5 ways to boost your grades

Article _5waystorevise 01

Want to boost your grades? Here are five secrets to making the most of your revision sessions

Worried you spent too much time staring at your notes and not getting anywhere with your revision? Don’t worry, we’ve all been there and we all know how tough revising can be, especially when you’re trying to get into university.

Article _5waystorevise 05Knowing that you need to boost your grades to win your university place can put even more pressure on you and make revising even harder. But boosting your grades is all about learning how to learn better and top psychologists are here to help.

Years of research has taught us a lot about how we learn and which techniques work. In fact, we now know that the same technique won’t work for everyone and that tailoring your revision to your learning style is the best way to get good grades.

New research using a simple online game and 85,000 volunteers has given us an even better insight into how our minds work when it comes to learning, remembering, and passing tests.

Here are our top five tips to boost your learning based on the scientific paper published by psychologists Tom Stafford and Michael Dewar.

#1 Take your time

The research showed that people who leave plenty of space between exam practice sessions score higher on average. In fact, Stafford and Dewar believe that the longer the gap between practices, the better.

The volunteers who left 24 hours between their first five attempts at the game and their second five attempts at the game scored as highly as those who practiced 50% more than them.

The research confirmed what everyone has already told you about revision – don’t try and cram it into the night before the test! Organisation is the key to spending less time revising and getting better grades than ever before.

#2 It’s OK to fail occasionally

Article _5waystorevise 03We all like to win, especially when a university place is on the line, but the study showed that the people who took the time to explore the online game and failed had better scores later on.

This might mean trying a new essay style or debating technique but it’s important to plan time to try something new during your revision.

#3 Learn the things you need to know

This might sound really obvious but you’d be amazed how many students waste time practicing things they won’t be tested on. Writing a good exam answer is a skill so practice writing an essay rather than just trying to memorise the right answer.

#4 It’s all about structure

Article _5waystorevise 02We all know that staring at your notes isn’t going to make you remember them so here’s a new technique for you to try:

Structure your revision into logical chunks, make notes from your notes, and think about how everything you’re reading relates to the question you need to answer. For example, group your notes into themes or topics and then practice writing answers.

#5 Go to bed

The research proved that resting after learning something new helped you to remember the information at a later date. A full night’s sleep can help you learn new skills and even a nap can be an effective learning exercise.

This is a great news if you love an afternoon nap and proves yet again that staying up all night to cram your revision in won’t help you remember things in the exam.