How to revise

Using pictures

when you've finished this page you will be able to...


Your 'visual' memory will help you to remember more.

Have you ever experienced bumping into someone you have met before and instantly recognising their face, but you couldn't remember their name? This happens because our visual memory is much more powerful than our audio memory. You can use your visual memory to your advantage during revision by converting your notes into pictures or diagrams.

If you can take a whole page of notes and convert this into a picture, not only are you ensuring that you understand the information, you are summarising it and converting it into a picture. It will be so much easier to recall this picture from memory during an exam than to recall every word on a page of text.


You may have a textbook with lots of complex and colourful diagrams in it. It may be really easy to copy all of these out and convince yourself that you have done lots of revision but this is a bad as copying out notes. You may not fully understand the diagram, and what is the point of copying it out when it's already in the text book? Instead you should summarise this picture into a short paragraph, then, when you are sure that you fully understand the concept of the diagram, draw out your own version of this picture.

Activity: creating pictures to aid your memory

1. For each subject or topic, work through your notes summarising them and pick out any sections which can be summarised with a picture or a diagram.

2. Using up to three colours (colour stimulates the mind, but more than three colours can be overwhelming), create a picture to represent your notes.

Recommended Further Reading

Hint: You could copy this picture onto a flash card and carry this with you for mini revision sessions, perhaps on the bus, or during the adverts whilst you are watching TV.

previous page next page

Bookmark with: del.icio.us digg facebook reddit stumbleupon