Five tips for Effective Study and Revision
Sleep, relax & memory - essential for recalling the facts and promoting understanding
Lack of sleep impairs our ability to focus and learn efficiently. Sleep is necessary to consolidate a memory (make it stick) so that it can be recalled in the future. So take that nap and study when you are most effective. You should know by now if you’re a morning or evening person (your chronotype) so try to work with your body and do your learning when you are most receptive to it.
The fact bank
In our diploma groups we get students to work together to gather this, usually on a spreadsheet. We encourage the use of consistent headings so that comparisons can be made. Look back to the main factors e.g. climate, soil, weather, variety, vineyard management etc. You'll be going back to the materials (L2, L3 and L4) many times so don’t expect to understand and recall everything on your first turn, make short but frequent fact collecting activity sessions. Once this has been done you’ll be much better equipped to attempt to understand and recall the information. Trying to ‘tackle’ a subject or region in its entirety in one go can often be destructive, so give yourself a break and take it piece by piece.
Plan your time, whether you prefer to work daily or for whole days or weekends it is often better to split up tasks. If procrastination is an issue, give yourself small goals completely free from distraction, forming the habit of learning and revision is more important than doing a perfect job at it. Break the fear cycle and slowly build up your notes, it will start to look quite impressive after a few weeks.
Build those skills whilst studying
Think about the skills you need to demonstrate such as describe, explain, compare, evaluate and how working in a multitude of ways can help.
spreadsheets and flashcards are brilliant for comparing and recalling information
drawing is brilliant to cement understanding and explanation of processes
write some simple description questions e.g. describe the characteristics of the variety (x), describe the natural factors of the appellation (y) are brilliant ways to practice your recall and understanding
working with a study buddy and correcting their work is also fantastic for recall and tests your accuracy, if you’re able to deliver constructive feedback then you’re really bolstering your understanding of a topic
quizzes are also another fun visual way of improving your recall
teaching/presenting to a colleague or study buddy will improve your explanation skills
friendly debate on a subject will push that final and elusive skill, evaluation.
Be accountable - get others involved
It can be a lonely journey unless you work with others. It could be simply with some classmates or you may prefer to keep it closer to home. Friends and family are usually happy to be ‘taught to’, ask them to put you on the spot and quiz you on wines that you are tasting together for fun. Use this as an opportunity to test your comparison and explanation skills as to the style, quality and price of the wines you are sampling, give it some structure to make it useful. Chatting with ‘non-wine’ folk is also a good way to gain a sense of perspective on the wines you are studying. Above all, make it fun.