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Exam season is upon us, so we’re taking a look at four techniques that will help you succeed in getting good marks and important qualifications…

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

Exam season is upon us, so we’re taking a look at four techniques that will help you succeed in getting good marks and important qualifications.

This article looks at some top tips for learning and revising for your exams. They are based on research that shows they are simple and effective. They may not all work for you, but its worth giving a few a try to see if they help. You never know, they could help you remember things that come up in your next exam.

  • Tip 1: Research from Princeton University in 2014 showed that putting pen to paper was a very effective way of learning. Rather than typing into a laptop, students who wrote their notes to help listened more actively. This meant that they retained the information because they extracted the important points to write down. They also had a better understanding of the subject and were able to recall the information later on. This is just the sort of thing you need for an exam. Try reading your current notes and writing down the key points when you are revising.
  • Tip 2: It’s good to talk. Whether you read your material out loud, talk to yourself or better still have a discussion with a friend, you’ll remember more. Research shows that speaking aloud can improve memory function. We are better at remember our conversations than our thoughts. So, you’re likely to learn things more quickly if you discuss them with a friend. If you don’t have any friends to hand then try writing summaries of your materials and reading them out loud.
  • Tip 3: Testing, Testing. When you are learning a new skill, testing yourself is a very good way of making sure you’ve got it. The internet is your friend here as you can find test questions on virtually any subject. You may also want to form a test study group amongst your friends, each bringing some questions along for everyone to try. It’s important to answer the questions without referring to your books and notes. This is an effective way of speeding up how you learn things. When you get a question right it builds your confidence and will strengthen your memory. When you get a question wrong you remember the error you made and that improves your ability to remember the right answer. It’s a win, win situation.
  • Tip 4: Teaching. Have you ever heard of the protégé effect? This is a proven technique that shows that learning by teaching helps you master a new skill or subject. In addition to the psychological things that happen, teaching someone else means you need to break the information down into manageable chunks that can be easily understood. In preparing what you are going to teach, you will find that you get a better understanding and retain the information much better too. Find a friend to teach your subject too and suggest they teach you about their subject too. Selecting the material you are going to teach will be helpful too. It will identify the topics you are already confident with. You’ll naturally select those first. The ones that you are less confident about are the ones you need to spend more time on. You’ll have identified the gaps where you might need to revise more. 

Try these four tips and let us know how you get on. Good luck with your exam preparation. We hope you get the results you’re hoping for.