Memory and Recall

GCSE and A Level courses all have exams at the end of the course. This means that there is a lot of information that you must be able to recall in an exam situation. To do this successfully, at the end of Y11 and the end of Y13, you must learn and practice memory and recall techniques throughout your school years. Below is a guide to the Redhill Effective Revision Cycle to support you with your revision.

The Effective Revision Cycle

Effective revision is an on-going process. At Redhill we believe that this should be made up of five stages as shown in the diagram. Continue reading below for details of how to make the most of each stage.


Transfer the skills, knowledge and understanding you need for your exams into a revision resource that is easy to use.

Possible strategies include:

Flash cards

Mind maps

Cheat sheets

Turn over cards

Information Organisers


Roman room / Greek loci

Fold and flip

Body pegs

Flash Cards

Flash cards are a small collection of information that has got all the key details carefully summarised.

Some key criteria for creating effective flashcards:

Use colours to represent different things (e.g. red is for ideas you might forget, green for explanation, blue for statistics)
Don’t use full sentences
Underline keywords and spellings
Use images if they help you to remember
Ideas of ways that you can use flash cards include

Keywords and definitions
Questions and answers
Exam questions and marks schemes
Exam technique cards; ‘How to’ cards with a question and answer


Dedicate explicit time to actively commit this information to memory.

Possible strategies include:

Self/peer/parent testing, active retrieval (collective memory), turn over games, Leitner boxes, text to pictures and red/black pen.

Here are some videos to show you some of these, and others, in action.

Look, cover, write, check


Leitner Boxes


Match Up



Revision needs to involve doing something. Do as many practise questions as you can. Ideally use exam questions for this.


Regularly test yourself ideally with exam papers.

AQA exam papers

OCR exam papers

Edexcel exam papers


Reflect on your performance in tests to help you identify the areas that you still need to work on.