Memory & Retrieval 

A great deal of research has been conducted into how to revise and prepare for assessments effectively.  The research shows that frequent revision that focusses on self-testing and quizzing is most effective in improving learning and boosting performance in exams.

At The Carlton Academy we do all that we can to support all of our students to be independent in supporting their studies.  Coursework has been removed for many GCSE exams putting a greater emphasis on exams.  We are supporting our students to prepare for exams effectively by teaching them how to use 7 key techniques in lessons and asking them to use these to prepare for in-class assessments, mock exams and external exams.

The techniques that we are teaching are students are:

  1. Flashcards
  2. Revision clocks
  3. Red pen, black pen
  4. Text to pictures
  5. Mind maps
  6. A5 revision cards
  7. Mnemonics

Further information on the research we have used to inform this work and the strategies that we are teaching the students to use can be found in this presentation.  Copies of resources to support using these techniques can be downloaded by clicking in the names of the resources above.

Some advice for effective revision:

  • Make sure you create the correct environment.  It should be quiet and free from distractions.  You may want music playing quietly in the background but the TV or radio with people talking is distracting
  • Make sure your revision is active.  You need to be writing and testing yourself.  Just reading your notes or revision guide is not effective.  Ask members of your family or friends to ask you questions
  • Spilt the day into 3 parts; morning, afternoon and evening.  Aim to revise for 2 of the 3 parts
  • Don’t plan to spend longer than 1 hour revising without taking a short break
  • Break subjects down into manageable chunks.  Rather than revising ‘science’ focus on a particular unit eg. photosynthesis
  • Sit a table, not on a sofa or bed
  • Turn your phone off, unless you are using a revision app
  • Make a revision timetable

To support effective revision, we expect students to produce revision timetables to enable them to apportion their time appropriately to preparation for all of their subjects during periods of mock and external exams.  A blank revision timetable can be downloaded here.