I was using the word "revise" in my group when I post telling that I should revise my previous lessons. Someone corrected me, and they said I should've used "review". According to them, it's wrong to use "revise" because it has a meaning that's similar to change something.

Then, I checked OALD and found this:


(intransitive, transitive) (British English) to prepare for an exam by looking again at work that you have done

• I can't come out tonight. I have to revise.

Is this only used in British English only? If so, since I don't know their nationality either, their comment makes me assume that they are not using British English. For instance, either revise or review, shouldn't they fit to fill the gap in this sentence below?

I should ___ my previous lessons because I have an exam tomorrow.

1 Answer 1


I've not looked it up in a dictionary but as a native British English speaker I can tell you that "revise" has at least two meanings. "Revise for exams" does indeed mean to go back over your course materials and it would be the most common word-choice in the context of an upcoming test. i.e. your original usage was perfectly valid.

But "I revised my opinion" would, as your "someone" suggested, mean that I had changed my mind.

"Review" is perfectly valid though, in the exam situation. It's a less formal/precise term for what you are doing.

  • 1
    A quick search under revise definition reveals that the 'prepare for exams' meaning is indeed a specifically British usage. Apr 12, 2022 at 7:22
  • 2
    As an American I can confirm that revise to an American never means to prepare for an exam. Apr 12, 2022 at 7:28
  • As a Brit who often writes for an American audience it's great to come here and discover differences I wasn't previously aware of. Nov 18, 2022 at 13:26

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