I’m constantly getting questions about the methods I use to study, so considering I use literally every method under the sun, I thought I’d explain how and what I use.
Writing notes is the initial thing I do (after reading over the topic). I do this two ways. I write messy/rough notes in class which contain information that isn’t in the textbook, and then I go home and write up ‘neat’ notes which combine the two.
- Take rough notes in class in order to gather as much information as possible which isn’t in the textbook, write down key ideas the teacher is saying, or key ideas from a presentation.
- When you get home, re-write your notes in a presentable way. I mainly use the textbook when doing this, and I try and condense the information as much as possible so I can simply skim over these notes and understand them easily.
What I use:
- Pukka Pad (for messy notes)
- Whitelines Notebooks (in A4 and A5 for neat notes)
- Rhodia Dotpad (for neat notes)
- Pens: Mildliners, Stabilo highlighters, Zebra Sarasas, Staedtler and Stabilo fineliners, Crayola Supertips (basically I use everything lol but people always ask what pens I’m using and it’s always a few of these)
I type up my notes purely because I like to have a place where I can have in-depth information on a topic in one place. It just makes my life easier when I’m being lazy and want to just scroll through some information, but still revise it. It always means that I can fit everything to do with a topic into one place, in oppose to having several different sheets of notes for the topic.
What I use:
- OneNote: I have separate sections for my subjects, and then I have different pages for each topic.
Flashcards are the main way in which I memorise and learn information. I write the question on one side, and the answer. I don’t even have a way I do this, I just turn the content into questions and answers.
What I use:
- Quizlet: I never used to like this site, but now I couldn’t go without typing up flashcards for each topic on it, especially definitions. I use it to have my flashcards in a digital space where I can access them on my phone in order to revise. It also has many features to help you learn them!
- Record card/Index cards: I write every single flashcard that I create on Quizlet out onto these. I do this for each topic, make a fancy title to define the topic and clip them together using a pretty binder clip! It helps for when I want someone else to test me (usually my boyfriend, sorry Tom). I always buy mine from Tesco, but you can get them anywhere, and can even make your own by cutting out card or paper.
Mindmaps have been a hit and miss for me. They worked during GCSE’s, didn’t work for my first year of A-Levels, and now I love them again. I don’t do them for every topic, only ones that contain quite a lot of information. They’re pretty self explanatory so I’m not going into detail with them, everyone creates them differently. Just go with it.
- Split a topic up into smaller components. Start in the middle and work your way out and around. I tend to condense the information as much as possible.
What I use:
- Whitelines Notebooks (A4): This is the only thing I use for mindmaps, only because I can scan them using the free app and then revise them from anywhere.
- Pens: Mildliners and Staedtler/Stabilo fineliners are basically the only things that I use.
Practice questions are the thing you need to be doing the most, and definitely the thing I don’t do enough of.
- Practice questions: I usually do practice questions for each specific topic, as well as completing the ones my teacher gives me. Always keep these safe! I file them in my binder in a polypocket alongside the presentations and my notes.
- Past papers: These are something I also don’t do enough of because quite frankly, they look terrifying and getting a bad grade on them can really set you back. I’m going to be starting to do full on past papers once I’ve actually finished the units for each subject!
What I use:
- Textbooks: I use the textbook specific to my course, and it contains practice questions on each topic, as well as the answers in the back! You can also get revision guides for each topic, and they have questions in.
- WJEC Question Bank: I’m not sure if other exam boards have this, but it’s basically a place you can find past exam questions on every topic by simply searching any key word.
- The internet: I find a lot of practice questions by Googling what I’m looking for, however, make sure you find questions that also have the answers somewhere. There’s no point completing them if you can’t mark them after.
These are literally all of the methods I use, so I hope me explaining at least one of these in this post has come in handy for someone.