Studying and revision is a huge part of every student's life. If you're studying for your GCSEs all the way to your final year at university - study tips are always useful to know! I asked one of my friends to speak about her study tips, as she is always on-point with her studying.
I was asked to write this guest blog as my revision tips were always “on point”, and while I’m not sure how much of an authority I really am, I’m giving it a go anyway. At A level, I took maths, physics, and biology and I’m currently studying Biomedical Sciences at Newcastle University. I’ll talk about methods and tips I’ve picked up for studying in general as well as revision – a lot of them will probably be common knowledge, but hopefully some are helpful.
Organising your study content:
For whatever you study there are two things I’d suggest.
1. Keep a list of everything you need to go over as this will make it easier to keep track of what’s left to cover as well as aid your time management.
2. Keeping on top of whatever method you choose by making your resource after every day or week of lectures will make the workload more manageable and keep you from getting swamped later, and going over the content while it’s fresh should help your understanding.
Something I recently saw and haven’t yet tried (but will next year) is having a Google Doc for each topic. This is so when doing an essay, assignment, lab report etc you can search for key words or topics and navigate your notes easily.
The main method I use is flashcards. Although, I didn’t use this for maths (this was just lots of
practice), for physics and biology, as well as my degree, going over the information to condense it onto a flashcard and being able to easily test myself was the most effective way I learnt.
I split them into 2 types: one for the concepts/more detailed information on physical flashcards, then terms and definitions on Quizlet. Similarly, going over processes and systems by drawing them can be very useful as you can keep drawing them from memory until you’re comfortable with the information (I use a whiteboard so I don’t end up with masses of paper left over from, for example, spending upwards of an hour learning the entire Krebs cycle and other fun biology things).
Quizlet could have sets for your specific course, or at least the general topic at around your level. While I think making your own is better, using someone else’s can save you lots of time and be really convenient.
Making mind maps means you can make links between different areas and get all your condensed content in one place, and then you can use it as a poster somewhere you’ll see it often or as a catalogue of information to get the most out of it.
Getting together with others doing the same work means you can discuss the more challenging areas and ask questions on anything you’re not sure about – or someone could provide a new perspective you hadn’t thought of before. If you’re really struggling to grasp something or want a more hands-off method, hearing it explained a different way by watching YouTube videos is another option.
Doing practise papers is – for me at least – the most effective revision method when approaching exams, as they allow you to most effectively gauge your understanding and see how well you could actually do in the exam. (Though I doubt this is news to anyone.)
Not every method will work for everyone, you just need to find the ones you enjoy the most as you don’t want it to be too boring or draining - if you’re going to be doing this for a while you don’t want to kill your drive early.