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margaret005margaret005 Posts: 287
Evening everyone :smile:

So I am currently studying for the RHS level 2 qualification and I’m currently looking for (if there is one) a website or websites that would be helpful. For now I’m looking at the plant life cycle, angiosperms and gymnosperms etc. 

If anyone has any hints and tips to help me study that would also be appreciated! It seems to go in then go back out straight away so tent to keep going backwards in pages haha.

Many thanks :)


  • LG_LG_ gardens in SE LondonPosts: 2,912
    Try these for starters:

    'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.'
    - Cicero
  • margaret005margaret005 Posts: 287
    Thanks for the video LG. Do you know of any particular websites that would be helpful? I’m trying to look in to the life cycle too and what causes senescence? :)
  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 2,283
    Tips for studying,

    Always write notes. The process of writing down information helps to make it 'stick' far more than just reading. Make sure you read the notes so the information goes from short-term to long-term memory. You can make notes while reading, watching a video, whatever, just get in the habit of writing new information down and reviewing it.

    Make a summary page. When you have a topic in your grasp, see if you can condense all the main principles onto a single side of A4 paper, make it graphical if you want with key information and phrases, use colour, it works best as key phrases and a graphical flow of the information. Look at it often and copy it out until you can do it from memory. I've saved myself in exams before by doing this, it is like having all the keys to a topic in memory, if I panic, I just write out the A4 page from memory and all the key information is in front of me. The technique is often referred to as 'chaining' and when tied to visuals like little sketches, it is really powerful for recalling information.

    Use memory aids, could be your own made up acronyms or mnemonics , nonsense rhymes, it doesn't matter as long as it jogs your memory into recalling the required information. Lists work well with acronyms and mnemonics, things that are easily confused can be made into little rhymes, the process of making up good ones is all part of getting stuff to go into memory.

    The more personal you make it all and the more fun you can make it, the more likely it is to stick.

    The real 'key' though, study what you don't know, not what you do know.

    It's really common that people go over and over the material they already get when studying. It makes them feel more comfortable. It is a really poor technique though. Truth is when people understand something, they generally remember it any way, so they do not need to go over it again and again. It is much more effective to put more study effort into the areas that are wobbly and accept you know the other stuff already.

    Hope it helps, I found out about this stuff quite early in life, annoyed the hell out of people ever since with getting 100% in exams from engineering mathematics to ecology to my Pilot's exams when I did my PPL.

    Passed the techniques to my son recently, he's sailing through his accountancy exams, think the lowest mark he had all year was 96%

    Takes a while to take all the above in, but I personally really enjoy studying as I know the above techniques really work and it is time well spent.
  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 2,283
    edited June 2020
    Oops, double post  :)

  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 2,283
    @margaret005 you may find the past-papers on the RHS website a huge bonus to self study. They don't just provide the papers, scrolling down each PDF they give the examiner notes and the expected answers.

  • margaret005margaret005 Posts: 287
    Wow thanks for the advice Gemma :) This part about leaf retention confused me because it asked me if I know of any other woody plant that shows the leaf retention characteristic. I put down Photinia as an answer purely because I thought they meant which shrub makes new growth when pruned. 

  • LG_LG_ gardens in SE LondonPosts: 2,912
    edited July 2020
    Good advice from Gemma  :). Nothing to add except to reiterate about using the past papers - the RHS want very specific things, and getting used to their question terminology is key.

    The video link appeared strangely - it was not intended to be one video but a link to my whole playlist for that module. The other videos should appear below it if you click on the link (and my playlists for the other modules too, if you expand out from there). Let me know if they don't show for you and I'll try again.
    'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.'
    - Cicero
  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 2,283
    edited July 2020
    Totally agree with @LG_ on the point with the past-papers. Getting study sorted is the first step.

    The 'secret' to passing any exam though, is to put yourself in the examiners shoes.

    Which part of the syllabus are they testing? Which piece of knowledge are they examining? This is all laid out in the past-papers in the examiner's notes with appropriate answers.

    It ties in with the most helpful phrase I ever heard when it comes to passing exams from a physics lecturer,

    'Read the BL**DY question!'

    - it's funny but a lot people don't, they just respond to the questions with whichever knowledge comes to memory first, it is far better to read the question a couple of times and figure out exactly which part of the syllabus is being examined and why the examiner phrased the question the way they did.

    When preparing, if you come across a question and can't figure exactly what they are getting at, that is material to go over again, as it is a sign the required depth of knowledge is not quite there yet and a little more study is needed.

    The PPL exams are notorious for the convoluted way questions are phrased and briefly looking at the RHS papers, it is similar, it is done to test if the candidate has a full understanding of the material. It's understanding how and why they are examining in that style which leads to great pass marks.  :)

  • VeasVeas Posts: 7
    Hello everyone, I am creating a study guide / revision guide of people who want to self study for the exams like I did. I was wondering if anyone would be interested in that sort of thing ? 
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