Creative revision ideas for students

Author: Megan Pitman
Published: 17/08/2020
  1. SWOT. Get students to do their own SWOT analysis of strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities prior to starting their revision so that they target the areas they know least well.

  2. Recall revision. In an exam, students will often need to retrieve information that they have memorised. Students can practise this by reading through their notes first, then hiding them. They then write down everything they can remember from their notes on an A4 sheet. Doing this after each ‘revision session’ can really help with fact retrieval.

  3. Revision wheels or learning fans. Using a split pin and a word wheel or fan template online, students can make their own.

  4. Revision game templates. Mix it up with some fun activities. Try bingo, domino cards, taboo or Top Trumps templates (search Teachit for flexible templates you can adapt).

  5. Decorate a chair, table or window. Using sticky notes and any props or equipment you have at hand, encourage students in groups to write down everything they can remember about a topic, question, theme, etc. Wetwipe glass pens can be bought fairly cheaply so students can collaborate on a revision window, or use magic whiteboard paper.

  6. Make a fortune teller. Add questions on the outside and answers on the flaps, or key themes and key words, etc. Encourage students to test each other.

  7. Experiment with mind maps. There are hundreds of different layouts and options for mind maps – encourage students to try a range of different templates and interactive tools, from Bullseyes to Venn diagrams (search Teachit for flexible templates you can adapt).

  8. Adapt a game. Encourage students to make their own version of a traditional game. Stick questions on to Jenga blocks – if students select a block, they have to answer the question. Encourage students to create a draught board with questions on each chequered square, or make a subject-specific version of Blockbusters or Trivial Pursuit, etc.

  9. Doodles. Arty students might enjoy making illustrated versions of their revision notes – with Tom Gates or graffiti-style doodles, notes and key words.

  10. Animate. Create revision animations and cartoons with sound using apps and online tools like Vyond, Telligami or Pixton.

  11. Revision websites. Provide students and parents with a list of the best revision websites for your subject.

  12. Past papers. Make sure students know their exam board and how to find the correct papers online.

  13. Memory techniques. Model how to remember facts, key language or quotes using a variety of techniques. This might include mnemonics, images, first letters of each word, flashcards, using song, rhythm or rap, etc. Encourage students to experiment and find the technique that makes it stick for them.

  14. Get Appy. Ask students to share apps that they have found useful for revision. Flashcard apps and quiz apps can be highly effective revision tools for many students. Try Quizlet, Brainscape or IDoRecall.

  15. Ask the expert. Pick one or more of your students who you know are great at revision and memorising. Ask them what works for them and get them to share their tips with the class

  16. Vloggers. There are lots of vlogs specialising in revision skills which are often created by students who are particularly organised in their approach, for example Unjaded Jade on Youtube. Also, Mr Bruff on Youtube makes helpful videos on GCSE and A-level English language and literature, Hannah Kettle Maths is popular on Youtube and Tiktok sharing mini lessons and videos for GCSE maths, and there are many more subject-specific vlogs to choose from.

  17. No phones. Encourage students to take practical steps to avoid distraction such as leaving their phone in another room and switching off from social media sites, email, etc.

  18. Teach someone else. One of the best ways to demonstrate your learning is to teach someone else. Encourage students to find a willing victim at home (even if it’s the dog) and teach them everything they know. The gaps in their knowledge will soon become apparent and can be addressed.

  19. Speed plan. It’s time-consuming to write out full answers to past questions, but students can test their knowledge/skills quite effectively by bullet-pointing what they’d write and in which order. A question a day. Get students to answer one question in detail on a particular topic every day of the month leading up to an exam.

  20. A question a day. Get students to answer one question in detail on a particular topic every day of the month leading up to an exam. 

Download the creative revision ideas PDF to share with students, parents or colleagues.

Megan Pitman

Megan is the Digital Content Manager at Teachit and a former geography teacher with experience working in a variety of secondary school settings teaching KS3, KS4 and KS5 students and as an online private tutor. During her teaching career, she delivered whole-school PSHE and British values initiatives and supported colleagues' professional development in these areas.