I do think that having to write one every couple of weeks in the lead up to my A-Level philosophy exam was somewhat helpful.
The golden rule of revision is that you should do what is best for you. This was often equally true for me at school, apart from that one philosophy exam, their usefulness often varied depending on the subject and specific exam. Generally, I learn things by reading them over and over again, not by writing them. I test my knowledge by preparing a practice answer, which I then tell someone, since it is quicker to explain something verbally than explain it in writing.
When I am trying to cement information in my brain, I prefer this quicker method of repetition because it saves time. Verbal answers are also useful for revising different answers to a theory, since exam papers may focus on one area of a topic. I feel sorry for my mum who endured several long dog walks spent discussing the problem of evil. I then use spider diagrams to test my knowledge, as I find them easier to come back to and read again compared to essays. After categorising the relevant information i.
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This process is similar to writing an essay, but it saves time because I can use bullet points rather than whole sentences. I find different ways to achieve the things that you would normally get out of writing a practice essay. I know that I tend to perform best when I feel that my mind is being creative or analytical.