Revising as a study skill strengthens the memory of the learned material. As such, the principles and skills used in studying are also applicable in revision. It may seem like an easy process at first because the subject matter has already been taken up, but then it is only through revision that a person perceives more undering ideas never seen before – and this aious critical thinking.
Revising is also how most people prepare for examinations, from where a reasonable percentage of grades come from. Therefore, in order for revising to effectively serve its purpose, do not fall into the trap of committing the following mistakes:
Not enough planning
Planning is the initial step in revising, as in any undertaking. This is where you identify the topics to be studied based on the course outline or syllabus provided at the start of the term. A workable timetable should likewise be prepared to determine the amount of time to be allotted for each subject matter. There are some who take the course outline for granted and so also overlook setting up a time frame. What happens then is that time intended for revising runs out, and some important topics are missed. Scheduling weekly revisions is fair enough, but spending short periods of time daily for study is more effective.
Not paying attention to course objectives
Like the syllabus, course objectives are also explained at the beginning of the school term to guide students on what they expect to achieve from the curriculum. Lacking this awareness leads to a waste of time on revising less important topics.
Not managing time properly
For students, the ultimate goal is to be able to graduate and get a degree. To realize that, several years are dedicated to serious study. Oftentimes, due to voluminous workload – assignments, quizzes, examinations, projects, theses, case analyzes – the essence of time management is either neglected or ignored. Each day is taken as it comes, so to speak. Before you know it, a lot of precious time has already been put to waste because time was not managed properly.
Cramming stems from failure to plan what to revise, how to revise, and when to revise. Not only is absorbed information lodged in the short-term memory, it also stresses the mind and the body. Because cramming usually takes place on the night before an examination day, there is that foregone opportunity to make clarifications with or ask questions to the instructor. It is best to distribute revision time several days or weeks before an examination takes place.
Not having an effective note-taking system
Textbooks provide the basic knowledge required in a particular subject. The instructor, however, augments this with lectures. Not everyone exhibits a positive attitude towards lectures, and this may affect note-taking habits. At worst, one may not take down notes. If and when he does, he might just be scribbling irrelevant information. As a result of this, he will have a difficult time revising because of incomplete material.