Know what you know - your strengths and areas to improve

Revision is most effective when it is targeted. Revision should be targeted to the areas of a subject that you are least confident in, or where you have knowledge gaps.  

You can identify these areas yourself by -  

  • Testing yourself 
  • Talking to teachers or tutors about what you need to work on 
  • Looking at where you have dropped marks on practice exams or assignments 
  • Thinking back to what you have struggled with over your course 


A good place to start is putting the areas for revision in rank order: 1 being what you are most confident with, 10 what you are least confident with. You can repeat this every week to see if your revision is having an impact. If your ranking changes, your confidence is growing.   

Don’t practice until you get it right, practice until you don’t get it wrong. 

Read that last sentence again. If you do anything over and over again, it becomes part of your long-term memory.  


Think of the brain as a car engine in winter; if you’re trying to recall something you haven’t practiced, it’s going to take longer for the cold engine to turn over — and once it does, you still have to get out and scrape the windows and wait for the heat to kick in. Overlearning is like warming up the car ahead of time. When you get in, the windows are already defrosted, the car is nice and warm, and you’ve saved yourself some time and frustration. Overlearning shortens the first phase (learning and comprehension) and brings you to the second phase (recall) more quickly. 


A don’t forget to switch up your approach. Instead of doing the same thing over and over again, use different methods to revise the same material. This could include: 

  • Getting someone to test you 
  • Trying to explain the subject out loud to someone else 
  • Making notes on the subject in a new format, such as a mind-map 
  • Using flash cards to memorize information 


This week, many of you will have received a predicted grade. This is the grade your teachers believe you are likely to achieve at the end of the course, based on your progress to date. Whatever this grade is, use it to take action. Whether it reinforces what you are doing well, or gives you a nudge to realise what you need to do more of. Take it seriously and act on it. 


Freebie Friday returns this week, with a post-it note giveaway in the Plaza to help you rank your areas of strength, summarise your notes, or create keyword snap … the possibilities are endless.  


Learning matters, and we are here to help.  If you need help with getting assessment ready, you can see our ILC team, our ALS or your tutor.  


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