Evidence Based Revision

Revision is one of those challenging activities that all students must do, but unless they are taught how to revise well, time can often be spent doing ineffective activities that reap very little reward. Fortunately, the science of how we learn has been well researched so that at Uckfield College, we are able to help students navigate the tricky waters of revision.

This table shows what ingredients are needed for effective revision and will provide you with a simple way of deciding how effective your current revision strategies are and what you need to do to improve them.

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“RETRIEVAL PRACTICE Research & Resources for every classroom”, Kate Jones


How NOT to revise

Re-reading your notes over and over can give you a false sense that you are remembering what you are reading. What is actually happening is that the content is becoming familiar, because your brain has seen it before which leads to your brain telling you that you know the content, but often it has not been committed to memory.

Whilst highlighting can feel satisfying, it does not help you commit material to your long term memory.

Many of us listen to music to help us feel calm, happy or relaxed. This can give us the false sense that we revise better when there is music in the background. This is not the case.


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When is the best time to revise?

WHEN is not about planning revision timetables. By using Spaced Practice and Interleaving together you are forced to retrieve information from your memory. Interleaving (switching) between topics is helpful to your learning and long-term memory.


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HOW should you revise?

How you revise is vital to ensuring that your learning sticks. Retrieval practice works best when you check how well you have remembered definitions, knowledge, connections or methods.

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Watch this video about an effective way of revising using flashcards:

The Leitner System



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Mind Maps

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If you would like to read more about what does and does support revision that works, read this booklet from