A huge problem with examinations is that they’re all held at the same time, forcing pupils to study numerous subjects at once and their minds can only hold so much information. I always found studying incredibly tough due to not being able to hold onto important facts or figures to recall in the exam. I read and re-read, though when it actually came time to recall, my memory would go blank and I would stress out.
I started to devise mnemonic acronym and visual play techniques to remember certain points, dates and names. It’s a technique that is used by memory men and even tricksters like Derren Brown.
Below you will see a revision card for two fashion designers; Galliano and Chanel. You will notice this technique in action. See how the dates of the designers births are inserted into the name. Words that relate to the designer are formed from the points that are needed for the written essay. In Galliano’s case ‘METRE USE’ to describe his style and inspiration and ‘JUMPSUIT’ to actually describe his famous jumpsuit. For Chanel ‘STEM’ is used for her style and ‘ENCAPSULES’ to describe her Little Black Dress.
You can download this revision card in the ‘Box’ below (bottom of right-hand column).
If you would like to make revision cards like these yourself you can play with the fonts and visuals in Microsoft Word or Adobe Photoshop and Scrabble Cheat can be used to enter the first letters of each of your points to try and form a word.
(Remember that you’ll need a few words to begin with a vowel to form a proper word out of the first letters, a thesaurus can be used to change a few of your words or just use your common sense).
I use this technique for Intermediate and Higher exams though it will work with all pupils across the board. Some will find it confusing and a hindrance, some will not need it and some will find it very useful. I think it is important to give pupils as much help with studying and retaining information as possible.