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Question Revising methods...? - August 29th 2015, 08:57 AM

Hi there So I'll be starting my second year of "lycée", which is the equivalent of year 12 in England, if I'm not mistaken. At the end of this year I'll be passing a part of the "baccalauréat", which will be a bit like GCSEs, and the next year I will have my final baccalauréat test, which is like A-levels.
I've already done some research online about memorizing techniques for tests and whatnot, but it wouldn't work in my case because it's such a huge test. So I was wondering if any of you have any tips and tricks for memorizing a big load of information (taking into account the fact that I am positively crap at this kind of thing) and also what kind of habits I should get into when it comes to school work and all that. My main subjects will be Spanish, English Literature and History and Geography. Aside from that I have sciences but they aren't my main concern as I am passing a Literature baccalauréat.
I've never been a big fan of school, but I've always managed to scrape by and I'm afraid that these next years will be the real testing point where I'll have to really commit myself to school work.

So yeah, if any of you have any tips or suggestions as to how to go about revising for these tests and habits I should get into, please tell me Thanks!


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Re: Revising methods...? - August 29th 2015, 01:15 PM

Hey there,

One of the biggest problems I have is revision techniques as well. Figuring out the one that works best for you is really hard, but I think it might help to determine what sort of learner you are first. I'll outline a few suggestions for each so you can try a few out and hopefully something will help!

If you're a visual learner you might find that using colours and pictures will help you. Try using spider diagrams and A3+ sheets of paper to get all of the information into some sort of poster. You can then stick it up on a wall you're going to be around a lot (e.g. the wall you face when you're at your study desk at home) and glance at it every now and then. One of my teachers (who ended up being probably the best revision help I've ever had) told me that sometimes it helps if we're not necessarily forcing ourselves to take it in. If it's in the background, and it's bright and bold, you'll be drawn to it without trying, and the information will go in gradually. Of course, carry on revising as normal, but having it nearby when you're winding down and relaxing might help too! Also, you could try highlighters or powerpoint presentations with effects and maybe video clips too! I think this can make revision a little less daunting and maybe even fun since a lot of this can be done in groups - which I'll talk a bit about soon.

On the other hand, if you're an auditory learner, you might find that bringing some sort of voice recording device to lessons can help. If you record the class, you can listen back for any gaps in knowledge thta you may not have heard the first time. If you want to furhter your knowledge there may be pre-made youtube videos about your subject too. I found that these helped a bit because there's usually a little bit extra in there which can help you back up a point you don't quite understand as much. Otherwise, if you have to memorise a chunk of information, maybe record yourself saying it outloud and put it into your phone or MP3 player so that you can listen to it when you're out and about, or even as you're going to sleep quietly so that you're not focusing too much on taking it in, and rather letting your brain do a bit of the work without trying too hard.

Otherwise, you might be a kinesthetic learner, which means you learn best by being active. Sitting at a desk isn't for everyone, so it might be worth trying out other ways of learning. Get out and about! Go to the park and maybe combine the auditory one and listen to yourself speak the information as you're walking around. You may associate certain bits of information with a diffrent surrounding, and this might help you recall it later on. Another thing I was taught (which I can't remember the name for), is to plan out a route either physically or mentally, that you know really well, and if you have to remember a sequence, allocate each part of it to a specific checkpoint on that route. For example, if you have a scientific equation, or maybe certain plot points in a book you have to remember, each individual point will go, in order of which they occur, along this memorable route. Maybe it's your journey to school, or your route around the house. That way, you can walk along the route and test yourself, and even mentally go on the journey too.

These can all be done alone or in groups, so again you'll need to maybe identify which one works best, or even combine the two! Not everyone fits into a category either so don't worry too much if little aspects of each work well or don't work well - it's just a way of breaking it down a bit and it doesn't matter all too much as long as you know what actually works for you. Working in groups is good because you have a person to talk to along the way no matter what way of learning you like. It can be great for testing yourself and also teaching them! If you teach someone what you know, it's a way of pushing yourself to actually know it. Maybe get a group of friends together and do mini presentations on one subjet each and then present them with little to no notes. Try and explain it as if they don't knoww hat you're talking about, because that way you're not just learning the text book, you're adapting it and using it differently and this can be key to actually udnerstanding what you're reading.

I hope this has helped a bit! As I say, revision is hard and I suppose it's supposed to be, but keep at it. If you try you'll know that no matter what the outcome, you did your absolute best.

Good luck in your exams! Please feel free to let me know if you have any questions.


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Re: Revising methods...? - August 30th 2015, 06:31 AM

Hey there,

Hollie gave you some great advice and I don't have much to add on but I did want to mention a few things I use.

Quizlet is a great site to check out and it has a mobile app as well that you can use when you don't have access to the computer. I've been using quizlet for 3 years and it helps me a lot. You can use sets that are already made or you can create your own. I know that my teacher who introduced use to it had her own sets that we could use to study from. But ever since that class, I've been making my own sets and using them to study for quizzes, tests and final exams. Quizlet also gives you several different options when it comes to studying:
1. Flashcards
2. Speller This is more helpful when it comes to languages but I have used it for other subjects.
3. Learn mode
4. Scatter
5. Space Race
6. Test I love this feature, I will make tests and use it to quiz myself on what I know and what I need to study. You can also tailor it to how your test will be (multiple choice, short answer, true and false, matching, etc) or make a test using different combinations of the means.

I find that writing out important information helps me to remember as well. Or teaching/explaining what you need to learn to someone else can help a lot. When I was studying for my finals and AP exams, I would make my siblings/friends sit down and let me explain theories, concepts, definitions, etc and while it may seem odd, it actually does help.

I hope this helped a bit and I wish you all the best with your revision.

Good luck!
   
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