No matter what level of study you are, whether it be GCSE, A-Level or Degree. Retaining lots of information is always required for assessments, especially examinations. Trying to remember years of lessons and revision for one exam where the question could be on any topic across more than one subject can be extremely stressful. But worry no more! I am here to offer you some of the techniques on how you can remember everything you need to learn for your exams with these 5 revision techniques for retaining information.
Memory Mind Maps
Every time you finish revising or studying a new topic, complete a memory mind map! Never done one before? Here is what it entails:
Step 1: Take away all the revision notes and books with the answers and information inside.
Step 2: Put the name of the topic, theory, concept or idea you have just learned in the middle and draw a bubble or circle around it.
Step 3: Draw arrows coming out from your bubble with everything you can remember about what you just revised. Without referring back to your notes and books. (no peaking!) You now have an idea of everything that you know well and remember.
Step 4: Take a different coloured pen and add in the information you missed or got wrong. This is the information you need to work on memorising better.
Memory Mind Maps where introduced to me during A-Level by my Philosophy & Ethics teacher. They really helped me to highlight areas where my knowledge was not as strong. Now I share this with you, give it a go they are really helpful!
If you are a visual learner like me, making posters is great! You can really get creative and fill them with colour and drawings to help you visualise things you need to learn. But what do you do with your posters after you’ve spent hours making them? Instead of shoving them in a folder put them on the walls! Stick them all around your bedroom so you can see them all the time. Repetition and seeing something over and over will help the information stay in your brain and reinforce things you have learned.
I’m sure a lot of you already know how amazing flash cards are. Making them is so easy too!
Step 1: Simply get some small-ish sized cards or cut some paper to size. You can purchase them from Amazon if you don’t feel like making your own.
Step 2: On one side, write the name of a key term, theory, key person, date or any information you need to make sure you know.
Step 3: On the back write down what they are. So for example if I wrote “Absolutism” on one side of the card, on the back I would write “Moral Absolutism is the ethical belief that…” and write out what it means.
Step 4: Once you have written out your flash cards you can now shuffle them up. Pull one out at random and look at the title on the front. Try to say what the name on the front of the card is out loud. (without looking at the answer)
Step 5: Now turn over the card and see if you got it right! If not then keep practising till you know the answers, the cards will help you memorise the information.
Now you might be looking at this like, really? but I cannot recommend this tip enough. At GCSE RE we had to learn the entirety of Marks Gospel which meant learning a lot of quotes and bible references. To help us remember some my teacher came up with little tunes that would literally get stuck in my head! It was useful in a way I never even expected. One I even still remember now and I did my GCSE’s in 2011 (I feel so old).
You can eat healthy foods to improve your cognitive ability. I watched a documentary on Channel 4 a long time ago that conducted a study where they made banana smoothies for one group of students and blueberry smoothies for another group to see if they helped promote better memory function. The experiment concluded that the students that had the blueberry smoothie performed better! – naturally I went out and scoffed a load of blueberries after watching this. While it might not guarantee success and you definitely still need to work hard, but being healthy is always good.
Here are some products for the ideas I’ve mentioned to get you started: