May 202015

Revision tips and techniques MVDMActive revision tips and techniques

Our revision tips today come from Meryl of FundaFunda. Meryl is a mom and teacher in the U.S.A. who has both used memory techniques throughout her own life and who has taught them to the students she comes into contact with. She not only teaches middle and high schoolers, but is also a coach for a Science Olympiad team that has twice won the State Tournament and competed at Nationals.



merylvdm Meryl van der Merwe Meryl is the founder of a website called FundaFunda providing teaching resources for teachers and parents. FundaFunda is a Zulu word pronounced “foondafoonda” which literally means ‘study study’. However, most english speakers will pronounce it ‘fun-da fun-da’ with the emphasis on ‘fun’.

Questions we’ve been discussing:

Q. What revision hints, tips and techniques do you wish you had known/ followed when you were at school?

A. Meryl

I wish electronic flash cards had been around then as I would have used them. And I didn’t even use physical flash cards which would also have been helpful. Making flash cards, whether physical or digital ones, helps one to commit the work to memory – and then going through them helps keep the information fresh in your mind.

Q. What can parents and families do to help support students as they approach and take exams?

A. Meryl

Encourage students to stop and have regular breaks – go outside, take run, play a musical instrument – anything that gives the mind a break. They can offer to quiz the students on their work. I liked my mom doing that for me – but my daughter doesn’t like me doing that, so it is a matter of preference.

Make your children aware of different techniques to studying. Students have different learning styles and they should experiment with what works best for them. I see many students just reading and re-reading their text books or notes. This is not a good way to study. Instead students should study with pencil in hand – creating flash cards, drawing diagrams to illustrate what they are studying, creating mnemonics etc. They could even make up a song! The more actively they engage in studying, the easier it will be for them to remember the work and the more fun they will have.

Q. What did you find was the most difficult aspect of exams? With hindsight how do you think you could have overcome this?

A. Meryl

I found the boredom of spending hours and hours studying the most challenging aspect of exams. I think I should have taken more active breaks. Instead, I  used to read for my breaks – and then I would just get lost in the book and forget to return to studying.  Getting out of my room and going outside to play with the dog, go for a walk or something like that would have been better.

Thanks very much to Meryl for sharing her insights on active revisiontips and techniques.

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