Individual Tuition

Maths, English, Art and Art History.

Affordable Prices

Different payment plans available.

Study Anywhere

Study at home, school or abroad.

My Tutor Tip 3: Revision Techniques (Part 2)

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

This is a continuation from my previous blog post on revision techniques linking into homework help and exam support.  Previously we talked before about how to revise and where to revise.  I would like to now look at when to revise.
How to Revise
How to Revise: Working and Long Term Memory
We all know the stories of Joe Bloggs, the student, who decided to stay up last minute and cram for his exam because he wanted to go out partying the night before and every night before that.  It is a typical University story.  Is it the best way to revise?
Firstly, I'd like to talk about memory.  Please note I am no expert on the subject and these are just some of my thoughts.   There are lots of different sorts of memory.  Memory for ordered lists, memory for images and amongst these different sorts of memory is working memory and long-term memory.  Long-term memory are the things we remember and never forget.  They are stored away so securely in our brains we just need to recall them.  Working memory is where we hold information temporary and can recall it usually in the short term.  For example, you may want to remember today's shopping list and you accurately do but in a week's time you have no recollection of what that shopping list was.  Some people have very good working memories and other people have better long-term memories.
Consequently, you’re probably wondering what is my point?  Well, Joe Bloggs, may have an excellent working memory and may work best recalling the information this way for the exam by storing it for a short time and then never remembering the information again.  Furthermore, Joe Bloggs may have special educational needs or a disability that prevents his long-term memory from working.  So, although most would disagree, perhaps cramming before an exam could, actually, boost someone's marks even if by just a few points.
However, the general argument by professionals is not to cram for your exams and to be well prepared in advance creating a study timetable for yourself with regular breaks with plenty of time to learn your information in advance.  Some even suggest lots of repetition.  The reason for this thinking?  It pushes what you are learning into long term memory.  Additionally, one could argue there is just too much material to learn and store in working memory especially when you reach SATS, 11+, GCSE etc.  Leaving your learning to the last minute is simply not a good idea.
Revision Techniques
Revision Techniques: Time Management
The general advise for revising is to revise in 45-minute slots with regular breaks and this is the reason why I also recommend 45-minute tutoring slots with a private tutor (like myself).  Studies have been done that show people work optimally for around about 45 minutes.  It can differ between people; some people can concentrate as little as 30 minutes and others up to 60 minutes.  To discover your optimal learning time, I recommend setting a timer whilst you study and stop it when you feel you can't take any further information in.  This is likely to be your optimal learning time.
In addition, some people work better at different times of the day.  For example, I usually have a slump mid-afternoon.  Some people are night owls (working better at night) and others are larks (working better in the morning).  Consequently, thinking about when you learn best is also important to consider when building a revision timetable.
Also burn out is not very good.  The saying "all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" could not be truer.  Revising all the time is also not healthy.  Our brains need time to regenerate and revive.  A piece of advice I read and I try to remember when I am learning, working etc. is that successful people know to look after their health.  If you need to sleep then sleep.  If you need to eat, then eat.  Your no good to anyone run down and tired.
If you’re looking for homework help, online tutoring or more revision tips visit RK Tutors website.


Post a Comment

Contact Form


Email *

Message *