Posts tagged: revision

Panicking about Exams? Come to our Exams and Revision Workshop 2nd May 2pm

26 April 2017

With exams looming you may feel like panicking…

Hold that thought! The Skills for Learning Team are delivering an exam and revision workshop on 2nd May at 2pm.

We’ll be covering exam preparation, revision strategies and top tips for the day of your exam.

Book on to the workshop via the following link:

Any questions please email


Tips, tools and apps to help with revision

26 April 2017
Amy Pearson

Need help with revision? Here are some tips and tools to help you.

We all know that revising is tough. It is difficult to know where to start and very easy to get drawn into other things. Here are a few tips, tools and apps to help you ace your revision!


The trick to revision is to use more than one strategy to give yourself some variation on how you are revising. It is better to revise ‘actively’ (giving your brain something to do with the information) than revise ‘passively’ (just reading things through). This should make revision less boring, as well as helping you remember material!

You can try the following:

  1. Using colour coded highlighters or sticky notes to draw your attention to main themes or topics in your notes
  2. Summarise your notes. Then, when ,you are confident with the material, summarise again, until you have a set of cue cards or one A4 crib sheet per topic
  3. Use spider diagrams (or mind maps), timelines, pros and cons lists or any other kind of diagrammatical note-taking techniques to see the information in a different, condensed way
  4. Practice doing exam questions from past papers under exam conditions
  5. If there are ‘facts’ or ‘figures’ you need to memorise, try writing them on sticky notes and leaving them in places you see them all the time (e.g. your kitchen cupboard or by your mirror)
  6. Try making up exam questions (although do be careful not just to make up ones which you’d like to answer!). This helps to put yourself in the mind-set of your tutors. If you were them, what would you test student on?

(From our Revision Study Guide)

Apps and Online Tools

If you like your technology then you might find these apps and online tools helpful.


With ThingLink you can make your images come alive with video, text, images, links and music. Such a great tool for revision if you are a visual learner. Pick an image that you associate with the topic and then add text, links, videos to it that cover the key information. When you need to recall the topic you can mentally work your way around the image and visualise the information you added to it. You can download the app or access it online. Simply go to the ThingLink website to get started.


You use Padlet to post text, video, images or links onto a virtual wall. Your Padlets can be visible just to you or you can let others read and contribute to them. You can use it online or download an App. This could be a really useful tool for revision as you can summarise topics and use the Padlet app to access your summaries whilst you are on the bus! Go to the Padlet website to get started.


According to the website you will be able to ‘memorize like a pro when you’ve got flashcards in your pocket’. This app is handy for revision as you can create flashcards for key topics or theories and use these to test your recall of the topic. If you are studying a subject that requires you to memorize images then you can easily add them to the flashcard. This is a great app if you like to learn in this way. Find out more about it on the Flashcard+ website.

Hamlet’s Exam – the soliloquy Hamlet never delivered while he was at University in Wittenberg

21 April 2017

Lynne shares some Shakespearean thoughts about exams in honour of Shakespeare Day.

In honour of Shakespeare Day (23rd April), here is the soliloquy Hamlet never delivered while he was at University in Wittenberg.

Hamlet ponders exams

2B, or not 2B: that is the question:
Whether ‘tis nobler in the test to hazard
To scrap and erase the outrageous reference,
Or to make plans towards sensible essays,
And by planning finish them? Revise: to sleep
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart ache and the thousand natural shocks
Of losing our notes, ‘tis an avoidance
Devoutly to be wish’d. Revise, or sleep;
To sleep: perchance over-sleep: ay, there’s the rub;
For in that sleep what exams we may miss
When we have snuggled in this warm duvet
Must give us pause: there’s the prospect
That makes calamity of such long tests;
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
The examiner’s call, the proud student’s wrist cramp,
The pangs of missed data, results day,
The temperature of summer exam halls
That concentration of the student takes,
When they themselves might their leisure make,
Round a pub table? Who would text books bear,
To grunt and sweat over an exam paper,
But that the dread of something after term,
The undiscover’d results on whose decree
Some student resits, puzzles the will
And makes us rather swot past papers we have
Than chance those questions that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
And thus the healthy hue of nervous first years
Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought,
And revision plans of great depth and detail
With this regard their purpose turn awry,
And lose the name of action.
*       *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *

Good Ladies and Gentlemen,
Should this speech seem to see into your heart,
You should read our guides to the exam art.
Exeunt with alarums

Top Revision Tips

17 April 2017

If you have exams coming up in the next month or so, you might be thinking about how to get the best from your revision.

  1. Time! When is/are your exam(s)? Look at your calendar and block out any times you know you can’t revise because you’re at a wedding / in lectures / working / abseiling down the Eiffel Tower. How much time do you have left? Revision tends to work best in small chunks, so try to plan some little-and-often revision slots.
  2. Reward yourself! You need breaks, and you need to do something enjoyable to give your brain time to recover from all that revision. Plan some treats, quiet time off or nights out with friends so that you have chance to relax as well as study.
  3. Don’t just highlight! Highlighting and re-reading chunks of information probably won’t help it to sink in. Do something ‘active’ with your notes so that you can understand and process the information: rewrite it in different words, draw diagrams, discuss the topic with someone or tell the goldfish everything you know about it.
  4. Use past papers! If you have access to past papers, use them. They will help you to become familiar with the kinds of questions you’ll be asked, the wording, the length of answer required and so on.
  5. It’s not just a memory test… Exams are about demonstrating understanding of a topic and applying it to a question or situation, not just regurgitating facts. Think about how the things you’re revising would be used in practice or real life.

…and if you need something to take your mind off all that revision, have a look at Lynne’s lovely poem from this time last year!

Exam meltdown #studentdiaries

31 January 2017

Plenty of time to revise

3 weeks off for Xmas and revision. That’s plenty of time to revise I thought. Having put in the effort previously on my essay I just had 2 exams to revise for. The first one was professional studies; a written exam. I hate written exams. I always have. The last written exam I did was my GCSE English 2 years ago. I passed my GCSE English, finally, on my third attempt having failed in school, then walking out of the exam on my second attempt with a feeling of hopelessness and failure. This time it would be different. I am older (I prefer more mature!), more determined, and more prepared.

The night before the exam I ironically felt unprepared, was forgetting knowledge I had been putting in my head over and over but could not for the life of me recall when trying to write it up. I threw my imaginary toys out of my imaginary cot and had the same feeling of hopelessness that I used to get. Thankfully my girlfriend, Amy, was very helpful in reassuring me and we worked through it together.

“I am looking forward to getting feedback to see where I went wrong”

The next day I went into the first exam feeling ok. Not booming with confidence, but not a nervous wreck either. I felt like it went ok. Nothing fantastic, but ok. I got the mark back this week – 49%. For me at the minute, a pass is a pass. I am looking forward to getting feedback to see where I went wrong.

If I am being honest with myself, I know my problem; I struggle to retain information. I feel like I put in hours and hours of effort but retain very little. I am going to look at revision techniques in more depth and book onto a course through Skills for Learning. I am using this first year as a learning curve.
Onwards and upwards!