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Revision and Exam Strategies

  • Revision Strategies
  • Exams Strategies
  • Example of a Revision Timetable

Effective revision involves careful planning and preparation.

  1. Find out exactly what you need to do:
    • How many exams have you got?
    • How long is each exam?
    • How many questions do you have to answer?
    • What format do the answers take (e.g. essays, multiple-choice questions)?
  1. Look through the Learning Outcomes for the subjects/modules you are being examined on – these should give you an indication of what the exams will focus on
  1. Prepare an exam revision timetable:
    • Ideally aim to have two revision timetables
      • One for the whole revision period
      • One for each revision week
  1. Aim to spread your revision of a particular subject/topic over a number of revision slots rather than revise the whole topic in one slot.  This will help you to keep the information fresh in your mind
  1. Set a clear target for each revision slot
    • Try to make the target specific
    • Avoid setting too big a target

Example of a weekly revision timetable:

Day/time

Subject

Topic

Target

Achieved

Reflection

Monday
10.00-11.00

Business

Lecture notes week 1

Outline key points of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

Yes

Session went well – although need to check understanding of higher order needs

  • The last three columns of the above table are as important to effective revision as the first three:
    • The third column helps you to focus on a particular area/theory
    • The fourth column allows you to monitor your progress
    • The final column allow you to reflect on your learning – why something worked or didn't work – and identify your next course of action
  • The target column should also help you to be active when revising and avoid the possibility of passively reading through notes
  • Try not to revise for long periods – there is no rule as to how long a revision slot should be but best practice is to revise for short spells and take regular breaks

An example of a sixty minute revision slot might look like this:

    Time

    Activity

    20 mins
    10 mins
    15 mins
    10 mins
    5 mins

    Read through notes on …………
    Break
    Write notes on key points/words
    Check notes with original notes
    Reflect on the revision slot

  • Aim to reduce your notes down to key points/ideas/information
  • Devise your own questions and answer them
  • Get hold of past papers/questions and practise your answers
  1. Read the paper carefully and follow all the instructions
  2. Plan time well:
    • Map out how much time you have for each question
    • Share out time according to the marks available for each question
    • Use all the time available
    • Answer the correct number of questions
  1. Read each question two or three times:
    • Spend time identifying what the questions mean
    • Focus on what the question is asking you to do
    • Find questions that you feel confident about answering
  1. Plan your answer:
    • Don't start writing straight away
    • Make a brief outline plan identifying the key points you will cover in your answer
  1. Use the outline plan to help you keep focused on your answer:
    • Avoid simply listing a lot of information
    • Use your plan to develop a line of reasoning
    • Do include an introduction and conclusion for essay type questions
    • Use examples to support your argument
    • Keep your writing clear and to the point
  1. Allow time to check your answer for mistakes and to make sure it makes sense.

An active revision timetable can help you to:

  • Focus on a particular area
  • Monitor your progress
  • Reflect on your learning and understanding
  • Avoid revising a topic only once – returning to the topic helps retention and improves understanding

This is an example of a revision timetable.

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Afternoon





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Night
Monday Having a lie-in

Introduction to
Computer Systems

Information Systems
& Databases

Chill out time
Tuesday

Java Programming
Foundations

Going out to meet friends

Problem Solving

Introduction to
Computer Systems

Wednesday Going to the gym

Information Systems
& Databases

Java Programming
Foundations

Out to watch a movie/going
for a meal
Thursday

Problem Solving

Java Programming
Foundations

Introduction to
Computer Systems

Watching TV
Friday Introduction to
Computer Systems

Problem Solving

Going out with friends Going out with friends
Saturday Having a lie in

Information Systems
& Databases

Introduction to
Computer Systems

Java Programming
Foundations

Sunday Going to the gym

Problem Solving

Java Programming
Foundations

Introduction to
Computer Systems

Employable Graduates; Exploitable Research