Private Tutors Stoke On Trent

17 Revision Techniques

Your Personal Video Guide at Conclusion of Article


Perhaps the only thing worse than revision is the exam day itself!

Both are approached with trepidation – rather like a visit to the dentist. We don’t want to do it but ultimately it will be to our advantage.

So how to start? How do we approach ‘learning’ again the notes from all those years of study, so that we will be prepared for examination day?


    1.     Start revision early – ‘early’ depends on how many subject you have to revise. There is no one that says it is best to start one week before or one even month before.

    2.    Work out a revision timetable.

     This can done by drawing up a weekly timetable, dividing it into seven days and then dividing the days into hours i.e. from 9.00am –

     Then give time each subject and include breaks for leisure.

    3.    Revision is usually boring because you are going over notes that have already done.

     Alternate subjects in an attempt to alleviate the boredom.

    4.    Your teacher, private English tutor, one to one Sociology tutor, your subject books will all have made you familiar with examination paper.

 You need to know:   How long the paper is

                                   How many sections on the paper

                                   How many questions in each section

                                   What is and what isn’t compulsory

                                   How many questions are to be answered

                                   In what form do the questions appear

 All of the above is crucial. You do not want to be 'discovering' the paper on the day of the exam. You need to ‘greet it like an old friend’ on the big day.

    5.    Your revision plan will have to take into account the topics that you find difficult and on which you will have to spend more time.

    6.    So where to start?

    7.    You can start by trying to create a ‘Revision Space’. An area where you can lay all your papers down and return to them without have to set up or search for them

    8.    Sort through your notes and see if can cull those that will not be required. REMOVE all extraneous clutter!

    Index the notes you want to keep  – make sure you can find what you want when you want to.

    9.  Make notes of those notes until eventually all of your bundles of notes are on a set of cards that you can carry about with you.

These cards can then be brought out and looked at, at any time. Don’t waste time on bus journeys, get out the cards and use them – do not let ’dead time’ be wasted time.

10. Question spotting is a dangerous game and rarely successful. However, you may develop a selection of preferred topics for revision.

You may not want to spend time on unattractive/difficult areas of the syllabus – but remember this will limit your choice in the exam.

11. With minor exceptions, revision should involve going over material previously understood, not learning new materials.

The more you revise, the more automatic will become your ability to recall.

    12. Organisation of Revision Material

As a one to one home tutor in English I will look at English but please substitute the methods learnt from your Sociology teacher or Theatre Studies tutor or whoever your educator is.

a)    For English – first re-read the book

b)    Organise subjects into topic areas

c)     Bring together all lecture notes, handouts, etc on that topic

d)    Begin to reduce the mass of information to a shortened form

e)    Remember that Re-writing is Revising

13. Revision Is Not Passive

          a)    Practice drawing up plans for possible examination questions

b)    Test yourself frequently

c)     Practice doing timed questions under exam conditions

d)    Write outlines for possible essays

e)    Devise spider diagrams for e.g. themes, characters, theories

f)      Use active recall of a particular page or topic – jot down what you remember or go over it in your mind

g) Use different colours for different themes

h) Use another person to test you with your notes

14. Start each new day with a quick check of what was learnt the previous day.

15.  If there are revision sessions at your school then go to them. These will not only ensure you are on the right track but mixing with your peers will enable you to see that you are not alone in the ‘big black hole’ that is called ‘Revision’.

16. Feeling depressed and upset – that is natural.

However, don’t put off revising until the next day because one can lead to two and two can lead to three. . 

17. Finally. . .

It will seem like a long haul but remember what you are studying for – KEEP your DREAM in mind and this will help you to maintain your motivation.

Dean Nixon is a private English tutor in Stoke On Trent, Staffordshire, England. Working with him is

Norma Shaw who offers private Sociology tuition.

Please feel free to be a guest blogger at our Experienced Tutors blog.

(C) 2012 Experienced Tutors

Publishing Rights: You may republish this article in your website, newsletter or book, on the condition that you agree to leave the article, author's signature and all links completely intact.

The following three minute video puts 17 Revision Techniques into pictures

Prefer Full Screen Superior Quality  –  click here. The link takes you to the Photodex Presenter, which will download and the video will open up for viewing. Don’t be SCARED – it will all take less than a minute and the next time you wish to view one of our videos ‘Presenter’ will already be downloaded for you.

Video production by: Gossamer Images




 (C) Dean Nixon 2012 - Private Tutors - Private Tuition - One to One - Home Tutor - Stoke-On-Trent - Revision Techniques