Thursday, May 14, 2009


By C. Radhakrishnan

Dear students, I know very well one question that haunts you all the time ‘how can I memorise whatever I learned for the next exam’. Here are some ways that might help you memorise:
• Decide to remember.
• Take regular breaks.
• Review notes regularly: after an hour, after a day, after a week, after a month, and so on. (You need an excellent time schedule to make sure that this happens, but it is extremely effective.)
• Use multisensory memories, i.e. remember using as many representations as you can.
• Generate visual images that involve moving, interaction, and colour.
• Use the same background music to review as when you learned, and perhaps associate particular music with particular topics.
• Organise meaningfully using key words.
• Look briefly at a mind map, then put it away and try to recreate it. Repeat until you can reproduce it perfectly.
• Use flash cards with the key content on them.
• Use higher-order mind maps to connect individual mind maps together.
• Review at bedtime.
• Number points.
• Over learn, i.e. learn beyond the point at which you have complete recall.
• Compress the amount of material by chunking and using keywords.

Make you know and feel
There is no need to tell time and again, self-confidence is the key to success in any aspect of human life and it is very true even in memorisation. Demonstrating to yourself that you really do understand and remember can increase your confidence that your learning is really working. Teaching someone else, or writing mock or practice assignments and tests, can be useful here.

Reviewing and reflecting on the learning process
After every learning session, review the process you followed. What worked, what didn't, what would you do differently next time. Do the same thing at the end of each week, after each assignment, and after each test. Make notes of what you've learned about learning, and use them to improve your next learning session.

If you have any other successful tool to memorise please let me know.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

What makes a good learner?

A good learner is........

an active listener
willing to voice their opinions
shows initiative
prepared to learn from their mistakes.

How Can I Draw Up An Effective Revision Timetable?

Plan your revision carefully. The following top 10 tips should help:

1. Divide your time into subjects.

2. Consult your lesson notes and the syllabus for each course to make sure you cover all the necessary topics. Ask your teachers for advice if necessary.

3. Consult your exam timetable. You will have longer to revise for some exams than others so plan accordingly.

4. Be sure to include any revision sessions that you’d like to attend at school. Many departments are running revision classes during study leave and “booster” sessions immediately before the exams. Ask your teachers.

5. Reflect upon your strengths and weaknesses and allot time accordingly e.g. give more time to topics you find tricky.

6. Are you at your best in the mornings, afternoons or evenings? It may be best to put the most challenging topics at these times.

7. Vary your timetable. Don't plan to spend all morning on one subject. An hour per subject is fine.

8. Plan in “blanks” which can be used when things don’t go according to plan.

9. Do allow yourself mini-breaks between sessions and quality relaxation time.

10. Be prepared to update your timetable as your revision progresses. So don't spend hours colouring it in or making it look great on the computer!

Which Revision Strategies Will Work Best For Me?

1. The more you DO with the information you have to learn the more you will understand and remember it.
2. Focus on the methods listed under your preferred learning style.
3. However, remember that it is important to use a variety of approaches – VA and K.
4. Ask your teacher for help if necessary e.g. to recommend suitable websites, to explain something once more, for a missing worksheet.