Revision techniques – the good, the OK and the useless

Revision techniques – the good, the OK and the useless..

It turns out that many students are still trying to revise with the wrong techniques.

The full paper is here by Prof Dulovsky and talks about how many things we do are simply wrong and the funny thing is that they are not just wrong for some but EVERYONE! So students who try and claim it works for them are simply lying to themselves.

The list the research came up was this….

  • Elaborative interrogation – being able to explain a point or fact – MODERATE
  • Self-explanation – how a problem was solved –MODERATE
  • Summarising – writing summaries of texts –LOW
  • Highlighting/underlining – LOW
  • Keyword mnemonics – choosing a word to associate with information – LOW
  • Imagery – forming mental pictures while reading or listening – LOW
  • Re-reading – LOW
  • Practice testing – Self-testing to check knowledge – especially using flash cards – HIGH
  • Distributed practice – spreading out study over time – HIGH
  • Interleaved practice – switching between different kinds of problems – MODERATE

It is interesting really as I would also agree that the best way of revising is to re-test yourself using flash cards, doing revision on a regular basis (not just homework sheets!), also cramming a short amount before an exam of what you previously revised and teaching others as this like re-learning it.

Revision techniques – the good, the OK and the useless


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