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What Is Blurting?

Blurting is a popular revision technique that is often used by students studying for their GCSEs or A-Levels. Many students will use blurting alongside other techniques, such as using flashcards, completing practice examinations, and using mark schemes. But what is blurting? What is blurting used for and how does it work? Here’s everything you need to know about this popular revision technique:

What is blurting?

If you have never heard of blurting before, that is because it is a fairly new concept. The blurting revision technique was first made popular by the successful YouTube ‘study sphere’ content creator, Unjaded Jade. Jade has achieved exceptional results in both her GSCEs and A-Levels, and she uses her social media platforms to share her techniques with others. Thanks to the publicity it has received from Unjaded Jade, blurting is also one of the most popular exam revision techniques on Tik Tok. The term blurting effectively describes the techniques: students ‘blurt’ out all the information they know on a chosen topic, committing it to their long-term memory.

Blurting is an active recall technique that is often used as part of the exam revision process. Blurting is often also referred to as a memory dump. Blurting involves quickly reading a section of a textbook, an exam specification, or other study guide and then closing the book and writing down as much of the information as you can remember.  Once you have done this you then reopen the textbook or the study guide and compare what you have written to the text to see which areas your recall was good on, and which areas might need more work. Blurting is a great way to prepare for exams because it can be done in a relatively short period of time, it clearly demonstrates which areas you should focus your additional revision on, and it puts key information in your short-term memory so that you can transfer this to your long-term memory.

What is it used for?

Blurting can be an effective revision technique for any topic or subject. Often students focus their revision on the high-level detail of their chosen subject and forget to revise the smaller and more focused areas of the topic. Often students miss the smaller topics and don’t even notice that they have excluded them from their revision until they pop up on a question in their exam. Blurting reduces the likelihood of this happening by highlighting the areas of the subject that students need to devote more work to, and therefore ensuring every area of the topic is given equal focus. This can also help students to save time and energy in the long run, as once this revision method has clarified what they already know, they won’t need to waste time re-revising topics that they already have a strong handle on in the future.

Blurting is often used for revising in a relatively short time frame, as it is a technique that doesn’t require hours of preparation or any additional resources. The time that you allow to blurt is usually determined by the size of the chapter or section of material you are revising. For a short chapter of a novel, you should only allow 3 minutes of blurting time on your stopwatch, making this a very efficient revision technique from a time management point of view.

How can it help in revision?

Blurting is considered to be so effective in helping students to revise because it uses the idea of active recall, which has been proven to be one of the most effective revision techniques. Active recall is a way of revising that involves retrieving information from memory through testing yourself at every stage of the revision process. You are an active, rather than a passive, participant in the revision process.

And we know that active recall is one of the most effective learning techniques, particularly when compared to passive learning techniques such as reading or watching television. A wide-reaching study from 2013 analysed hundreds of separate studies about effective revision techniques, to see which were the most effective. This research concluded that revision techniques that relied on active recall, and effectively revision techniques that were considered to have ‘high utility’ were the most effective, and were the ones that should be adopted and implemented by students that wanted to achieve academic success.

From a revision point of view, the main benefit of blurting is that it can help you to help identify the areas in the subject where you are lacking knowledge in the subject and areas of weakness that you need to focus on in future revision sessions.

blurting revision method

How to do it

If you feel that blurting may be the right revision technique for you, then here is a step-by-step guide to practising it effectively:

  • Focus on just one topic. This isn’t a revision technique that works across the whole spectrum of your subject or study material. Instead, you should pick one topic that you want to focus on. This could be a single chapter of a novel if you are revising for a literature exam, a chapter of your textbook if you are revising for a history exam, or the answers to a practice paper if you are revising for a science exam. If you’re struggling to choose the right source material for your blurting revision technique, then you could always create it yourself. Some students will choose to create their own prompt sheets that trigger members of the topic, and then use these as the source material for their blurting
  • Set revision time. Once you know what material you are revising, it’s time to get stuck in! Read the material as thoroughly as possible, as many times as you can. Often blurters will give themselves a time limit for this reading or revision time
  • It’s time to blurt! Once you have revised your chosen topic of focus, it’s time to close the books and start blurting. With nothing but a pen and paper and your memory, write everything that you remember from the pages you have read. It doesn’t have to look pretty, you just have to write it down as quickly as possible. No detail is too big or too small. Set yourself a time limit for your blurting to really focus your mind and intensify your study sessions (as well as prevent them from going on for too long) and you will quickly find that the blurting technique is a great way to clearly, and visually, see which topics you have mastered and which you need to work on a little more. When you use the blurting technique there is no escape and no excuses: you either know the information and are able to write it down, or you don’t
  • Finally, don’t forget to mark your work. Look at what you have written down and compare it to your original source material. Did you write down anything incorrectly? Misremember any key dates or facts? Now is the time to correct these, before they are translated from your short-term memory to your long-term memory. This is perhaps the most time-consuming part of the blurting process, as it’s important to compare your current notes to previous ones, and you should also give yourself time to fill in the gaps in another colour, writing down everything you didn’t remember. Spend some time reviewing the blurting session and committing these new facts and figures to memory, and then repeat the process again in approximately a week to consolidate your knowledge

Who Blurting works for

Whilst blurting is a revision technique that can be practised independently, it is one that works particularly well if you are revising in a pair or a small group. If you are planning a study group then this might be the best time to try this new technique, as you can modify it to best suit the needs of you and your peers.

Because blurting is such an intense and highly focused revision technique, it works best when used in conjunction with periods of rest. In order to study effectively and achieve your academic goals, it is important to combine revision with rest, taking time to look after both your physical and mental health. This will look different for each individual but should include getting regular exercise, eating a healthy and nutritious balanced diet, getting enough sleep and drinking plenty of water. Avoid working too late into the night or reaching for unhealthy, sugar-laden snacks when you need an energy boost. Place emphasis on your mental well-being and ensure that after the energy and excitement of blurting revision, you take some time away from the books to become refreshed and revitalised.

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