By Frank Bolger - Last update

Get Daily news and updates directly to your Email

A good revision period is worth several times the same amount of time spent simply poring over course texts and class notes. Organising a quiet and comfortable situation for your revision is essential however, if you are to get the most from the following activities.

Answer Skeletons: Thankfully not a reanimated corpse whispering hints in your ear, but the bare bones of an answer to previous and potential exam questions. Write down paragraph headings and important facts and theories – all the key information around which a fully-fledged answer can be constructed – and repeat out loud until memorised.

Brainstorming: Very useful in preparing for likely exam questions, brainstorming involves picking a topic and spending a furious three to four minutes scribbling down every word and phrase that you can possibly wring from your brain. Compare the results with your notes and it will become clear the areas that require urgent revision.

Study Cards: Building up a card index under the major headings for each subject is always a good policy. However, study cards will not replace your course notes. Try to keep the information to a minimum, as they are only to remind you of key points. Study cards will help retain the structure of your knowledge and revision process, and their portability turns to reality the dream of being able to study while waiting for a haircut, or sitting on a bus. Ingenious!

Study Groups: Combining two of the most popular reasons for taking a nightcourse in one convenient package, study groups enable you to make new friends and further your knowledge. Careful selection of members is required however; everyone should be at roughly the same level of ability and steer clear of the messers lest your little club end in acrimony and frustration. Once assembled, your group can quiz each other on course topics, assign individual study projects whereby each member provides detailed notes and sample answers to the others, and generally assist each other through a pooling of knowledge. You can even create a team name and logo a la the Pin Pals; Homer Simpson s all conquering bowling team.

Tell Everyone About It: Unlike most study techniques, this activity can be carried out at any social occasion in the pub, at the dinner table, playing bingo, etc. There are few better ways of jogging your memory on a topic than by trying to explain it clearly to someone else. You will be surprised at how much you remember in the context of a conversation. This may require you to ignore people pleading with you to stop talking about circuit boards/Neolithic history/curtain design, but frankly your results matter more than their mild discomfort.

Frank Bolger

Student Case Study: Catherine Barry
Engineering Courses