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Revision techniques

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Post by Lottie on 6th September 2011, 4:32 pm

pour moi... Embarassed

I've my exam on october 13th and it'll be the first I've done in *(&%) years... Laughing and I can't remember how to revise and I'm kinda panicking? Shocked

I'm reading it and then doing the exercises suggested and then thinking I've remembered it and then half hour later realizing that I can't remember a darn thing.... Embarassed Laughing Rolling Eyes
They do sell past papers, but I can't really afford them, soooooooooo if anyone has any memory tricks or something that may help an aging, yet spunky, brain, I'd be dead grateful.. Very Happy

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Post by Jaded Green on 6th September 2011, 4:47 pm

Can you get past papers through the library? or insititution website? For FREE
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Post by Wilhelm Von Rhomboid on 6th September 2011, 5:06 pm

Or google? When I did my professional exams a few years back I got loads of exam papers from previous years students that way?

I also found breaking each topic down to a few paragraphs or bullet points on flashcards then after a while condensing each of those down to one or two lines or words on the other side of the card worked well. I got a little index card ring binder and hole punched index cards and I carried that around with me everywhere - to the pub, to the allotment, to the supermarket. I would force everyone I was around to randomly throw one liners out of it at me and I would give the explanation.

The other thing I did was massacre my key textbooks with fluoro marker pen and those sticky page finder tabs - all colour coded to different topics and so on so I could navigate them at great speed and randomly go to a section and remind myself of it.

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Post by Dandelion on 6th September 2011, 7:12 pm

Do you know if you're a visual learner, or auditory, or kinesthetic? Some visual learners prefer a non-linear way of revising, so things like spider diagrams, as Billy says using colour, pictures and things like this. Tony Buzan has written some good stuff on the memory including how to use spider diagrams effectively. Use humour as you revise: if there's something you can't lodge in your brain make it into a joke, either a pun or a cartoon. (One of my girls had to remember for history GCSE that the Germans used old tactics to fight WW1, so she changed it into 'old tic tacs' and drew a sweetie with a walking stick!)

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Post by Lottie on 6th September 2011, 7:44 pm

Laughing

I don't know which type I am, Dandelion.. how do I find out? When I was at school we just learnt and or not Laughing
I like daft stuff.. there's shocker.. so may try ditties or something Very Happy

Billy, thanks for that, I got a load of card for Meg when she was doing her A levels, which she never used, so I shall try that one! Does it help to put it up aruond the house or is that a waste of time?

Pol, someone asked if we could share, and we got a lecture on 1) no cos it takes money from the OU 2) NO COS i'VE PAID FOR IT SO WHY CAN'T YOU!!! Shocked Laughing 3) Can't remember.. Rolling Eyes I just know there was a 3rd... Laughing

Typically I set myself the task of revising Congo/Belgian stuff tonight... and ended up getting lost and fascinated by the original reports by Stanley!! Very Happy Great stuff, but not in the exam.. Laughing Rolling Eyes
Thanks so much Very Happy

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Post by Dandelion on 6th September 2011, 7:53 pm

http://www.vark-learn.com/english/page.asp?p=questionnaire

This is one test you can do to determine your learning style (but bear in mind that you may be a mixture of two, so find several techniques useful for revising)

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Post by MrsC on 6th September 2011, 8:08 pm

Lottie - I used to do the index card thing like Billy and I also put post it notes all around the flat with key facts and equations on them. They well on places like kitchen cabinets, next to the loo, bathroom mirror etc. All those places were I spent time in the house so I could constantly see these things and re-read them until they went in.

I also did loads and loads of past exam questions and found that practice was one of the most important things.

Good luck with it all!

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Post by Lakshmi on 6th September 2011, 8:09 pm

Lottie, you can do it. you'll be fine.

I realised I was better at remembering by writing (or typing) things. So now that I am back studying, I write the answers to as many questions I can put my mitts on as possible.

Since you like ditties, etc, there is a website that is totally devoted to mnemonics. it's a .org site, but I - typically peddle don't remember the website's name... something like "remember a thing". It was presented on the drive time show on BBC2 a few weeks ago.
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Post by polgara on 6th September 2011, 8:24 pm

I always found that writing things down was the biggest help. That is with pen & paper, not computer.

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Post by Lakshmi on 6th September 2011, 10:10 pm

both work for me, polgara.
I noticed that years ago when I had to type something like 50 pages of a sales document for a colleague years ago.
She wanted to check a detail and I looked at the line and said.. it's page 27 towards the bottom (or something like that) - and it turned out to be true.

Another thing is to read answers out loud.

Another trick is to explain the matter at hand to any willing friend.
That I noticed at nursing school: my schoolmates would often ask me to explain something (apparently I looked like I understood what was going on) the thing is that by having to explain in various ways, it made me understand the matter at hand. oops!
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Post by mr_sfstk8d on 6th September 2011, 10:13 pm

Yes, for me writing things down is a must. I'm very visual. I've also made formyself a way of taking my notes in lecture to make later review straightforward, but it would take ages to explain it. Suffice to say, it's a bit like writing an outline, and a bit like putting filing tabs on my notes, but in pen. I suppose that doesn't make sense putting it that way.

