I hope you’re all well.
I know this post won’t be of use to a lot of you but if you know anyone that’s taking exams and may find these revision tips helpful then please do share it with them.
If you’re anything like me, you’ll hate exams and completely panic and be an absolute stress head when it comes to exam season! Yes, I was probably the biggest ball of stress when it came down to taking my GCSE’s and A-levels…let’s not go there!
I thought I’d put together a few revision tips for blind and visually impaired students. It can make things so much harder when you’re constantly sat using a computer or surrounded by a mountain of braille!
Create a revision timetable
This can be electronic or on paper. Divide your day up into subjects, topics and make sure you list different revision techniques that you will use. This means that you won’t be sat using the same technique all day and the information will actually go in.
Make a revision plan
Your teachers probably tell you that you have to be organised and plan your revision. Well it’s true. Trust me, from someone that’s been there there’s nothing worse than sitting down to revise and not having a clue where to start.
It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, just create a new document on your computer or in braille, list the topics and divide them into sub-topics. Once you’ve done that, go through them and put a symbol next to the ones you struggle with. That way you’ll know what topics you need to go over more thoroughly. As you revise keep checking back at your plan.
Use different revision techniques
Instead of sitting reading through documents all day use different revision techniques to enhance your learning. Some techniques are discussed below.
Complete past papers
I’d say this is one of the most important revision strategies. Completing past papers gives you some indication of what to expect in the exam, what sort of questions will be asked/what topics are likely to be discussed and it gives you ideas on the wording of the questions. Completing past papers gives you the chance to have a practice run through. Why not time yourself in pretend exam conditions? Ask your teachers if they have time to look through them and marked them so you know what you’re aiming for and what you did right/where you went wrong so that you know for the actual exam.
Make simple revision notes
Condense your large documents down into notes highlighting the key points. This can especially be useful for blind and visually impaired people because it reduces the amount of information you have to read with a magnifier, screen-reader or in braille.
Use textbooks and revision guides
You can get a whole range of revision guides in accessible formats from libraries, the publishers or websites such as Load2Learn. Ask someone at school or your QTVI about these.
Make revision cards
This can be a bit harder for blind and visually impaired people but it can be done. Why not print off or braille the key words for a topic and have the definitions separate? This is a bit time consuming but if you have the time then it can be really useful.
Use revision websites
BBC Bitesize is a great website that is mostly accessible for blind and visually impaired people. They condense topics into small chunks and have quizzes for you to answer, it makes revision that bit more interesting.
Watch Youtube videos/listen to podcasts
These aren’t always the most reliable sources of information but if you’re tired of reading/writing then these can be great just to watch or listen to. You can usually find them if you search on the internet.
Convert documents into audio
You can record yourself saying everything you know about a topic, see how much you remember and then check back through your revision notes.
Websites such as RoboBraille are also especially useful. RoboBraille let’s you convert documents into audio for easy listening. I found this especially useful for converting my revision notes and revision guides. Remember they are a charity so you can donate if you like!
Find the best study style that suits you – whether that’s on your own or with others.
Work somewhere quiet and free from distractions. I know this is really hard when you’re blind or visually impaired when working on a computer or tablet because it’s very tempting to go on social media! But this really does not help you concentrate and it will not help you pass your exams.
Take regular breaks and relax
You don’t want to be revising for 7 hours straight because nothing will go in. Take regular breaks, refuel your brain by eating and drinking and relaxing for a bit. Then you’ll be more likely to get more revision done if you’re not tired.
Recap on the main bits
Once you’ve revised a topic go over the main sections, this will stop you from stressing too much.
On the day of the exam:
Make sure you have had something to eat before you take the exam. Chances are if you’re blind or visually impaired you’ll have extra time so will be in the exam room for a while so make sure you’re not tired before you even start the exam!
Manage your time for each question
Know how long you need to spend on each question so it gives you chance to proofread your answers at the end of the exam.
I hope you found this post helpful and hope some of you found these revision tips of use. If you have some other tips that are not listed please feel free to comment below to help others!
Remember: Your intelligence is not always defined by your exam results. If you put the work in then I’m sure it will pay off!
All that’s left for me to say is good luck to those of you taking exams!
Join me next time.