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Revising with others Revision techniques

There is a great deal to be said for working with your peer group when revising - whether with just one other student or in a group, on the phone or online. Module forums are good places to pick up tips and ideas from other students and tutors, together with tutorials and day schools held before an exam.

Study groups

Working with other students can help you keep the revision process in perspective. You can share revision material and plans. Listening to how other students approach their revision can expand your understanding of the topics because everyone brings their own ideas and their own ways of comprehending the topics. You may find that one person is good at devising a manageable revision timetable while another has valuable ideas about content for a tricky past exam question.

Working together to produce condensed revision notes or to brainstorm answers to questions is particularly fruitful. What one person forgets, another may remember. You are not in competition with other students taking the exam, so sharing revision is not cheating.

Tips on running a study group

It's worth setting up a plan in advance for a group revision session so you don't waste time together deciding what to cover. Use a study group planner like the example shown to fill in and circulate to the group. Extra columns or rows can be added if required.

Example study group planner shown as a table with 2 columns and rows for date of meeting, time of meeting, place (online or face-to-face), participants, topics to cover with a column to add individual preparation.
Example study group planner

Get everyone to prepare a topic for discussion - it's a great way to make you think. You can develop your own questions about the module, share them in the group, and ask each other as practice. Swap review notes on the module - but check that they are right and that there are no gaps. The group could collaborate to develop notes on difficult topics.

Games and quizzes

These work well in group work, or even when you're on your own. Try 'Just a minute!' Talk on a topic as best you can for one minute (without repeating or hesitating or getting off the point).

Teaching as a revision technique

One of the most successful ways to learn something is to teach it. To teach someone else about a process or topic you first need to understand it well, so this is an effective way of checking what you know.

Research fellow, Trevor, explains how giving a presentation on a subject can help you gain clarity about your material.

Benefits of giving presentations

Click here to listen 49

Trevor: When we think about presentations, it's often important to think about the reason of why we give them, and why it's an important part of doing academic work or other work. And it's all down to communication. So how we can explain our ideas and, through explaining our ideas, we can influence other people. And that's part of the goal. So presentations are important in all kinds of different situations.

The other thing to say about presentations is the benefits that they give to you. It gives you a better clarity about your work, so you've got a very clear idea about what the presentation is about because you've written it, and the other benefit of doing them is the feedback that it gives you on your work.

So, if you've done some research the whole goal is to try and find how that research can inform other people, and you do that through giving presentations.

Select a topic that you need to revise and try teaching it to a friend or fellow student, or even to an imaginary person. The thinking you need to do to work out how you would explain a topic to someone else is very effective revision. You will quickly identify where gaps lie in your knowledge and understanding, and find the topics that you need to focus on for the exam or end-of-module assessment.

Even if you can't meet other students, you can still get help from people who don't know anything about the subject, if they're willing. Explaining something to them helps you get it clear in your own mind. You can tell them 'What I've learned today'. They can ask you short questions from exam papers or that you've developed.

Last updated 3 months ago