Well-written revision notes are the stuff of dreams. They condense a year’s worth of studying into succinct information-rich capsules that are easy and quick to read. Use these tried and tested tips to make your own perfectly crafted set of notes!
Read how to get an A* in A-Level Biology
It goes without saying, but to make good revision notes you need a solid understanding of the topic you will making notes on.
Before committing to writing your notes, read up on the subject or answer some practice questions to make sure you’ve grasped the key concepts.
This means you’ll be making an active choice on what needs to be in your notes rather than just copying mindlessly out of a textbook.
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Your revision notes should be comprehensive, so that when exam season arrives you have all the information you need in one place and don’t need to trawl through tonnes of textbooks.
So, don’t limit yourself to textbooks when making your notes. Look at revision guides which may have handy summaries or watch videos online to get a different perspective. You may like to include certain examples or phrases your teacher used which helped you understand the topic.
Past papers and mark schemes are a goldmine too. You can use them to make note of key words and phrases that the examiners like. It could be useful to include a brief note of how the same question can be worded differently and questions that frequently crop up.
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There is no set recipe for making the perfect revision notes and everyone learns in different ways. Some people can’t stand reading their own handwriting whilst others are technophobes when it comes to schoolwork. Consider the pros and cons for handwriting versus typing your notes.
We all know that bullet points are a student’s best friend when revising. But you really don’t need to limit yourself to them.
Think about making flow charts, labelled diagrams, mind maps and tables. The process of making them will help you break down big topics into manageable chunks and cement the knowledge in your mind.
There’s no law against making revision fun. So, it’s fine to include the odd silly drawing or mnemonic if it will help you remember. Just be careful – too many mnemonics and you risk confusing them together…
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Not only will this add some pizazz to your #revision social media posts but it will also help you organise your notes.
For example, use a certain colour for the headlines of main topics so you can find them easily. A different colour can highlight the key words you need to know a textbook definition for and a box of a particular colour will contain important formulas.
Effective colour coding is especially helpful for visual learners. But be careful – don’t turn your page into a piece of psychedelic art- too much colour can be overwhelming to look at when you’re trying to concentrate.
Read 3 Tips to Get an A* in A-Level Chemistry>>
You know how repetition is the key to learning? Well we’re going to repeat this whole note making process again.
After you have made your revision notes and actually revised from them, you can try rewriting them in an even more abbreviated form.
Only include key phrases and things you are struggling to remember- these summaries should act like cue cards. You can have a quick glance at them when you have a spare minute or just before bed.
They are handy if you just need to refresh your memory and you can always refer back to your original notes if you feel like you need to.
Good luck with revision and the upcoming exams!
Words: Ateka Gomaa
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