What are the Best Ways to Revise

Find out the best ways to revise, maximise memory and boost your learning

It’s definitely got to be done and you’ve heard plenty of theories about how to do it.

But what are the best ways to revise?

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Best Ways to Revise

So what are the best ways to revise? Strategies that have been proven to improve memory and exam grades include:

  • Using The Testing Effect – doing quizzes, tests and past-papers

  • Spacing – one hour a day for eight days is far more effective than doing eight hours in one day

  • Mixing It Up – don’t have a ‘maths day’ or a ‘science day’, do a few different subjects each day

  • Get Plenty of Sleep – sleep is a key component for good memory

  • Finding a Good Revision Buddy - revise with people who help you work harder

  • Teaching Someone – this helps ensure you understand and can explain key concepts

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Worst Ways to Revise

What does poor revision look like? These are some of the common mistakes that poor revisers make:

  • Excessive Highlighting - using highlighters for colouring in rather than highlighting key information

  • Cramming - trying to do all your revision in one go

  • Blocking – doing one subject for a long period of time and not revisiting it later

  • Procrastination – delaying starting your revision and doing it all last-minute

  • Long Breaks – having the wrong ratio of revision time to break time

  • All Nighters – sacrificing sleep in order to stay up and revise

Research shows that those who know the best ways to revise remember more, learn faster and get better grades.

So how do you navigate it all? This page will help you work out the best ways to revise. The blogs below on study skills will help ensure you are on the right path.



Best Ways to Revise Free Resources



Out of all the best ways to revise, which strategy would you recommend?

There are many ways to revise better. The most effective strategy that experts recommend is called ‘retrieval practice’ or the ‘testing effect’. This is doing an activity that means you have to answer questions. This can take the form of past papers, quizzes, multiple choice tests or having someone (either a family or friend) ask you questions about what you have been studying. By having to answer questions, it cements knowledge into your long term memory. Check out our blog on effective revision.

Is listening to music one of the best ways to revise?

Probably not. Although many students say they feel it helps their revision, research suggests that people who learn things whilst learning music are able to recall less later on in the exam. It may help your mood or boost your motivation, but when it comes to learning and remembering complex information, listening to music probably competes for attention and can be quite distracting. We have written about some revision hacks that do work however!

Is one of the best ways to revise just clocking up more hours?

The more revision you do, the more likely you are to remember the material. There are no shortcuts. However, really effective revision is all about quality and quantity. The way you revise makes a difference. That is why it is important to space out your revision, mix up your subjects and do lots of tests, quizzes and past papers.

What are the best ways to revise with my mobile phone?

By turning it off. Instant messaging and social media can be so distracting. This can hinder your memory and also lead to procrastination. By turning your phone off, or at least on airplane mode, you can focus fully on what you want to learn and revise. We know it's hard, and that's why we've produced a number of blogs and infographics on how and why you should spend less time on your phone.

Can you recommend more stuff for me to read about ways to revise?

Here are a few good places to start:

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