The Secrets To Effective Last-Minute Revision

If revision is still on the cards, remember it’s quality that matters, not quantity.

Effective Last-Minute Revision

Study For An Exam In 3 Days

V-logger “Ana Mascara” creates study skills videos based on strategies that she claims have paid off for her in school. Although her explanations are not the most concise, she is likely to appeal to students, who may find her easy to relate to and therefore be open to using her methods.

In this video, she shares her three-day cram strategy, but do note that her method requires study slides and notes to be prepared in advance. Some of her strategies, such as creating a task list with check boxes that students can tick off, and “thinking like a teacher” to come up with potential questions, are sensible and worth trying out.

Study Smarter, Not Harder

The main takeaway from this video, which is based on findings from the book “How We Learn” by Benedict Carey, is that consistency may not work in our favour when it comes to information retention. According to the video:

  • A change in venue or environment could improve a student’s memory by up to 40%
  • Location aside, one could also change the way they study, for instance by alternating between writing notes by hand and typing them out on computer, between silent reading and reading aloud, or between studying while seated and while standing.
  • Every time a student alters an aspect of his or her routine, it is thought to enhance the skill being practised.

Remember What You Read

This video lists several ways in which you can turn reading a textbook into an interactive process that aids information retention, such as:

  • Linking information to familiar cues in your life, e.g. an important history date may coincide with a family member’s birthday.
  • Taking succinct notes while reading.
  • Reading aloud.
  • Paraphrasing.
  • Asking questions.

Memorise Fast And Easily

This video features a memory test, to illustrate how much more you can remember when a list of random words is associated with visuals and a coherent story. It doesn’t demonstrate how one can apply this strategy to school material—however, the knowledge that our ability to remember words (known as “verbal memory”) is limited can spur us on to find alternative ways to boost our memory.

Master Learning Techniques

This is one of a series of 11 videos by Long Beach City College on study skills, where a lecturer provides insights and valuable tips that could help students learn much more efficiently. Each session is conducted lecture style and time commitment is required to sit through each video.

In this 45-minute video on studying for tests, the first 10 minutes is devoted to a memory exercise, which demonstrates that students tend to remember only what they read or hear at the beginning and the end of a learning session. On average, students are thought to learn best during the first 10 minutes of a study session when they are still fresh, and in the final 10 minutes, where a surge of adrenaline propels them to the finish line. The middle stretch of a study session can almost be regarded as “wasted time,” which is why it is commonly recommended that study/reading sessions should not stretch beyond 30 minutes. Of course students often have plenty of material to cover, and they can get back to work again after a five-minute break. To maximise learning and retention, reading sessions should be further broken down this way:

  • 25 minutes of reading
  • 5 minutes of review
  • 5 minutes of break

The second half of the video focuses on the better way to learn definitions and concepts. Memorising definitions word for word is considered poor learning because understanding has not occurred. Instead, learning should take place over a four-step process:

  1. Memorise a definition, word for word
  2. Ensure one knows the meaning of each word in the definition
  3. Restate the definition in one’s own words
  4. Provide a fact or example relating to the definition

With these four steps, one can be assured that a concept has been fully grasped. For more tips and strategies, watch the rest of the videos in the series.