Consider a scenario where my tutor explains some topics we covered during
the past week. Could I say that we are doing revision today? Will the word "revision" be appropriate in this case?

In one of the online dictionaries, the definition of revision involved going over the stuff to prepare for an exam. In this case, there is no exam element involved. Could this word still be used?

2 Answers 2


"Is the word revision only used for exams?"

No. "Revision" is in fact more commonly used to describe versions of work after the first version. For example, "We made several revisions of the original document before we released it to the public."

You have tagged this question with so I assume you're interested in how the word "revision" is used in American English. Having spent the first 21 years of my life in North America, I don't think I ever heard the word "revision" used in association with "studying" for an exam or going over topics with a tutor, until I moved to England to do my PhD. In England, I rarely (if ever) witnessed people saying they were "studying for exams" and instead they would say that they were "revising for exams".

In , you can say "we are doing revision today", even if the revision is not for an exam, but to be more clear you might want to say "we are having a tutoring session", or "we are having a tutorial" or "we are revising topics from last week" or "we are going over the material from last week". In I would recommend the above options which do not include the word "revision" or "revising", for example: "we are going over the material from last week".

  • 1
    That's interesting. So as I understand, revision is more used in the studying sense in British English. But not at all in American English? "we are going over the material from last week" -- Is there a one word for this in American English or a shorter form
    – chintu
    Mar 29, 2022 at 17:34
  • 2
    @chintu in American English you would say "we are reviewing the material from last week" or "we are doing a review" (of all the topics covered so far, for example)
    – Esther
    Mar 29, 2022 at 18:14
  • I agree with the answer to your follow-up question, given by @Esther. Mar 29, 2022 at 18:20

When you go over material already studied for the purposes of a test or exam, you are reviewing the material.

"We will be doing a review of what we have studied so far this year".

Final Exam Review Ideas In a study of student perceptions of teacher misbehaviors, Kearny, Plax, Hays and Ivey (1991) report that a common complaint by students involved “unfair testing” practices. Students list the following faculty misbehaviors related to tests:

review is the right word here for AmE

Revise is BrE.

  • 1
    you might want to specify that while "revision" is used in this context in British English, in American English "review" is always used.
    – Esther
    Mar 29, 2022 at 18:13
  • This seems like more of a comment, than an answer to the question. In fact it looks like you're answering a question that was asked in one of the comments to the other answer, not any of the questions asked in the original post's question body. Mar 29, 2022 at 18:22

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