Computers, laptops and smartphones can be really useful revision aids if they’re used properly. As well as offering quick and easy access to online resources, you can use apps, calendars and reminders to structure your learning.
Using the internet for research
Researching facts on the internet isn’t as easy as it looks. There’s a lot of information out there, but it’s not all accurate or useful!
Learning to be critical of what you read and sort good information from bad is a great skill to develop and will definitely help you become a better learner. Whenever you use the internet for revision or fact-checking, keep asking yourself questions like these:
- Who’s telling me this information?
- Are they reliable? Do they have any reason to misrepresent it?
- Where did they get their information from?
- Is there a better source than the one I’m reading?
Organisations like universities, research institutes and academic journals are generally much better than news sites and blogs for getting the facts right.
For example, a news report about a new cancer study might not get all the information right, or it might over-simplify the findings to make a more exciting story. Tracking down the original study, or reading academic responses to it, will be much more useful.
Sites like Wikipedia can be great for getting an overview of a topic and finding new reading material. But don’t just read the article – check the citations at the bottom and follow the information to its original source.
There are a number of smartphone apps out there that can help you plan and structure your revision. Many of them have useful features like quizzes, flashcards and timetables.
Here are a few of the most popular revision apps and what they do:
CGP Test and Learn apps (iOS/Android)
CGP have a range of revision apps for GCSE Science subjects. Each app has over 500 multiple-choice questions, as well as games and progress trackers for each module. You can also choose your exam board from AQA, Edexcel, OCR Gateway and OCR 21st Century.
Gojimo includes thousands of revision questions to help you test yourself in all major subjects of GCSE, A Level and many other exams. It offers examples and explanations of correct answers.
BBC Bitesize Revision App (iOS/Android)
Contains flashcards, videos and quizzes on a range of subjects for GCSE, National, Higher and TGAU exams. It also includes revision guides and tips.
Finally, while all these gadgets can be helpful for revision, bear in mind that they can also be a distraction!
It’s easy to get sidetracked by texts, social media and browsing the internet. If this is happening to you, consider printing off whatever you want to read instead, and putting your phone in a drawer until you’ve finished your revision session.