how I revise – science

I have two science mocks next week (ahhh) so it’s time…

For the…

Tension to build…

Slowly…

With ellipses…

Perhaps too many ellipses but I don’t care…

Well anyway, it’s time for the…

First of the ‘Surviving GCSEs’ post(s?).

So, science- let’s get to it.

Firstly, this is revision for an end of chapter test, but I’m sure you’ll be able to apply it to the exam or test you’re doing.

Secondly, I write my notes on the computer because I find I have a lot to get through in not a lot of time, and I’m a visual learner (perfectionist) so I like things neat and stimulating-to-the-eye. I use Microsoft Word 2016 but as long as it works for you, it doesn’t matter what software you use. Writing your notes by hand is fine too, It is whatever works best for you really.

Which brings me on to my first, and most important, point:

Make it personal. 

This seems simple, and a bit weird – for revision advice, but, I’ve found that it’s really helped to try out a load of methods and really think about what works best for me. It’s all good trying to copy your favourite YouTuber with the fancy notes but unless it works for you and you feel that you’re getting something out of it – then why bother? (The aesthetic, I know)

When you’ve found your method, use whatever you can to help you remember. For me, this tends to me thinking of weird little connections I can create between concepts. A slightly odd example would be when trying to remember ‘Avogadro’s Constant’ for Chemistry – I added an image of an Avocado on my notes (Avo-cado Avo-gadro?). But it’s little things like that, that are more likely to stick in your end than empty numbers and figures. Try to attach memories to concepts, what I like to do is try and explain things to myself and parents as if I were doing a youtube tutorial (on ionic bonding…) as it really helps to link the ideas in preparation for that five mark question on reactivity in the periodic table.

As for the actual structure of my notes, I’m going to attach a few pictures to help me explain here (I’m sorry about the lighting):

DSC_0374

(Chemistry above, Biology below)

I like to separate the sections (wow, that has a ring to it) by Chapter and Topic, for example in my textbook you have Chapter Three, but then four topics 3.1, 3.2. 3.3 and, 3.4. With separate pages for each topic, you don’t have to do it this way of course but finding an organisation method is really important especially when you have to revise multiple topics or want to quickly just recap one concept. Combining a good organisation method with creative memory hacks are my two most important tips for revising not just science but pretty much any subject.

Creativity + Organisation = Productivity 

DSC_0371

Using colour also really helps me as a visual learner, as do diagrams – I really like the bitesize diagrams because they just look nice, and are really clear and relevant to my fellow Brit Kids.

Another thing I would recommend using if you struggle getting organised, or are running low on paper and ink is the wonderful ‘Dropbox’. Basically if your download it on your computer and phone/tablet you can view your notes on your phone. By transferring files from your computer into the ‘Dropbox’ file, they will magically (electronically) appear on the Dropbox on your phone, and you can view your notes ‘on the go’ – provided you have the relevant software on your phone – this is the ‘Word’ app for me, but it obviously depends on what word processor you write your notes on. For reference, here are my ‘Dropbox folders’ on my laptop and phone:

jgScreenshot_20170413-183525

It’s quite useful for moving pictures between devices as well.

Quite recently (yesterday in fact) I experienced the effective of switching up your location while revising. Basically, I was at my friend Lydia’s house and we were trying to learn our Physics equations for the electricity topic, anyone else trying to learn the new GCSE OCR equations will agree they all look the same, ugh. It’s safe to say, it wasn’t going well. So I suggested we go for a walk… The catch? We learn the equations on the way and quite surprisingly – it worked. So, if you’re ever struggling to learn some absurd concept or equation – try getting out, it might help.

power = current squared x resistance, potential difference = current x resistance – see what I mean?

To collect the separate note pages I use these, and I don’t know what they’re called – folder pocket thingies? But binders or any folder-y thing can work.

DSC_0373

That just about wraps up science revision, I may be following this up with a post on English, Maths and, Languages. For reference, this is the textbook (the chemistry one) I use:

DSC_0368                                                                                                    Leave me a message if you also happen to be studying the same course.                                 -Sophie

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