Built on research


Smart Revise is built by practicing teachers that have over thirty years of classroom experience in many settings including comprehensive and grammar schools. Knowing that no other product was truly fit for purpose, we set out to build a revision tool that we knew our learners needed and wanted to use. As a result, our students are more confident and there is clear evidence of raising attainment.

In addition to this classroom experience, educational research has also been carefully considered to ensure the platform is built on the foundation of the latest educational psychology and pedagogy.

Simple strategies such as starting revision early is at the core of Smart Revise. We believe the best revision starts after the very first topic has been taught. Smart Revise is not a revision guide, it is a course companion that redefines what most students and teachers think of as revision. To us revision should be continually practicing recall of previously taught material throughout the course, and not just at the end.

Our inspiration for the features of Smart Revise comes from these studies

Murre, J., Dros, J. (2015) Replication and Analysis of Ebbinghaus’ Forgetting Curve

Dunlosky J. et al (2013) Improving Students’ Learning With Effective Learning Techniques: Promising Directions From Cognitive and Educational Psychology

Weinstein, Y., Sumeracki, M. and Caviglioli, O. (2018) Understanding how we learn

Cepeda et al (2008) Spacing effects in learning: A temporal ridgeline of optimal retention

Lonka et al (1994) The effect of study strategies on learning from text

Gurung et al (2010) Focusing on how students study

Spitzer (1939) Studies in retention

Butler (2010) Repeated testing produces superior transfer of learning relative to repeated studying

Karpicke & Blunt (2011) Retrieval practice produces more learning than elaborative studying with concept mapping

Be wary of ineffective revision techniques

Reading work, text books and revision guides are not that effective. When a student simply reads or rereads their books or notes it creates an illusion of knowing, when in fact many studies show students get nothing out of it. Revision guides are useful for reminding yourself of a concept in a short, easy to digest way, but on their own they will not raise attainment. It is not about how pretty or comprehensive a revision guide looks; it is about how and when a student engages with it. If a teacher simply buys and hands out revision guides to students without continually engaging with them frequently, their value will be limited. Using highlighter pens on notes does little to boost performance and it may actually hurt performance on higher-level questions that require inference making.

Inefficient revision wastes time

Making notes is better than reading them, but notes are far more effective if they are written as questions and answers. That is why the Cornell method of note-taking is very popular. Many students like to get together with their friends to study. When that happens, the time will be used less efficiently – even if they are using a good technique – than if they were doing it on their own. Although it sounds like a good idea, revising with friends is not really very effective.

Effective revision with Smart Revise

Attempting to retrieve knowledge frequently is known as spaced practice. Doing the same practice again and again over a long period of time, not just at the end of the course. Smart Revise Quiz, Terms and Advance were built for this.

Instead of reading or using flashcards passively, organising cards into decks, promoting and relegating cards between decks in addition to challenging yourself to write definitions is far more effective. This is known as retrieval practice. Smart Revise Terms was built for this.

Mixing up topics that have been previously taught, known as interleaving is three times more effective than “blocking” (only looking at one topic at a time). Smart Revise creates interleaved question streams automatically.

Understanding the exam, practice questions and applying mark schemes is proven to be the most effective revision technique. Far better than using revision guides. With exam-style questions, keyword help, guided marking and model answers, Smart Revise is built for this.

The forgetting curve

In 1885 Hermann Ebbinghaus hypothesised that memory of facts is lost over time. It’s pretty obvious. Every teacher experiences this in their classroom. Ebbinghaus concluded that the best methods for increasing memory retention included spaced repetition based on active recall. In 2015 Murre, J & Dros, J. replicated the study with similar results.

Smart Quiz was built to specifically address the forgetting curve. Many teachers report that it has had an outstanding effect on the confidence of learners and their results when used consistently several times a week throughout the course.

Active not passive

Doing lots of past papers is essential. It is far easier to answer questions in a real exam if you know what to expect from both the questions and the mark schemes. Unfortunately the exam board past papers are quickly exhausted. Questions in text books and revision guides are OK, but they can be limited and sometimes ask for knowledge that isn’t even included in the specification! Smart Revise not only includes hundreds of new exam-style questions, each one is also written by an experienced teacher or past examiner.