered. Breaking down work into manageable chunks helps to make it less daunting and easier to tackle.
- Allow time for final revision: it is always a good idea to allow enough time at the end of the revision process to go through all the topics one final time. This reduces the possibility of the ‘recency effect’, i.e. only remembering the things most recently revised and forgetting everything else.
- Read it, Recall it, Reproduce it: it is important not just to glance at materials but to check that the information has been absorbed. It is useful to employ three ‘Rs’ in a child’s approach to revision. Read through the material, try to Recall the information and, finally, Reproduce by writing down the essence of the material, or the important details that should be remembered. If it is a methodology or algorithm in maths, it is important to answer a number of questions to ensure the techniques have been mastered.