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May 10, 2005
Revision is dull, right? So how do you do it faster and more effectively?
Here's some top tips for Humanities and Soc Sci types (hey! what about you scientists?)
1. Don't start with 'content'/data or your file of notes (too depressing)
2. Revisit the key questions of the course and use a mind map to sketch out the questions and their implications (this is fun, lets your brain working on what matters and you can colour it in afterwards – ie procrastination that's useful)
3. Don't revise – review. Spend 10 minute bursts scanning the text. Don't read it slowly, read it fast.
4. Take a break every 50 minutes from these bursts. Sketch out a mind map at the end of each session. The break should be 15 minutes. This will allow your brain to chew it over.
5. When you get back to your desk – do a mind map of the stuff you just did without looking. Add anything new you just thought of.
6. Take a long break every 2 hours and do something like swimming, go for a walk, etc.
7. Reward yourself at the end of the day (eg, big fat cream cake)
8. Reformulate notes under new headings: the approach taken by other scholars/schools of thought; the main debates/points of contention (these offer more chance to argue the case rather than gettibng bogged down with content around issues) and issue outcomes.
9. Be clear on the top three to five arguments on each issue and be able to say these out loud to a friend. If you haven't got a friend, you can buy one at Costcutters (I think?)
10. Keep a record of what you have covered – and congratulate yourself on how much you have done regularly through the day.
so, be happy
Your neighbourhood PDP Co–ordinator