School loves to taint the Christmas holidays with the looming deadline of January mocks, so here are my top tips (that I actually use myself) for the coming weeks to help you revise no matter what the topic!
Tip #1: Textbook Checklist
This may sound incredibly obvious but one of the best ways to stay on top of revision when there are so many different topics to revise for each subject (especially at A-Level) is to make a checklist. I make a simple grid with each chapter and section from the textbook down the left hand side and 3 or 4 columns to the right of it.
Simply print it off (or keep it digital if you wish) and fill in the date when you are going to revise each topic up until the test date. This creates a revision plan and ensures you cover each aspect of the subject. When you have revised simply highlight. If you plan in advance, you can even go over your weaker areas several times.
Tip #2: Multicolour Mind Map / Notes
This is the first thing I do whenever I sit down to start revising a topic. I start a blank piece of paper write the chapter or section title and then in black pen write or draw anything at all that I can remember about the topic without looking at previous notes or the textbook.
I then open the textbook at the corresponding page and skim read the subtitles and glance at the layout of the pages because even this can jog your memory. I then close the book, take a different colour pen and write down anything I can now remember in this colour. Finally, I read the whole section or chapter and my previous notes from the lesson to see what key information I have missed out and write this onto the sheet in a third and final colour.
I find this such a helpful way to revise because it practices active recall, you are not just sat reading from a textbook or previous notes – you are actually testing what you can remember! You can make it as pretty or as messy as you like and it works for mind maps, normal notes, revision cards, whichever you prefer. (I think I have seen this method referred to as “blurting” as well, if you want to research further!)
After completing, I often do some practice exam questions to consolidate – more tips on this coming soon!