by Rebecca Salter of Kip McGrath Cardiff West
Teaching students HOW to revise is something that I find increasingly necessary at our Kip McGrath Education Centre. A lot of young people come to us with exercise books, heavy school textbooks and lots of notes, but the means of taking in that information is baffling for them. For many it is a complete mystery!
There are three main ways that our brains learn and here is some of the advice I give to my students in our tuition sessions:
1. Kinesthetic Learning (DOING)
Don’t stare at words on a page. Just reading and re-reading information will not make it sink in. Our brains learn by DOING, so try activities like:
• Making spider diagrams for the characters in your literature texts or the most important themes.
• Making little fact books of History dates by stapling together little squares of paper with the event on one side and the date on the other. This works for Biology processes, Business Studies terms, anything that requires rote learning. Get someone to test you!
• Use sticky notes for essential equations or quotes that you need to learn and put them on the walls of your bedroom or in different rooms in your house. Actively walk around and learn them as you travel around the house. Get permission first!
• When you feel confident in your knowledge, practise your skills actively by doing past paper questions as often as you can.
2. Auditory Learning (LISTENING)
Recording key information on a phone or tablet can really help learning. The act of selecting key points to include helps to decide what is most important and what you still have left to learn. Listen to these recordings in your down time – on the bus home or when you’re getting ready for school in the morning.
3. Visual Learning (IMAGES)
The use of colour and pictures is also vital to learning.
• Separate different topics in Geography using different colour paper for your notes.
• Invest in highlighters and multicoloured pens as the more bright and vibrant your notes are, the more we remember the information.
• Avoid basic lists or bullet points – use pictures, boxes, stars, arrows. Try anything that makes the notes memorable and interesting.
I believe that learning the skills of revision is the most important step towards excellent exam results. So remember to make a plan, get started early and be creative! Stress only becomes a significant problem when we are not fully prepared.
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