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Why reviewing your learning is so important

As soon as we are told a new piece of information, most of that information is ‘lost’ and forgotten. Hermann Ebbinghaus found that revisiting information regularly helps us remember more of it. So, we need to be reviewing and going over what we learn in order for us to remember and be able to use the information after a period of time has passed. This page summarises some proven strategies that you can use to review your knowledge. You can learn more about retrieval practice here: Learning Scientists

Flash cards

Simply create questions on one side, answers on the other. Colour code the cards for specific topics. Post it notes can be useful for keywords and timelines. Once you have created your flash cards, you need to think about how you will use them effectively. Here is a link to the Leitner system for using flashcards: The Leitner Method

Dual coding

Dual coding is the process of combining verbal materials with visual materials. Simply take information that you are trying to learn, and draw visuals to go with it. Try to come up with different ways to represent the information. For example: a timeline, a cartoon strip or a diagram of parts that work together. You can learn more about dual coding here: Learning Scientists

Cornell Notes

This method can be used in your revision books as a great method to get you to ‘think’ about your revision. Simply split your page into 3 sections as shown on the diagram:

  • Note taking
  • Key words / concepts
  • Summary



Spacing and interleaving

Don’t revise your all topics in one go (cramming). Instead, you should revise ‘chunks’ of a topic for small amounts of time (15-30 minutes) and then move onto another ‘chunk’ from a different topic. Eg. topic 1 cells, topic 2 digestive system This will improve your memory!

Mind maps

Mind mapping is simply a diagram used to visually represent or outline information. It is a powerful graphical technique you can use to translate what’s in your mind into a visual picture. Mind maps help with memorisation of key knowledge as it helps to organise information and begin to make links and connections to different pieces of information. The use of visual images helps your brain to memorise the information with simple words next to them – links to dual coding!


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