How to revise with a friend

how-to-revise-with-a-friend-fSometimes when you are revising seemingly endlessly for exams you can start to feel a bit isolated and like you might want to actually see other people. The trouble is, you might feel that this would be wasted time when you could be revising. The good news is; revising with friends is actually not only really fun but can also be helpful as well. And, by doing this you get to socialise by adding in breaks to your revision time and also feel productive and like you are making progress with your revision. So, as this is a win-win situation, here are five simple revision techniques you can use together (because sitting silently next to each other for hours would be boring!).

Teach each other

I’m sure you’ve heard a million-and-one times before that teaching someone is the best way to make sure you know something, and from personal experience this is actually true, so why don’t you try teaching your friend part of the course. If you are both good at different parts then this is a great thing to do because you will both (hopefully) come away with a greater level of understanding of the topic. This could be done in a number of ways, from just simply explaining something, to making practice questions for each other. When I was helping my twin sister with GSCE maths, as her favourite animals are elephants I made sample questions that were related to elephants (how much will the fence around the enclosure cost? What weight of grass do they eat in a year? etc.) to make it more interesting. The ‘learner’ should ask the ‘teacher’ questions, which will help both of you understand the topic better.

Play games

This works well as you get nearer to an exam as you can check your understanding of the content. You could use key words/ key theories/ dates/ research findings, whatever is relevant to your course. You can test your knowledge by playing a variation of Snap. You could make a set of cards with key words on one colour card and definitions on another, for example. Then you could see who got the most pairs by correctly linking the key word to the definition. Quizzes can also be used, take it in turns to ask each other questions and whoever gets the most correct answers wins. You could even develop a system of prizes to make it more interesting.

Race each other

I know that doing past papers isn’t always the most exciting activity in the world, but it is important (it is no good knowing everything about a topic if you have no idea how to answer questions on it). By racing a friend through a past paper and seeing who gets the most marks you will create a sense of time pressure like you would have in an exam. This works particularly well if you are both quite competitive as you will both want to win. Don’t do a whole paper because that wouldn’t be very sociable but just choose questions on a particular topic or one essay, for example. Then work out how long you would be likely to have in an exam for these. Set a timer for that amount of time and see who finishes first (ideally with  a bit of time to spare before the timer goes off that in an exam could be used to check your answers). Mark your answers and see who has won.

Make shared resources

If you are both quite creative then making shared revision resources is a great way to revise together. You could make a poster on one topic, or a booklet on the whole course, for example. Once you have made it you can then just scan/ photocopy it so you each have a copy to revise from.

Discuss/ debate

This works especially well for subjects like history or philosophy where you need to form an argument and discuss it in an essay. Get a cup of tea each and some biscuits (not essential but will make it more fun!) and discuss a particular topic. You could each take a different side and try to argue that your side is better. The important thing is to make sure that you include key studies, dates, quotes etc. in your argument like you would need to in an essay.


I hope these suggestions have made you realise that revision can be more fun if done with a friend. Leave a comment to let me know which of these ideas you will be trying out 🙂

Ellen Allsop

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

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1 Response

  1. February 9, 2017

    […] are learning. Using quizzes can help to achieve this and they can also allow you to revise with a friend which will break the feeling that you are always revising by […]

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