How to use colour in your revision notes to improve your learning
This post was sponsored by Ryman the stationers.
Revision notes are a great way to condense and record your knowledge and understanding when you’re revising. In this video I’m going to show you how to make effective revision notes.
If you’re a parent make sure you share this video with your child as it’s really going to help them with their revision.
How to create revision notes
1. Write your revision notes in your own words
The first thing you need to understand is that, unless you’re writing a definition, you need to write your revision notes in your own words. This is because reading information from your class notes, text book or revision guide, understanding it and then putting it into your own words helps your brain to store the information.
2. How to layout revision notes using clear titles, sub-titles and headings
Layout your revision notes using clear titles, sub-titles and headings helps you break your revision down into bite-size chunks as well as sign-posting your memory through the content. Whatever you do, don't write pages and pages of notes without breaking it up into smaller pieces.
3. Make your notes neat but not too neat
One of the biggest mistakes I see students making when they create revision materials is spending too much time and energy on presentation. Remember that your notes are a pratical aid to your memory that are to be used throughout the coming weeks, and it's pretty much only you, and maybe your mum and dad, who will look at them. They are not a work of art and you're highly likely to bin them once you've got your exam results – so don't waste your precious time and energy on making them too pretty.
4. Include diagrams
Including diagrams in your revision notes helps your notes come to life. Visuals are a great prompt to your memory and often communicate some things much better than a written description.
5. Use colour to make your notes more memorable
In the video I use lots of different pens from Stabilo (see below for the details, I love these in particular) to add colour to the revision notes and make them both more interesting to look at and more memorable.
It's also a great idead to use highlighters (like these pastel ones or these neon ones) for key words and use different coloured pens to signify different things e.g. causes / effects; economic, social, political; advantages and disadvantages.
How to remember revision notes
Making revision notes is just the beginning of the revision process – it's not enough to just write the notes out once. You now need to commit your notes to memory. Some of the best ways to do this are:
- Reading through a small section, covering what you've read and writing out what you can remember. Then check how accurate you were and try again.
- Instead of writing them out, you can also say them out loud
- Get someone to test you on small sections of your notes at once
- You may also want to condense your revision notes further into flashcards, or link ideas together using mind-maps.
- You should be practicing past paper questions using the Revision Power Hour as often as possible as well.
If you can't remember revision notes, it's because you haven't been through the process of learning and repetition that's required to commit them to memory. Just writing out a nice, neat set of revision notes isn't going to commit them to your memory.
You need to repeatedly test yourself, using the methods I've suggested above, to make sure you can remember your revision notes.
Where to get the stationery you see in the video
All the stationery you see in the video came from Ryman and is either a Ryman or Stabilo product. They're listed below:
A note for parents
Please share this blog post and video with your child so that they can use revision notes effectively in their revision. Remember, you can buy all the materials you can see in the video from Ryman's website or from one of their highstreet stores.
Want more revision advice?
See the other posters in this series:
- How to create revision flashcards that boost your memory
- How to make revision posters and mind maps to boost your grades (coming soon)
- How to use post-it notes for revision (coming soon)
Check out my Exam Success resource page for advice on everything from improving your exam technique to how to spend your revision breaks. Good luck!
A big thank you to Ryman for providing the stationery for me to make this blog post and video – it wouldn't have been possible without their support.