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Skills Check 0

The Skills Check is a short survey which should take you no more than 3 minutes to complete. Once you have completed the Skills Check we provide you with a personal learning plan targeted to your personal study needs and goals.

Sign in to work on the Skills Check.
  1. Home
  2. Revising and examinations
  3. Revision
  4. Check for gaps in your knowledge

Check for gaps in your knowledge

Next develop an overview of your module material and work out which topics you feel confident about and which you think require more effort to revise. Developing an overview will also help you to link topics and themes together. This stage in the revision process will help you to plan your time.

In this video Katherine, an OU student, talks about how she organises her notes around the themes in her subject.

Use the specimen paper and old exam papers, plus your study guide, to help identify which topics to revise. You may not need to revise all the topics, but don't limit yourself too much because you may be asked to compare one topic area with another.

You may decide to do some light revision of familiar topics. However, if you think other less familiar topics might come up in the exam you may want to concentrate your efforts on those.

Use your assignments as a starting point for particular topics and remind yourself of any feedback that your tutor gave you on the assignment. Also look at the assignment topics you didn't choose, and their accompanying notes.

Going back over your module materials, you may find it useful to concentrate on summaries, conclusions and introductions, which can provide a handy, précis of subject areas you might be less familiar with. Also look at any other relevant texts, if your module has them, such as a module introduction, module guide, module review or revision unit, any of which will help you achieve an overview and make connections between themes.

Make sure that you

  • attend any revision sessions and look at exam notes and guidance from the module team
  • ask your tutor or study adviser about anything you don't understand.

Above all, be selective and focus on key module resources. Most exams give you some choice of questions to answer or choice in how you tackle them. There will be topics you already feel confident about, and you might be able to leave some bits out. There may even be materials that the module team tells you are not assessed in an exam.

It's a good idea to show your list of revision topics to a tutor or fellow student and ask them what they think about your revision plans. If you are unsure about the areas you need to revise, ask your tutor or study adviser.

"I decide what topics are essential to revise, then go back through my margin notes and key module texts to create mind maps around those topics. Then I practise exam questions a lot! I even make some up if there aren't many old papers."

Now you have an idea of your overall approach, it's time to make a timetable.