Anyhow, my best trick of all is that, even if you don't have all the right answer, the instructor is almost always (unless a complete and incontrovertable fuddy duddy) at the very least pleased to read something that they haven't read 200 times a semester for the last 50 years. Go for something engaging (that's to other people, not simply pretentious self verbatabation) and a genuine good experience for the reader. For me, it's often something with a bit of humor while taking p!55 of myself at the same time. I suppose it gives the impression that I must know it so obviously I can afford to do so, and they generally buy off on it, lol.
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Post by Wilhelm Von Rhomboid on 6th September 2011, 10:57 pm

Dandelion wrote: Use humour as you revise: if there's something you can't lodge in your brain make it into a joke, either a pun or a cartoon. (One of my girls had to remember for history GCSE that the Germans used old tactics to fight WW1, so she changed it into 'old tic tacs' and drew a sweetie with a walking stick!)

except, I was once trying to memorising latin vocab and as an aide-memoire for the word 'Olim', meaning Once, or Then, I observed that it was Milo backwards. Come the test, of course, I got the word as latin to english and all I could remember was 'Milo backwards'. I did write that down, but did not get a mark for it. And in fact think I got a punishment for being facetious.

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Post by Kristy lee on 7th September 2011, 5:29 am

i find writing stuff down a couple of times over helps me.

Also explaining things to my kids helps alot as i hv to simplify things so they understand and it sort of clicks in my head better then
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Post by Lottie on 7th September 2011, 7:25 am

Wilhelm Von Rhomboid wrote:
Dandelion wrote: Use humour as you revise: if there's something you can't lodge in your brain make it into a joke, either a pun or a cartoon. (One of my girls had to remember for history GCSE that the Germans used old tactics to fight WW1, so she changed it into 'old tic tacs' and drew a sweetie with a walking stick!)

except, I was once trying to memorising latin vocab and as an aide-memoire for the word 'Olim', meaning Once, or Then, I observed that it was Milo backwards. Come the test, of course, I got the word as latin to english and all I could remember was 'Milo backwards'. I did write that down, but did not get a mark for it. And in fact think I got a punishment for being facetious.

Laughing Laughing Laughing

You're all wonderful, thank you so so much, actually just this helps.. I feel like it's a joint effort Very Happy

This way I can blame you lot if I screw up too.... Laughing Wink just joshing... I shall try find that site, Dandelion.
Got the cards, got a willing audience (just haven't told them yet) and I got the groundwork so fingers crossed! Plus I've got a month or so to crack it... bless you biglove

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Post by Sparhawk on 7th September 2011, 9:21 am

I found that little & often works (Ok Pol I know I probably did too little too often...), stop before brain gets too fuggled, & do something completely different in between times.

I also find that associating particular things with pieces of music or doing something helps (think back to what you were listening too/doing, whilst going over a particular piece etc...)

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Post by flute on 7th September 2011, 10:38 am

I know what helped me recently was to go into my room with mega loud rock music on and draw posters of separate parts in a topic. I think the colour co-ordinating and organising of the information into a poster helped to remember it, plus I could put them up and see them all the time. The music was pretty good because I would remember the music in the exam and all the other poster information came to me.

I used that website dandelion mentioned and that was useful: I am mainly a visual, logical, and auditory learner I think.

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Post by Lottie on 7th September 2011, 2:11 pm

Thanks guys, I feel slightly more in control. I love the idea of using posters, Flute, I shall bung 'em everywhere. I'll try to read til my brain gets fed up, Spar, though I'm not convinced it's always there at the beginning anyway... Laughing Rolling Eyes
now gonna see what kinda learner I am.. Shocked

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Post by Lottie on 7th September 2011, 2:17 pm

I'm multi-modal Shocked Laughing

Visual: 5
Aural: 3
Read/Write: 5
Kinesthetic: 2

I shall be back! Now gotta find out what to do with me multi-modability.. Shocked

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Post by Lakshmi on 7th September 2011, 6:10 pm

It means you have more choices as to how to revise!
It means you can try all of the above and still get some to stick into your brain. That's great!
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Post by Lottie on 7th September 2011, 8:30 pm

Laughing It would help if I knew what kinesthetic meant? Embarassed Laughing thank gawd I'm doing history Laughing

I think I shall cocnentrate on colours and bullet points, it seems to stand out so much better that way. Very Happy

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Post by Dandelion on 7th September 2011, 10:19 pm

I think Kinesthetic learners like to move around and to use their bodies to learn - they learn by doing rather than by listening. Traditional teaching techniques don't favour the kinesthetic learner, except for subjects such as Science where they can take part in practical sessions.

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Post by Lottie on 8th September 2011, 8:29 am

OOOOOOooooooooooooooohhhhhh! OK got it! Very Happy

I'm sure the exam people won't mind me pirouetting and wafting around the exam room... Cool Laughing wonder if I could wear leg warmers? peddle

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Post by polgara on 8th September 2011, 9:57 am

Leg warmers & Docs would look really good. Very Happy

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Post by flute on 8th September 2011, 10:03 am

Very Happy
I think thats similar to the learner I am, which is why the combination of all the triggers when I did the posters, helped. I think. I think making posters are better than just taking notes because you're not just thinking about the information there and then, but you have to process it into where it could be organised onto a poster. Am most definitely doing this more this year.

As to Spar's suggestion, I find I can't take breaks. If I'm in the mood to revise, I have to keep going and going, cause if I stop, I lose the concentration. (Sorry, waffle!)

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Post by Chilli-head on 8th September 2011, 10:16 am

It's been years since I had to revise for an exam, and I can't say I miss the experience. Still, two points that I really believe in:

1: Revision is easiest when it is just revision; i.e., you have already absorbed and understood it first time around. Because I am not a quick handwriter, this often meant I was best not taking full notes in lectures, but focusing on listening and understanding. The notes could be photocopied from a tame swot for the price of a beer or two.

2: I liked to read through the notes the night before the exam. Less time to forget !

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