Flashcards are great for studying alone or with friends and especially family- your younger sibling can even test you without having to know about the subject! A bit of a double whammy, the act of making the flashcards is a great revision exercise and once you’ve made them you’re ready to use them again and again to test yourself. Making the cards is quick and easy- just grab some scrap paper and cut it into squares or if you’d like to splash out, lined index cards can be bought from any good stationery shop or supermarket.
When writing your flashcards, go through your class notes and think about what questions someone could ask you from them. Write the question on one side of the card, and then write the answer on the back. You could also draw diagrams or tables and colour code the cards according to subject- the possibilities are endless! Once you’ve written them, you can test yourself or get someone else to (since all the information they need to decide if you’re correct or not will be on the card).
Pick a main topic and write the heading in the middle of your page. From there, think about the main sub-topics and how they each branch out into mini-topics. Everyone has their own way of drawing mind maps, but ultimately they are a good visual aid (especially if you’re good at memorising diagrams and pictures) and can be used as prompts to point you in the direction of things to study in more detail.
Taking your class notes and re-writing them out in your own words is a really good way to check that you’ve understood the content. Once you’ve re-written them out once, keep repeating the process until you have a condensed set of notes which contains all the key points that you need to know. This way, you’ll be learning kinaesthetically by physically writing the notes and can use your key points to test yourself.
PowerPoints and Teaching
The best way to make sure you know information in depth is to teach others. Teaching your subject to someone who isn’t familiar with it can really show up areas that you need to revise and also helps you to retain 90% of the information. Teach your family and friends and if they can’t understand an area even after you’ve tried to teach it in a different way, go back and have a look at your notes again to make sure you’ve learned it correctly. Another great way to learn and teach at the same time is to make PowerPoint or Prezi presentations to use as an aid for teaching others. Try to not use your notes when writing these initially, and then go back through the presentation with your notes beside you to highlight any important areas you’ve missed out. Then you can use your presentation to teach others or use it as a fun way to revise yourself.