Choosing your uni is one thing, but getting in is a whole other ballgame. And until universities develop a Harry-Potter-style Sorting Hat, they’re stuck with a combo of personal statements and grades to tell them who deserves a place at the Gryffindor table.
So this summer, whether it’s A Levels, Highers or mocks, you’re likely to have exams. And what do exams mean? Sigh. Revision.
This year though, don’t just work hard — work smart. Figure out what’s best for you personally: that depends on what style of learner you are. Are you a seer, a hearer or a doer?
• Seers benefit from images instead of endless pages of text. Make posters of key points and put them up around your house where you’ll see them regularly. Glue them directly over the TV screen or above your bed for maximum efficiency.
• Hearers remember things by reading them aloud or hearing them. Pester a family member to sit with you and read your work to you. If you can stand the sound of your own voice, make recordings and listen to them while you’re out and about.
• Doers learn by practice. That doesn’t mean repetitively reading — it means doing something, acting it out, experimenting.
No idea which one you are? Try them all and see what works the best. Do you remember the stuff you saw, heard or did?
No matter what kind of learner you might be, remember that you’ll learn best by understanding what exactly it is exactly that you’re trying to study. To achieve a deep understanding like the enlightened beings you are, try teaching a friend whatever it is you’re trying to learn.
Sounds weird, but it’s a win-win.
They learn about, say, the mitochondria being the powerhouse of the cell, and you make sure you never forget it.
The memory isn’t a safe place to keep stuff, though. Things can get lost. You need to check on them occasionally to see that they’re still there.
And the more you revisit them, the stronger and shorter the path you make to find them whenever you need to.
So plan your revision so you have time to go over each topic lots, each time in less detail, until, by exam time, just seeing the question will bring the whole lot flooding out like three cherries on a Vegas fruit machine.
LUCY HARDING is the Editorial manager for Push. She is an English Literature grad and an MA Publishing student at UCL. She is passionate about international relations and cultural diversity, having worked closely with her university’s Erasmus society to support European students. She also spent a year abroad studying at California State University: Long Beach
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