You revised, you went to revision classes at school, you paid attention in class, you did your homework, yet you still didn’t get the grades you hoped you would. What did you do wrong? If you are wondering this, then read on.
This week I have had numerous calls from worried parents who have said the same thing to me. Their child works so hard, yet it doesn’t show, what could be the reason? They saw their child sitting at their desk with their books open, sometimes even staying up late to get the work done.
Experience tells me that any child can learn, if given the right tools. It’s all about focus, technique and time. If one of these three elements is missing from revision, then it won’t work.
The obvious meaning is to avoid distractions, and really really concentrate. Don’t procrastinate. One of my students can take up to 10 minutes just getting her books out, another will leave out the tricky topics hoping that they won’t come up. One student had a super organised study area, where she had a collection of text books, notes, past papers and worksheets, but no real revision had actually taken place.
The other meaning is to cast aside all the stuff you don’t need. Only revise what is going to come up in the exam. If you don’t know what will come up, then you need to ask your teacher to print off a syllabus. Then tick off each topic as you revise it. It will show your progress and will ensure that you don’t miss anything out. If you missed out questions or revised the wrong topics, then you didn’t FOCUS on the right things.
1. What’s your learning style?
We all learn in different ways. I am an auditory learner, so I prefer to watch videos or listen to talks and lectures. Sometimes I like to make notes, and use highlighters to help me remember things. Find a learning style that suits you and one that comes to you naturally. If you don’t have a preferred way of learning, then use what works. This infographic will help you find out your learning style and how you can use it to study better.
2. Test yourself.
There’s lots to revise so break down each topic into smaller chunks. Revise that chunk, and then test yourself. So many students will revise without doing past papers and tests. Worse still, they do the past papers and wait for their teachers to mark them. How will you know if you got the questions right? It’s like cooking something to eat and not eating it! Mark the papers yourself, look at the wrong answers, and then figure out how to get the right answer. Then do another paper and repeat.
I was watching a TED talk on YouTube called “The First 20 Hours — How To Learn Anything“. The speaker claims that all you need is 20 hours to learn something and is worth watching. Did you devote this much time to your revision? If you did fail your mock exams, then now is the time to get organised. Watch the video and then act on it.