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How Do You Write Revision Notes?

How Do You Write Revision Notes?

Looking at everything you have learnt and deciding how best to create revision notes can be really daunting. Copying out your notes either by hand or on a computer is a great place to start as repetition is a great way to learn, but it can become boring fast, and things might stop sticking in your mind if you start getting distracted when doing it. 

In this article we hope to offer you some guidance on how to create revision notes for GCSE and A-Levels that work for you. So, grab your highlighters and notebooks, and let's uncover the secrets to mastering the skill of revision.

Why Are Revision Notes Useful?

Before we start on how we create them, let’s look at the why: Why are revision notes so crucial in the learning process?

  1. When creating revision notes you are supposed to look at the topic as a whole and pick out the key facts. Putting all that information into manageable chunks makes it easy for you to look over and take in. 

  2. Once you have condensed, they are a quick reference. Something you can check in those pre-exam panic moments to ease your anxiety.

  3. Writing notes is what is known as an active learning process. You are engaging with the old material, understanding it, and getting the crucial information onto the page in your own words. This way of learning increases your understanding of the subject meaning you are more likely to retain the information. 

  4. Revision notes allow you to organise the information in a way that works for you. You might use colour or visual aids to help you to recall the subject.

Simple Ways to Write Revision Notes

Writing out reams of notes isn’t going to be helpful. It might help in the very beginning, but it is quickly boring and will not offer you that quick reference when you need it most. Here are some tips on how to make your notes a little more interesting:

  1. Organise Your Material

    Look at past papers and see how the topics are ordered and what score they are allocated. You might want to organise your notes in the same topic order, with the weightier bit having a bit more emphasis. 

  2. Use Visual Aids

    Diagrams, charts, mind maps, colours, are all great ways to make your notes stand out. It will help you make the information more memorable and help you have a greater understanding. 

  3. Colour Code

    Any excuse to buy a new pack of highlighters, colour coding is a great way to break down your information at a quick glance. Different colours for definitions, examples, formulas, is a great way of being able to find the bit of your notes you are looking for in that moment. 

  4. Condense Information

    Condensing your information is great if you make sure that you maintain the information. Using bullet points is a great way to do this. 

GCSE Revision Note Tips

At GCSE level you have a lot of subjects that you will need to revise for. Here are some tips that will help you with your French notes through to physics. 

  1.  Understand Exam Formats

    GCSE exams can have varied formats, including multiple-choice, short answer, and essay questions. Make sure you use past papers to make sure your revision notes match.

  2. Focus on Key Topics

    What are the key topics and concepts in your syllabus? These are the areas you need to prioritise in your revision notes. Look at the exam weighting and make sure you are allocating the right amount of time to each area. 

  3. Practice Past Papers

    Past papers and practice exam questions should be included in your notes. It will help you to become familiar with the structure of the exam and help you get ready for the real thing.

  4. Look online

    Explore online education resources such as websites, videos, and forums. BBC Bitesize can provide additional explanations and examples to supplement your revision notes.

A-Levels Revision Notes Tips

At A Levels you have less subjects to study for, but the complexity of those subjects increases dramatically. Here are our top tips on how to make the most of your revision notes:

  1. Know Your Exam Requirements

    Understand the specific requirements of your A Level exam by looking at past papers. Are the questions essay-based questions, or data analysis, or practical assessments. Your revision notes should match up with what will be asked of you in the exam. 

  2. Try and deepen your understanding 

    A Levels demand a deeper understanding of subjects. Rather than memorising information, focus on understanding the underlying principles of each area. Your revision notes should reflect this depth of comprehension.

  3. Digital Tools

    Consider using digital note-taking tools like OneNote for A Levels. These platforms are great when it comes to adding more visual aspects to your notes and being able to easily rearrange them when necessary.  

What alternatives are there to revision notes?

While traditional revision notes are effective, it's essential to look at alternative methods to keep your study routine interesting and avoid getting bored. Different things work for different people. Some people are visual learners, others learn from repetition. However, you learn, make sure you explore all the options that could work for you. 

  1. Flashcards

    Create flashcards for quick, on-the-go revision. Apps like Anki or Quizlet allow you to create digital flashcards with questions on one side and answers on the other.

  2. Teaching Others

    We are not saying you go into tutoring, just yet! Teaching your subject to a family member or a friend not revising for the same subject is a great way to learn as it helps reinforce your understanding of the subject. By explaining it to someone who doesn’t already know the information means you are able to communicate complex areas of the subject – exactly what you will need to do in an exam. 

  3. Interactive Learning

    Educational games or simulations can break the monotony of traditional note taking and make the learning process more enjoyable, they are a fun and interesting way to learn.

Getting Extra Support

If you find yourself struggling with certain subjects or need additional guidance, don't hesitate to seek extra support. Tutoring Services can provide personalised guidance, clarify doubts, and offer strategies tailored to your learning style to help you break through those tricky areas. We have tutors covering every subject and level who are on hand to help you. Check them out!

Another great way is to join, or form, study groups with your classmates who are studying the same subjects. Collaborative learning allows you to share your understanding, clarify any questions you have, and gain different perspectives.

Creating revision notes is just part of the education journey and your learning process. Make sure that your notes reflect the style of exam you are sitting for each subject and are engaging and informative for you. 

You will know when you are smashing your revision when you really understand it!

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Joe D

Joe D

22nd Jan 2024