The Ultimate Revision Guide

How To Start Revision

What do I need to do first? 

This question will help develop your metacognition and get you started on the right path. Metacognition is the ability to critically analyse how you think, or in simple terms, having self-awareness and control over your thoughts. It is best described as developing appropriate and helpful thinking strategies. This sort of thinking has been found to help students improve their learning, leading to better grades.

Why is this true? 

This is a great question to ask yourself to help improve memory. Psychologists refer to this technique as ‘elaborative interrogation’ and it helps improve recall by prompting people to connect the dots of their knowledge.

One study investigating this had students remember a list of sentences (i.e. ‘the hungry man got into the car’). The first group simply read the sentence. The second group were given an explanation (i.e. ‘to go to a restaurant’) and the third group were asked why might he have done this? The results? Students who were prompted to ask ‘why’ remembered 72% of the sentences when tested later, compared to only 37% in the other two groups.

How can I get better? 

This is the starting place to help develop a growth mindset, as it focuses on how you can improve and develop. Other great questions to help develop a growth mindset include ‘do you spend more time arguing or actioning the feedback’ and ‘what would I do differently next time’

Who can I ask for help? 

Using the social support from people around you helps develop resilience and is the hallmark of a mature learner. The benefits of social support include an increase in work ethic, motivation, ability to deal with stress and well-being.

Where do I do my best work? Revision time can be stressful enough without the multitude of constant distractions. One of the simplest and most effective ways of improving concentration is to simply work somewhere that limits the possibility of distractions. This includes thinking about what you will need, who you work best with and what things distract you the most.

Bradley Busch, Psychologist and Director at InnerDrive.


InnerDrive is a mental skills training company. We cover the traditional areas of sports psychology and mindset training. We now work with over 120 schools in England and last year our coaches worked with over 25,000 students, teachers and parents.

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