Bad memories

It’s that time of year at universities.  For lots of lecturers, it’s the mad marking month of May.  For students, it’s the so-called “revision” and examination season.  I’m pretty sure that it’s not really revision for lots of students.  My experience and the experience of a lot of people that I know is that revision was a process of trying to deepen the pretty superficial knowledge and understanding that we’d gotten by turning up to lectures, taking in some of the material and then forgetting most of it until we were going to be tested on it.  The key is to be able to recall information and technique and apply them to a task.

It’s probably a bit late for some students now but Tim Stafford in the Guardian has some excellent (well, it accords with my experience) advice on how to revise.  He sums it up.

Depressing as it sounds, it could help to know that if you always enjoy revising, you’re probably doing it wrong. It’s meant to be hard.

I’d always underperformed in exams until I found out about these revision tips.  Albeit to my 17 year old son, they’re obvious.


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