‘broken monocular’ (tomvdhr1, 2009).

Varying your revision techniques is a good way to make the process more interesting and help you to think creatively about your subject. This blog post looks at one revision technique that you could try in the run up to your exams or other timed assessments.

Take a key topic that you are revising and look at the key components in your notes, lectures, reading, whatever you already have. Instead of just re-reading all of this, take a fresh look at it by creating a single page of notes covering the core issues. These notes can be divided into sections, typed or handwritten, and could use colour or diagrams in addition to text.  

Creating notes using this one-page technique helps you to revise in three ways. First, you’ll be looking back at your course materials and notes about this topic, secondly, you are making something new which forces you to actively engage with your learning. Finally, you will have created a useful summary that could be used in the final run up to your exams, or form the basis of your notes to use in an open book style exam.

Let’s look at a PDF example.

This example has been typed with sections for different themes related to the topic. The biggest section is about the significance of the topic as this is the most important aspect for the student and will be most helpful in answering an exam question.  

Prefer a handwritten approach? Try out the same one-page technique on a blank piece of paper. You could even try super-sizing with A3 paper to really make the most of the visual opportunities here! Coloured pens, drawings, diagrams and arrows can all bring your notes to life. Creativity may unlock some hidden connections and thoughts whilst you work.

Access more support for revision and exams on the Skills@Library Revision and exams webpages.


tomvdhr1. 2009. broken monocular. [Online]. [Accessed 15 April 2020]. Available from: http://www.flickr.com