EAsy revision: Timelines

This is a slightly more unusual revision technique – to use timelines for revision. It can be helpful to use a variety of techniques as each one will force you to think about the information slightly differently which will help you to remember the information better.

What are timelines?

I’m sure you already know what a timeline is… They basically are a long line with different points coming off it that have particular date and event attached to them in chronological order.

Why use timelines?

If you are studying a subject such as history or music where the order of different events is important, using a timeline can be helpful to see how everything fits together. This can be useful because even if the dates of certain events are written in your textbook, visualising them in relation to other events can help you to understand better how different events may link together and what wider context they occurred in.

What types of information are they good for?

Obviously timelines aren’t appropriate for all types of information but they can still be used for a wide range of subjects. If you are studying history it is obviously useful to understand how events link together and what order they occurred in. Timelines can also be useful for subjects like English and music where understanding the wider social/ political context of when authors/ composers were alive is important for understand their books/ music.

How to use timelines for revision

You can either make a timeline on paper or on the computer. Whichever method you choose you will need to divide up your overall length of time into equal sized smaller lengths of time. Try to make sure each of these smaller lengths of time takes up the same (or very similar) amount of space on your page. This just makes it easier to visualise how near/ far apart different events occurred. Once you have done this you need to add the different events on with the year/date they happened. You might decide just to name the event on the timeline and use other revision materials for explaining it so that your timeline doesn’t look too crowded. It can also help to write events vertically rather than horizontally to save space. You may want to colour code each event, for example if you were making a timeline of WW2 you might use red for key battles, and blue for home front events, and so on.

When you are using your timeline to revise you could ask someone to test you by asking you what year something happened. Alternatively you could just use it alongside other materials to help you better understand the context of particular events.


I hope this post has helped you to know how to use timelines for revision – leave a comment to let me know how you will be using timelines to revise 🙂

Ellen Allsop

Hello! I'm Ellen Allsop, the creator of EAsy :)

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