Most of us associate revision with being a young adult or teenager, madly cramming for exams which test information we will never use again. But with the increasing number of qualifications we need to succeed at work, it is important that we learn revision as a skill in itself. These are some of the best revision techniques and tips that will lead to exam success.


1. Start your revision early

If you are reading this the night before the big exam, it is unlikely that you can revise so that you will reach your full potential. The first piece of advice is to start revising early and not leave it till just before the exam. Use a timetable to plan your revision so that you can pace yourself. By planning you will be able to focus better, achieving more in less time.


2. Mind mapping

Mind mapping is a revision method which allows you to review all the information in a topic at once. A basic mind map is produced by placing the main point in the centre of the page, then writing related information around it. After this the information can be categorised and common themes found. This may cut the amount of material required to learn for the exam, reducing your workload and making your revision more efficient.


3. Revision cards

Revision cards or flashcards have several variations but the most common type consists of question and answers allowing quick feedback to see if you know the information. Rather than making your own you can get these online or they may be included in your revision guide. Another idea is to work with your friends or colleagues to create them, maybe choosing one topic for each person to do, reducing your personal workload.


4. Past exam papers

Knowing the facts will help you in the exam, but good technique is developed by practising the exams and looking at the mark schemes. Most of the exam boards have their past exam papers online, for you to download and practice with. Take a particular note of the keywords that are required to get the marks for a question in the mark scheme.


5. Your revision environment

It is rare that people can study properly and focus their attention on revision when there are background distractions like music or television. Creating good conditions to study helps revision to be more efficient as students often say they have done many hours of revision, when in fact they spent very little time actually working due to being distracted. Make the revision environment as quiet as possible, and organise yourself so that you have all your equipment with you.


If I had to choose only one revision technique, it would be to start your revision early as I feel that has the greatest impact on exam success. If you have any more revision tips or suggestions please contact me or leave a comment below.