Students Reveal Revision Techniques That Worked For Them

Students Reveal Revision Techniques That Worked For Them


“I was a big fan of scheduling. I work better in short bursts so, rather than spending hours on one subject, I would do half-hour stints, followed by a five minute break. I’d also mix up the order of subjects as I found this also improved my concentration.” – Amy Sherratt

“I’d always schedule my revision according to how near my exams were. I’d go through everything I needed to know for a subject at least a month before the exam, and then for the 3-4 weeks leading up to it I’d revise the condensed version and brush up on names, facts and dates. And then the week before the exam it was all about recall. My best friend would come over and we’d ask each other questions, only using our notes to check whether we had the right answers.” – Lauren Sayers

Start early

“I work better in the mornings, even though it can be hard to drag myself out of bed sometimes. I’d set my alarm clock and treat it like a normal school day, so I’d make sure I was up, dressed and showered. Revising in your dressing gown can be tempting, but it doesn’t really put you in ‘work mode’. I’d try and get to the library or a spare classroom so that there were no distractions.” – Joseph Dunn

Post-it notes

“I put post-it notes EVERYWHERE. On the fridge, in the bathroom, on light switches. I’d write key words and facts on them or draw little diagrams. Sometimes, the location of the post-it note would help me remember something – like if I was trying to remember an equation I’d cast my mind back to the bathroom mirror and then it would come to me!” – Shajila Aziz

“Like lots of students, I used Post-it notes to revise and I’d stick them all over my bedroom wall. 2 weeks before my exam I would fold the post-it notes in half so that I couldn’t read what they said. I would then sit in my room and quiz myself, and I could quickly unfold the post-it to reveal the answer.” – Karen Gould

Flash cards

“I’d start by writing out lots of lengthy revision notes, and then condense them so that I’d end up with key phrases and words that triggered my newly-learned knowledge. I’d write these on flash cards, so each subject was under a different tab.” – Roopal Pabari


“My flash cards would have a question on one side and the answer on the other, so they were perfect for getting friends and family to test me. It’s also good to test and teach your friends; bouncing ideas off each other and answering one others’ questions helped to reaffirm what I’d already learned.” – Alec Wills


“I had every coloured pen under the sun – glittery pens, gel pens, a whole range of highlighters… If the page looked pretty and nice to look at, with broken up, colour-coded sections, I found it much easier to take in and memorise than one boring block of text.” – Naomi Hayman

“I would try to associate certain colours with certain subjects so that I didn’t get dates I’d learned for History muddled up with dates I needed to know for English. If there were two similar dates that I needed to remember, I would think whether I associated the date with blue (English) or yellow (History).” – David Grant

Past papers

“I would highly recommend doing plenty of past papers – it’s great for learning exam techniques and how to manage your time, and just for familiarising yourself with how it might be laid out on the actual day. Also, some of the questions that pop up on the real exam could be similar – or even the same – as the ones in your past papers!” Stephen Morris

Record yourself

“Although I’m not usually a massive fan of hearing my own voice, I found that recording myself reading out my revision notes and then listening to it as I went to sleep or for a walk would help it to really sink in. Reading my notes out loud while I walked around the room also helped me remember things better… but it did make me look slightly mad at the same time.” – Christina Watson


“This won’t work for everyone, but I always remember the lyrics to songs, so I used to put key information to music, making up songs on the piano and singing along as I played. I couldn’t have got through my exams without that technique!” – Ralf Johnson


“I think it’s really important to have something to look forward to at the end of a busy day of revising. I would always make evening plans so that I knew that I only had the day to get revision done, and I had something to reward myself with at the end. Plus you don’t want to have to cancel your plans because you didn’t get enough done.” – Tim Preston

Are you studying for exams this year? Make sure you’ve ticked everything off on our revision essentials checklist:

  1. Highlighters
  2. Coloured Pens
  3. Sticky Post-it Notes
  4. Maths Sets
  5. Files and Folders
  6. Pads and Paper
  7. Education Books and Past Papers

Read our advice on using colour to help with revision for more tips.