Do you or does someone in your family (any age) struggle to revise in preparation for a test?
Whether it’s an academic exam or professional standards test, or some other measurement of knowledge and skill, here are a few things you should know about revision:
- Revising is not learning something new. It is the process of checking in with knowledge and information already installed inside the brain.
- By bringing information to the surface of awareness, it can be examined more closely, modified, and re-packaged for (short-term) easy recall.
- Stress states divert energy away from the brain and prepare the body to fight or flight. That massively disadvantages the brain’s ability to focus and sets up scattered attention. Strands of important information get attached to ‘unrelated’ information.
- Thrive states assist the brain’s ability to focus, embed knowledge in simple units of information that connect to other ‘related’ units of information.
- Brains quickly associate the activity of revising with associated states of brain chemistry.
- Your thoughts ‘about’ revising, can either help or hinder the quality of processes involved in revising.
- Thinking drives emotions (chemical signals) which motivate people to avoid something or move towards it. This movement generates behaviour.
Which of these statements are most true for you?
Being motivated by others is an important driver.
Self-generated desire is a powerful force.
Performance guarantees future success or failure.
Performance provides useful feedback to build upon.
The performance of others is an important benchmark.
Personal previous performance builds powerful feedback loops.
Getting clear about your personal thoughts, beliefs, and motivations will help you steer more elegant behaviours through times of revision. There are no right or wrong answers here as the world is full of examples of people who have both succeeded and failed tests and exams, yet gone on to live successful, happy, fulfilling lives.
The question on my mind is how can you help yourself or another person, learn how they are currently handling their magnificent learning machines? While making adjustments that enable greater flow towards a more desired future.