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Revision technique


Christof
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I thought this would be pretty good owing to the studious nature of TWO.

 

I have 2 final year exams this week. Now my revision technique is very different for both exams. Tomorrow I have Control Systems, an exam I am confident for so I am mainly doing old questions and relaxing to stay focused for the morning. On thursday I have Aerodynamics which is something I hold less confidence in despite good coursework marks. So in prep for that I shall be cramming as much as possible and having my phD buddy helping me.

 

So what do you do to revise?

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To get good revision sessions, make sure you stay away from the internet and TV. It becomes so addictive when you have books out infront of you, maybe revise for 1 solid hour and then have a 15 minute break to get a drink and maybe a little browse on the PC. Then, back to 1 hour revision.

 

I have music on in the background, nothing too crazy/loud just relaxing stuff to keep your mind going and it helps you to relax.

 

You may as well turn off your phone too.

 

Basically sit in a room, calm music on, turn off everything and have some solid hours with brief breaks in between. Don't over do it either, as you'll be worn out and start getting stressed and it won't sink it.

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Or if you have a very short attention span like me, have a break every half hour (for five/ten minutes). And stick postit notes around the house with different revision notes. Sounds daft but eventually it just sinks in and becomes common knowledge to you. Anything to kick it into your head to make sure it sticks.
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I have a weird but very effective method thast did wonders in my recent Psychology exam. I took one section, such as a model of memory, in this case the multistore model, and made up a picture or scenario to go along with it. So the multistore became an actual multi story store, with different departments for the different sections. Worked a treat, nicely stored it into LTM. (see). Should have seen what I came up with for Frued and the psychodynamic approach. Somehow managed to get bouncers and shotguns into my mental image The weirder the better. Thus wont hekp you juch in Maths probably, but it is usefull. It also helps me to break it down into bullet point form beforehand. Of course it also helps if you dont start learning a topic till the day before the exam. Fresh in your f**king mind.
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What Pab said basically, although as far as music goes, listen to whatever will either not distract or preferably focus you on what you're doing. It's not everyone's way but during my dissertation I was listening to a lot of Pantera and Machine Head, Fear Factory, that sort of thing which kept me sharper and more concentrated rather than softer music which can make you tired especially if you're revising at a late hour.

 

I also used a PC from my brother which had files and word processing things on it but no internet connection. That was a tremendous help as if you're anywhere near the internet when you're supposed to be revising or doing coursework, basically it's not going to happen. I cannot overstress enough how much you need to get away from the internet if your revision or work is going to be done effectively.

 

Other than that it's just getting on with it. If you think something will carry more weight in the exam or you'll need to more about something, obviously revise it more. I would suggest going over what you're crap at first, that way you'll have time to get your head around it, then leave what you're best at until the day before, meaning that you'll just be refreshing yourself having done the hard part leading up to the exam.

 

Get a reasonable sleep - try for an even number of hours if you like, that works for me. Any less than four hours is not good. If you want more than four, go for six, then eight. Sleeping an odd number of hours for some reason leaves me groggy for the day so maybe if you can get five and a half hours' sleep, do another half hour or forty-five minutes of revision, then go to bed which will give you a half hour or forty-five minutes again to nod off and not leave you pressuring yourself to fall asleep straight away so you'll be more relaxed.

 

Get up on the day early enough to get ready with an extra thirty minutes to spare, that way you won't forget things in a hurry that you'll need. Also, give yourself forty-five minutes to an hour to look over notes so that you're warmed up for going in - don't worry if you still don't know something, just look at it calmly and there you have it. You'll always get someone determined to talk babble because they're nervous - if they come over to you when you're looking at your notes just make brief eye contact to be polite but then keep looking at and reading your notes until they get the message or tell them straight that you want time to look at your notes if they still won't take a hint.

 

I say this because you should be looking over your notes while waiting outside the exam room - this means that you need to know where your exam is! Find out at least the day before by actually going there - don't just look on a map and assume it'll be there because sod's law dictates that if you take it for granted there'll be some reason why it will not be as you thought. Time how long it takes you to get from somehwere you know that will be on your journey to the exam room itself, then add half an hour. That's your absolute least that you can give yourself, with fifteen minutes to look over notes, so you might want to allow for even more time than that. Really that's as late as you want to leave it.

 

Other than that I can only add that I wish you good luck in your exams and also good luck to anyone else who has exams or coursework to contend with at the moment. :xyx

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I think that revising is a lot like dieting. You can either try these modern fads which work for some people but don't guarentee 100% success, or you can stick with the classic method. If I want to lose weight, I don't each much and exercise like a man possessed (by the ghost of Linford Christie). If I want to take in as much information as I can, I just keep going over it, going over it again and constantly writing things down. I'm lucky at Uni, because all of the lectures are put into Powerpoint documents and uploaded at the site, albeit in less detail than the actual lecture itself went into.

 

What I tend to do is write down all the stuff I can find in the Powerpoint slides that's relevent, and if there's anything I don't understand I just search Google for it, and there's bound to be some academic site that has a definition of it. Plus, they might have got their definition from an obscure textbook, so if you can memorise where you got it from and reference it during the exam, the markers will be blown away.

 

If you constantly keep writing things down, it stays in your mind. Normally in the run up to an exam I do an hour and a half of studying, followed by a 30 minute break, then continue until a meal or bed time. It's worked for me so far, as I haven't failed an exam yet in 3 years of Higher education. Associating words with pictures and actions, mnemonics and other stuff just seems a bit too Derren Brown for me, and doesn't promise good results. Constantly writing stuff down has your brain working hard to remember what you've read in the short term (from screen to page), then when you're writing it out you're reading it all over again. It also prepares your hand for 3 hours or so of non stop writing. Peter Kay makes the funny observation "Ever go back to school after the holidays and find you can't write?", and it's true. If you're spending your time online, typing essays in Word and barely using a pen these days, you don't get used to writing for hours non stop. With The Russ Method, that problem becomes a thing of the past.

 

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Well my exams are over but I had to do some serious last minute cramming before mine, i wnet out the saturday night before and eneded up not sleeping for 3 days just to make sure id gotten enough revision done. The one i thought I'd breeze through I think I did crap and the one I panicked about so much to hyperventilation point i think I did ok in so I guess something worked.

 

xXx

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