Inventive Study

By Vivek Raghavan, Trainee Patent Attorney

Exam season is almost upon us once again, with many, including myself, taking their UK Foundations or Finals exams in October.

Like most other people, I can’t say that I have much fondness for exams or revising for them. Whilst passing them is a big relief, revising can take up a lot of time and leave you wondering whether all the work you put will be worth it on the day. When faced with the task of studying for the Foundations, I was initially struck with fear – how was I going to learn the mountain of knowledge needed to pass the exams?

As the saying goes, it’s important to work smarter, not harder, and finding a good revision strategy is key to achieving success. In search of guidance, I turned to the world of patents to help me devise the perfect strategy.

RU2128862C describes a method for development of attention and memory for reading text in the course of training and passing examinations. The method involves focusing on multiple repetition of the study material, first immediately after reading the text, then after 20 minutes, then after 8 hours, and finally a day later just before going to bed. Seems extremely efficient to me!

Mnemonics and acrostics are often used as tools to help memorise and recall lists and sets of information. I’ll be using the personal mnemonic generator described in US2003/068604 to generate easy-to-remember acrostic mnemonic devices in the form of meaningful grammatically correct sentences. Perfect for those revising for FC3!

Practice makes perfect and whilst doing past papers, it’s only through making mistakes and getting questions wrong that you can discover what you actually know. The inventors in US2019/251857 have realised this and have developed a system for checking your answers to questions and performing further study on any incorrect answers to prevent making the same mistakes in future.

Revising and snacking often go hand-in-hand, so much so that the inventors in US2008/108034 have decided to actually combine the two. This application describes a fortune cookie like snack which, instead of containing your fortune, has a short question-and-answer insert within. Tasty and educational – who needs flashcards when you’ve got these?

Despite all of that, it can often be a struggle to keep yourself focused when revising. Everyone can be prone to procrastination from time to time but if you use the pen described CN204382918U, you shouldn’t have any such problems. This pen has a built-in alarm that rings after a set time, snapping you out of your blissful daydream and stopping you wasting precious time. If that isn’t enough to stay focused, you might consider using these focus enhancing blinkers (US2007/109492) and really get into the zone for revision.

Focus-enhancing blinkers (US2007/109492)

Finally on the day of the exam, it’s important not to stress out too much and try and keep a positive mind-set. You might find it particularly useful to consult IN02384MU2015A which directs you to cleanse your chakras and remove negative vibrations, enhancing the stability and productivity of your mind (!)

Wishing everyone the best of luck for their exams!