Apr 292015

Revision tips Using questioning

As a teacher and study skills tutor you would think I know everything about revision tips. However, I find that there is always something new to learn from other people because they often approach the same problems in different way. This post is the first in a series of interviews with experts, parents and students on revision tips and ideas to help with getting through exams. My interview today is with parent and writer David Leonhardt.

David Leonhardt

David Leonhardt


David Leonhardt

David provides study help and support as a parent. As a writer he often has to learn new topics for new clients, so he is a “lifelong” learner of sorts. He doesn’t call it studying, but there are times when he is absorbing a lengthy report and trying to memorize the terms and the statistics.David is President of THGM Writers.

Questions we’ve been discussing:

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

A. David Leonhardt 

Back in high school, I learned that I often studied best with a partner, with each of us asking the other questions. But what I really learned is quite counterintuitive. I learned more from asking the questions than from being asked. I cannot confirm the reason, but I believe it has to do with the self-talk that was happening.

When I was asked the question, I was trying to think what the answer would be, and it would not always come to me at first.

When I was the one asking the question, I was repeating the answer subconsciously in my head while the other person was trying to figure it out.

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

A. David Leonhardt 

Offer to ask them questions or for them to ask you questions. This morning I was helping my daughter study her French conjugations. I alternated between showing her the answers and asking her the answers, which I hope kept her thinking, but thinking about the correct answers and not accidentally memorizing false information.

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

A. David Leonhardt 

I loved exams because they forced me to push myself. But in university I found the atmosphere of stress around me made me feel very stressful, too. In hindsight, maybe getting off-campus and studying at the public library or even in a park would have been less stressful.


Many thanks to David for his thoughts on revision and using questioning strategies to aid revision. Why don’t you share your hints and tips for revision in the comments section. If you found this article useful please share it on social media.


  2 Responses to “Revision tips with David Leonhardt”

  1. I too find that stress around me adds to the stress of exams, but I find the library a stressful place too!

    Libraries have changed since I was a kid. In part because of electronics, but also because they just seem to be more of a hangout than a place to study nowadays. In short, they are LOUD!

    If I do go to the library, I bring noise cancellation headphones so that I can focus.

    • It also depends on the time that you can get there- sometimes our local library is nice an quiet and sometimes there seem to be people meeting to chat! Taking noise cancelling headphones is a great idea- thanks.

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