Over the next couple of weeks, the summer exams will begin. It’s an anxious time. For first years, your results depend on whether you go on to the second year. For everyone else, they make up a good portion of your final degree grade. Either way, they are important. There are many tried and tested techniques to help you revise information. However, not all methods work for everyone. Sometimes, you need to think outside the box and use alternate methods.
As individuals: While passing degree level exams is not about rote learning, you will need to remember key points in order to formulate arguments. Unfortunately, reading dense reams of text isn’t conducive to absorbing the information you need. Writing short passages on flash cards, essentially playing card size pieces of paper or card helps you stick to the core information. Sound bites and small nuggets like this are much easier to remember.
Group learning: While some people find group revision distracting, others find they learn easier with friends, especially when they have separate strengths and knowledge areas. If everybody used flash cards, you can test each other’s memories of the key points and even swap cards to learn the key points that others have focused on.
Powerpoint Presentation with Friends
There is a reason that lecturers use visual aids – evidence suggests it’s easier to absorb information with visual prompts. Retention is much higher too. Get together with friends and devise a presentation on a subject that is likely to come up in the exam. The visual aids will help them learn and absorb it. At the same time, swotting up for the presentation will help you process it better too as you’re using a variety of methods to present and discuss it.
This is the internet age. That means cats, memes, and cat memes. You might find it easier to use funny memes such as Grumpy Cat to relay short passages of information. Again, as above with the flash cards, this may make key points easier to remember. Don’t get too focused on creating memes; the point here is to present key information in funny and unusual ways that will help you remember details you’ll need in an exam.
Social media is a time vampire. Under normal circumstances, you would be advised to stay away from it during revision time. However, similar to the funny memes, some students find it helpful to combine presentation skills with their social media use for Instagram posts. We have already discussed how relevant images overlaid with text information is good for both dissemination and memory retention. The great beauty about Instagram posts is that you can review them at any time, even in those final few minutes before the exam begins.