Make sure your revision is effective and not just extensive - think quality, not quantity

Make sure your revision is effective and not just extensive - think quality, not quantity

The DSEs are just around the corner, so make sure you're making the most of your study time

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Exams occupy the thoughts of more than the Form Six test takers.
Photo: Dickson Lee/SCMP

The DSEs are just around the corner. Although I’m not a Form Six student, I would like to share my views on studying.

Secondary school students have endless dictations, quizzes, tests, and exams. Efficient and effective revision is therefore very important.

You may have seen schoolmates who work very hard but gain average results. However, some students who chat with friends during lessons get high marks in exams.

Knowing what kind of learner you are can make revision easier

Take an English vocabulary quiz as an example. You have two days to prepare for the quiz, which will cover 30 words you are not familiar with. How would you do your revision?

Student A works very hard. He copies the words 10 times each, including the meanings and usage, and memorises them. Student B checks the meanings of the words in Chinese, too. Then he recites all the words with the Chinese meanings verbally. Student C checks the meanings of the words like the other two, but he uses them to write a story.

Guess what? Student C gets full marks in the quiz. Students A and B worked hard but their grades were not very good. Why?

Three tips from a HKDSE top scorer to help you revise smarter and get better grades

Students A and B knew the meanings of the words but did not know how to use them. On the other hand, Student C wrote his own story so he knew how to use those words.

It’s about how effective your study methods are, not how much you study.

I hope you will find your own way to do revision properly.

Cindy Chow, PLK Tang Yuk Tien College

5 tips to help your last minute exam prep stick

From the Editor

Thank you for your email, Cindy. Yes, you’re right! Memorising is not always very helpful, especially when you are studying English.

One of the best ways to improve your English is by reading books, newspapers, and magazines. This will help you learn new words and how to use them. And yes, the more you write, the better your English will be. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, either.

Also, most English tests follow a certain format, so you need to be familiar with it.

You can also discuss your study plans with your friends and get together for a study session. Practise the four core skills: reading, writing, speaking and listening.

So, practise, practise, practise. You can also make use of dozens of online quizzes to help you with your tests. Good luck!

M. J. Premaratne, sub-editor

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Effective revision

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