That time has come again after the festivities of Christmas and New Year have passed, where many of us have upcoming coursework and exam deadlines. (Eeeek!)
So anyway, I have a seen exam in two weeks time where students are allowed to know the questions weeks before they enter the exam. This is beneficial as it allows us to plan for the exact questions that will come up; however, as a result our papers are marked more harshly as the examiners expect us to be better prepared. Also, it becomes a test of memory as opposed to a test of knowledge. Therefore, it is important to find a way to easily remember vast amounts of information in a very short space of time. Having started my revision about 3 weeks ago, I have found a technique which works really well for me and hopefully it will help you to remember information too!
Stage 1: Write up the full information that you need to memorise:
My exam question asks me to ‘Critically assess the usefulness of three different forms of treatment for drug and/or alcohol addiction’. The first thing I did was write up my whole exam answer. I find it helpful to write each point in a different coloured text and I highlight the important references which I have to remember so that they stand out.
Stage 2: Condense the full answer down to fit onto cue-cards:
I have now reduced my original 1000 word answer down to just 7 cue cards. A much more manageable amount of information with all of the key points included. This also helps me to easily remember the structure of my answer.
Stage 3: Test yourself to see how much you can remember from each card. Repeat:
I managed to learn the entire contents of these revision cards in one day and can now recite them word for word from memory. I found it most effective to read the cards out loud to myself and then try to recite them one at a time without looking.. until I could do two or three without looking and then finally be able to say the whole exam answer without looking at the cue cards. It is important to not to move on too quickly though! It is no use trying to rush and move on too quickly if you haven’t learned the content of the previous card. it is all about breaking the text up into manageable pieces and taking it step by step. Revision can be very daunting and can seem impossible if you don’t know where to start, but hopefully using this technique will make it easier for you! 🙂
Personally, I have three exam answers to memorise for two weeks time, with one down and two to go. I have written the answers in full, so now I need to complete stages two and three for my other two answers. (Wish me luck!)
I hope you enjoyed this post and I wish you the best of luck your revision and exams! 🙂