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How to Organise Yourself for More Effective Revision

How to Organise Yourself for More Effective Revision

If you want to do well in your exams, it’s important to manage your revision carefully. This article gives you helpful tips on how you can achieve this.

Written by Lysette Offley

Make sure you’re well-organised – that you have everything that you need. Record your progress so that you know where you are. It feels good when you can see that you’re winning.


Divide everything that you’ve got to learn into small chunks. Anything can be learnt if the chunks are small enough. We know that the brain learns best with short chunks of material learnt in short bursts of time. I’m sure you’re familiar with that feeling of fatigue when you’ve tried to keep going for far too long. So keep it short.


Keep a record of your progress. Any revision you do needs to be catalogued so that you cover everything and don’t leave anything out.

Go through your course manual’s index to get an overview of what you’ll be covering. You will see in the index, the broad topics set out – probably as chapter headings, with subtopics outlined below them.

You might even see smaller ones underneath each of those, and if not, that’s where you need to start subdividing everything into small chunks – and smaller chunks again, and smaller and smaller so that you end up with chunks of just 7 or fewer bits of information on the page. Why 7? Because we know that your brain will find your revision a darn-sight easier to remember, that’s why!

Useful tips for getting organised in your exam revision. Click To Tweet


Keep tabs

You’ll also need to keep tabs on what topic and what section you’re working on, not just to make sure you cover everything, but also so that you can file each page logically in your ring-binder and know where to find it. Devise your own way of doing this. Keep it straightforward and simple. For example: Financial services – collective investments. Then you can label the sections within it, eg: types, providers, corporate etc.

As soon you start biting chunks off and ticking them off as you test yourself successfully, you can chart your progress. You can actually see in front of you, your success building up as you move forward. And that feels good. It’s good for you. It’s good for the soul!


When you’ve created your revision notes on one side of the paper, turn it over. Now – think of a question that you could ask yourself that would test whether you know the material on the other side. When you’ve done that, put it to one side. Have a break and come back to this page a few hours later and preferably after you’ve slept on it. Now, while looking at the question side of the paper only, close your eyes and see your notes in your imagination, say the answer out loud, drawing it in the air as you go.

(Don’t glimpse at the other side first, because all you’re doing then is testing your short-term memory and that’ll be no use to you when it comes to the exam. Many people make this mistake when revising and then wonder why they can’t remember as much as they thought they would.)

Then, and only then, turn the page over and check you remembered everything on it.

Organise yourself like this and it’ll make a huge difference to your success. Good luck.