Mojza Blog

Myth-Busting Ineffective Revision Techniques

by Zunaira Faisal |18 Dec 2022

As students, we have to face a lot of uncertainty regarding the correct way of revision since we’re surrounded by myths and misconceptions. So, to prevent that, we’ve compiled a list of commonly believed myths and debunked them.


“Why bother with writing notes down, when I can just type them out?”

Let’s start off with one of the most important parts of revision: notes. Digital notes have been gaining immense popularity for many years now, and it isn’t hard to imagine why. When asked, nearly all of the students said that they preferred making digital notes because they don’t make a mess, are much more efficient, and are easier to revise afterward. While this may not be wrong, a study done at Princeton University actually found that “longhand note takers engage in more processing than laptop note takers, thus selecting more important information to include in their notes, which enables them to study this content more efficiently”. Moreover, according to a study from medical daily, with handwriting notes, you can actually create a sort of muscle memory, which can help a student remember and connect with the material they are writing down.

“I won’t start studying too early because I’ll just forget the information before the exam.”

It’s commonly believed that there is no point in studying for exams early on because you’re going to forget the content anyways. Well, we’re going to prove you wrong. Studying early on gives you more time to practice recalling information for the exam which is something many students have trouble doing. Furthermore, Dr. Kornell, who researched studying methods, states: “The idea is that forgetting is the friend of learning … When you forget something, it allows you to relearn, and do so effectively, the next time you see it.” It may not make a lot of sense, but students who prepare for the exams beforehand have a much easier time revising than those who rely on learning the information just once.

Study, study, study and then study some more.

If you were asked to describe yourself a week before the exams, what would you say? Probably something like studying for hours, pulling all-nighters, maybe even skipping meals to study, right? While we’re not going to deny that we’ve all been there and done that, we will say that constantly studying for days on end is extremely unhealthy. Not only that, but it can cause a huge burnout that might prevent you from performing well on the day of the exam itself. The best way to deal with studying in the last week is to give yourself space to relax your mind. Take breaks, go on short walks, and do small things that refresh your mind. These may vary from cooking yourself a meal to organizing your study space. This can help in retaining information a lot better as well as keeping you fresh and able to perform your level best on the day of the exam.

“I prefer studying in various environments since it helps me remember information better.”

This one is a little bit controversial since it may vary from student to student. However, when given the choice between studying in a designated study area or studying in varying locations, having a designated space has proven to be much more effective for students than the latter. There are several reasons to believe that this is perfectly justified and actually scientifically proven. Having a designated study space actually has more psychological benefits than any other. If there’s a corner of your house or a place that you’ve particularly dedicated to studying, going there will immediately tell your mind that it’s time to stop getting distracted. Having a place like this can also help increase focus and concentration. With better concentration, it’ll be easier for you to retain more information in a lesser period of time.

“Reading information several times will help me memorize it.”

This statement is incorrect because not every person memorizes information the same way; everyone is a unique learner and has their own preferred methods of memorization. One of the most important things to do to get an academic head start is to figure out your learning style. Try practical learning, auditory learning, and other methods. These may help in reducing a lot of the stress and frustration of the learning experience. It gives you a customized and unique tool to score better in all your exams. Learning through reading or visual memory is very common but for others, auditory or kinesthetic learning methods might work better. 

“I have to reread my notes several times in order to know everything.”

Reading your notes is an essential part of revision. However, reading them too many times may lead to you feeling like you know more information than you actually do and limit your ability to retain more of it. In order to know most of the content of the subject (remember: you can never know EVERYTHING), it is of the utmost importance that you actively recall everything you’ve learned. One of the ways to do that is by attempting past papers. Attempting past papers tests you on the information you’re learning and how much effort you put into learning that information. They can also help in practicing recalling that information from your long-term memory. Past papers are a great way to identify any weak areas that you might have or might need improvement in. Another useful method of better memorization is using flashcards. There are many online websites for this such as RemNote, Quizlet, and a great application Anki made specifically for making online flashcards. 

So, make your revision as active as possible and remember: that guy who got straight A*s in his exams with no revision or past papers is a myth too. Stay motivated, and good luck with your exams 🙂


Author: Zunaira Faisal
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Published 18 December 2022
Last Updated: DD Month 2023
Written by Zunaira Faisal