As psychology students you obviously prefer to base your revision strategies on sound scientific evidence! Here’s a good one for you – the Testing Effect. Most students revise by creating a set of notes and then trying to memorise these by reading them over and over again – but this is not the best strategy.
A study by Henry Roediger and Jeffrey Karpicke (2006) compared recall from two groups of participants. Group 1 (called the study, study group) read a text about general scientific topics and then, later, reread this passage.
Group 2 (called the study, test group) read the same text and then were asked to recall as much they could about what they read (called ‘free recall’).
Finally both groups were given a free recall test (asked to write down as much as they could remember). Some participants took this test almost immediately whereas others were tested after a week – the graph shows that study, test is a much more effective strategy.
It seems that trying to retrieve information rather than practice ultimately improves recall. So when you are revising you should try this – make your notes, then close your book and try to write down everything in your notes.