Test, test and test again!
Most people don’t realise the importance of revisiting information they’ve previously learnt. They don’t know that you’ve got to keep that information current in your brain, which will otherwise get forgotten by your clever brain, in favour of new information.
From an evolutionary point of view, this makes sense. Newer information is more likely to keep us alive.
Very useful in many circumstances, of course – but not much cop when it comes to retaining information you’ll need in exams!
Make It Stay in Your Head
So, here’s what to do to make sure the information you’ve slaved over stays in your head for when you need it.
Let’s say you’ve finished creating your revision notes on your page. Now, turn the page over, and think of the question you could ask yourself to test whether you know the information on the other side.
Have a break. And when you come back to this page a few hours later (and preferably after you’ve slept on it) look only at the question side of the paper.
Think of a question to test yourself in your exam revision.Close your eyes; see your revision notes in your mind’s eye; then say the answer out loud and while drawing it in the air. This makes sure you’re using many parts of your brain and will help you retain information in the long term, which is what you need.
Then when you think you’ve recalled everything, and only then, turn the page over, look at your revision notes and check that you did indeed remember it all.
Whatever you do, don’t glimpse at your revision notes first, because all you’re doing then is testing your short-term memory. That won’t be any use to you in the exam.
Testing yourself in this way, and on a regular basis, is one of the biggest favours you can do for yourself when revising.