The benefits of using Active Revision
You can identify if you are implementing ACTIVE revision techniques if you are doing the following;
- Engaging the brain (linking, associations, processing, elaborating, applying)
- Involving the body (writing, drawing, speaking)
- Involving the senses (hearing, watching, experiencing)
In order to know if you are using active revision techniques, you should ask yourself; Am I actually doing something with this information that makes me able to recall it instead of just recognising it? If I covered this information up, would I be able to recall every single detail of it?
In a recent Instagram post (@ExploreApollotuition) we detailed 5 active revision techniques that are scientifically proven to improve your brain retention and ultimately will enhance your ability to master exam technique and achieve the great results that every one of our students deserves!
We are hoping to provide an in-depth insight for our students as to why our students should stop simply rereading and highlighting notes with the belief that this is an effective revision method and start implementing the following 5 techniques into their revision routine.
Our top 5 Active Revision techniques;
- Writing and using flashcards/index cards. - This is an important method of actively revising as this process gives your mind another chance to grasp information and process it, rather than just passively glancing through the material. By summarising information into bite-sized statements or sentences, it becomes easier for you to understand in future and to extract the most important information
- Reading notes out loads or recording yourself talking through key points. This incorporates auditory learning within your active revision and helps with memory by reaffirming your knowledge.
- Teaching your subject to someone else, like a parent or friend - This leads to increased metacognitive processing, which makes people more actively aware of their learning process. Teaching can lead to increased motivation to learn, since people will often make a greater effort to learn for those that they will teach, than they do for themselves. Increased feelings of competence and autonomy, by encouraging people to view themselves as playing the role of a teacher, rather than that of the student.
- Past exam papers - They provide an opportunity to learn from mistakes and correct them before it's too late and show you exactly what sort of thing they're expected to know. Exam papers also provide good indication of what kinds of questions will appear in an exam as a lot of courses feature questions that are very similar to ones on past papers. Revising past papers will also improve your writing skills and help you in improving your time-management skills
- Write questions when note-taking - Here’s a simple way to set future you up for success — when taking notes, write questions that refer to your notes. When you’re revising, your notes will prompt you to actively think, instead of only passively reading your notes. If you’re using the Cornell note-taking method, you can slot your questions in the left column of your notes.
How to measure if your revision is effective;
It is vital that you make a note of where your learning has worked particularly well and what revision techniques have worked well for you as an individual learner.
It is also worthwhile to answer these questions; Why did these learning methods work so well for you? What activities did you do to help you learn?
What kind of environment do you need to be in to make your learning effective? Do you need absolute quiet, gentle background noise, or to be with other people who are studying?
Why you should start using active revision techniques;
You are able to take control of your own learning by testing your knowledge, applying it to real situations, questioning assumptions and synthesising ideas.
Passive learning will not help you fully understand a concept, but you may be able to memorise its details if you practice hard enough. Passive revision techniques involve reading notes and copying material. While this may allow you to recognise concepts, you may not be able to recall or use them effectively in an exam.