How an Online Science Tutor Can Help with Revision Skills

How an Online Science Tutor Can Help with Revision Skills

How do you revise?

What is Revision?

How do you optimize your revision time? 

These are all questions you should be asking yourself when you are planning on revising for your exams. Remember, revision isn’t just reading textbooks, and also remember that every one of us learns differently. 

So, Diversify!

  1. Diversifying Assessment Methods

Diversifying your revision methods can greatly aid in gauging your understanding across various subjects. Flashcards, exam papers, YouTube videos, class notes, writing, and consolidating are all techniques you should be using to achieve your individual best.

For example, if you are studying AQA Trilogy then do some past papers using Edexcel or OCR – Much of the content will be similar but will be worded differently, this will encourage you to think about familiar topics from different viewpoints, this is often how people get caught out in exams.  

Exam boards love to ask you questions about something you have never heard of before. The aim is for you to apply your existing knowledge to the topic. 

For instance, a few years ago there was an AQA question all about the Axolotl and how they breathe using gills. 

The examiners wanted you to explore this concept in terms of diffusion and concentration gradients. 

But many students failed to answer as they immediately thought “I’ve never learned about an Axolotl so I can’t do it”

But many students failed to answer as they immediately thought “I’ve never learned about an Axolotl so I can’t do it” view essential information. 

A word of caution though, in my experience, Bitesize and Cogneto do not go to the level of depth needed for the Higher papers. See them as good indicators of your general understanding. 

When faced with many topics, prioritizing less familiar subjects also becomes imperative, don’t prioritize revision stuff you already know! 

To explore a range of free multiple-choice quizzes tailored to your needs, have a look at for free access to flashcards, quizzes, and videos.

Also, Remember BBC Bitesize offers free end-of-unit assessment quizzes. 

  1. Harnessing the Power of Retrieval Practice:

Retrieval practice may sound obvious, but it is a robust method for solidifying knowledge retention. 

This technique entails formulating questions based on what you are revising and then recalling the answers. This fosters genuine recall of information, without external prompts or aids (just like the real exam!) 

For example, let’s say you’re revising the two-stage model for Photosynthesis, once you have finished reading the page in the book, write down a few questions on that subject and then attempt to answer them. 

Try to link your answer with the keywords that are often in bold in the textbook. 

This way you are actively engaging with the material you are reading and this creates a nice narrative in your mind to create more links to the content. 

While retrieval practice demands more time than others, initiating this approach early in your study regimen is a good tool for assimilating content. 

  1. Streamlining Study with Knowledge Organizers:

Streamlining your study process is achievable through the use of mind maps. These tools condense key topics and crucial points onto a single sheet.   

Work with whatever format works for you, this could be vibrant, image-based organizers or more minimalist formats. 

I really like this way of revising and it’s something I do in all of my lessons, lots of drawings to get content over to the student in a visual format, and reduces the need for lots of boring text. 

Tailor these aids to suit your individual learning preferences and bolster memory retention.

  1. Leveraging Past Papers for Insightful Practice:

Past papers offer invaluable insights into self-assessment and serve as a useful way for honing exam-related skills such as time management and deciphering command words. 

The value of command words can not be overstated enough! 

To understand what the exam wants from a question is invaluable. Make sure you know what Discuss, Describe, Evaluate, and Assess all mean.

While beneficial, it’s also advisable to utilize past papers as an assessment of overall understanding. 

Do not use these as your only revision method!! 

Maximizing Study Efficiency with Flashcards:

Flashcards are versatile and efficient study tools capable of accommodating diverse subjects. 

Many are available pre-made on the internet, but creating them yourself and putting some effort into the cards’ aesthetic can also greatly increase how much information you retain. 

Colour them in, draw on them, and make links to the topic and your interests to gain the most from them. 

These aids also help keep fundamental concepts at the forefront of your mind.

Importantly – incorporating a diverse array of study techniques into your regimen can significantly enhance comprehension and retention across various subjects. 

Experiment with these strategies to discover the approaches that resonate most effectively with your learning style and work for you! 

James Coulter

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