When revising for an exam, the best way to do so is to do a little but often. For example, you have studied a topic in school. Revise it the next day, then put it aside for a while. There needs to be a gap, and you can tackle another topic from another subject the next day. After a few days, revise the topic again. You will notice that it takes lesser time to edit it than it did the first time around. After a month, you revise it again, and it takes even lesser time than before. This means that the topic is firmly lodged in your brain, and the topic that initially took you an hour to revise can now be revised in a few minutes. This is because of repeated yet broken revisions.
The repeated revisions store the information in your mind and improve your cognitive performance as the brain realizes that the information you are giving it is essential.
Just going over your course isn’t going to help. You need to make your brain understand that what you are trying to cram in it is important. Going over your textbook again and again just means that you are passively revising. Passively revising may give off the impression that you know the material but it is actually the opposite. Passively revising doesn’t allow the brain to realize what is important and what’s not.
On the other hand, revising the material by making a mnemonic device, bullet points, or note cards will enhance your cognitive performance and learning. However, the best way to actively revise is retrieval practice.
Retrieval of information is the ability to recall information. Retrieval practice plays a major role in your grade and can be done by quizzing yourself, rigorous testing and use of Multiple Choice Questions.
Quizzing yourself on topics will eventually improve your grade because it improves your ability to recall information.
The first time you are quizzed, you might get 40%. When you take the same quiz a second time you might get 50% but take the quiz several times and your grade is bound to improve.
This rigorous testing and quizzes allow information to be stored in your mind and be recalled as and when required.
Coupled with daily revision, a student is bound to get good grades because retrieval practices are directly related to your grade.
It doesn’t matter how long you spent memorizing something if you can’t remember it and produce it in the exam room.
When does this
As crucial as actively revising is, the spacing revison out is what makes the most difference. Taking breaks between reviewing the same topic instead of revising it every day allows the brain to re-learn it. This cements it in the brain’s long-term memory and also decreases the amount of time you require to revise it.
Access to my courses is charged on a yearly basis, so you pay the same if you use the questions throughout the year for ongoing revision as if you sign up the night before the exam. Its much better for you to spread you revision out