10 Apr 2014

my preparation for exams (term two)

For this second lot of exams, I took a different approach to revision. I decided to use mind maps, hand-drawn diagrams and flashcards as my main modes of revision and I decided not to write out lecture notes as I found it time-consuming and really not that helpful.

An example of a hand-drawn diagram I made is this one:

In the above diagram, I also colour coded - for example, Na+ is in orange, H2O is in blue, etc.

Mind maps were useful for anatomy and for more complex concepts. For example, I attended a lecture on the digestive system and I wanted to condense the sheer amount of information I needed to learn for the exam. In order to do this, I connected all of the clinically relevant things in one mind map. I made it a bit more interesting by adding some colour but there was no colour coding on this occasion.

With my bus journey being one hour each morning and each evening (sometimes more if traffic is bad - it was ninety minutes throughout March due to roadworks), instead of spending that time staring into space, I made flashcards to use for my commute.

The flashcards are very boring and not exactly aesthetically pleasing but they do the job. I only made flashcards for things I found it hard to remember and the condensation of information on each card means that learning big chunks of information isn't as intimidating as they could be than if I was just reading them off some lecture slides.

In terms of organising my revision, I allocated two days to each condition studied (so, two days for each week) and this allowed me to decide when to start hardcore revision and also ensured that I got everything done in time for the exams. Of course, I revised at the end of each week too so I managed to avoid cramming (something I'm not a massive fan of but did a lot in my first degree!).

Finally, I made use of practice questions I found online, in books or supplied by my uni. They were invaluable in showing me where the holes in my knowledge were but also helped me learn new things. In fact, some practice questions I did came up in the real exams so this is one thing I'll definitely do again next time.


  1. Hi! I really like ur blog. It gives me some good ideas to organise my notes.
    It would be very useful if u can post the websites where u find the practice questions. Thanks!

  2. Hi :)
    I have finals in February and March and I'm worry about my study method.
    I have more number related subjects like Math, Banks, Cost Management, etc since I'm an accountancy student but I also have some reading stuff and one that I'm really scared about: Research Methodology. This last one it's theory but the final it's the teacher giving you a magazine and telling: get a problem, hypothesis, variables... a hole project of investigation about one article and I worry that I will fail because I may do it wrong.
    What do you recommend that I do to revise that subject? Maths and all I know it's more practice and practice but this... I have nothing to compare with, because we never did that from a magazine in class :(