An article featuring some of my top tips for students and parents pertaining to preparing and revising for exams
Date : 09/01/2019
Revision Tips - article1. Create a Revision Timetable Developing a revision timetable is a fantastic way to schedule your study time. Additionally, it also helps boost your motivation to revise for your exams. Recognising a need for a revision timetable means that you have already made a great start to combat the inevitable stress and anxiety that can sometimes accompany the exam period. 2. Practice makes perfect (and leads to perfection and phenomenal performance) One of the biggest recommendations that past students, both at GCSE and A-level, is to practice questions by doing as many past papers as you can. The act of practising past papers can have many benefits including but not limited to the following. You will get much more familiar with the exam format and the style of questions that are asked. You may notice certain topics come up in every paper for example (make sure you master those). You will also be timing yourself and get used to the time pressure and completing the exam within the allotted time (giving yourself time to check your answers too) and your speed at retrieving information should also improve. Can you think of any other benefits of doing past papers? Comment below and let me know 3. Take regular breaks from revision Revision can often be stressful or make you feel tired. Especially if you have a lot of it to do. If you are at GCSE level you may be taking more than 10 subjects and have more than 20 exams over the exam period. Needless to say, this will require a great deal of revision. Sometimes it may feel that no matter how hard you try, the information refuses to just stick in your head. It can sometimes appear futile forcing yourself to study for hours upon hours with poor results. Taking regular study breaks, and being active in them has been proven to help engage the brain and improve overall performance and retention. Exercise in particular has been shown to be a useful tool that can boost the brain s productivity, so be sure to break up the long hours of revision into short, manageable chunks, spread over a period of time with as many intermissions as needed. 4. Discovering and understanding your Optimum Learning Style Everyone has an optimal learning style. What I mean by this is that different people learn best in different ways. For example some people have photographic memories, and it feels like their brain is able to take a snapshot of material in front of them and they can recall it at will with ease. Other people will look at the same material and it will all seem like a blur or a jumble of text and images. Some learners love to listen. You speak to them about a topic and their brains absorb in all the information like a sponge. Others will hear the same lecture and it will go in through one ear and straight back out through the other. Once you understand your particular optimum learning style by deciding if you are a visual, auditory, reading/writing or kinaesthetic learner, then revising, remembering and recalling new information will become far easier. You can take a quick multiple-choice quiz online, which will tell you what your preferred style is. Practice and experimentation will also tell you if you work better studying during the night or in the morning/daytime, and how long your study sessions should be. 5. Mix it up You should attempt to introduce some variety into your r study habits and revision techniques and methods. For example by listening to podcasts, watching videos or documentaries, moving to new study area or even something as simple as using different colours for your study notes. Reading textbooks all the time can become a little mundane sometimes, and taking in the information via different mediums can certainly make it far more interesting and engaging, which will certainly help yield better productivity and ultimately performance. Give it a go! 6. Get a tutor Sometimes you may come across topics that no matter how hard you try to understand, you just can t get your head around. Or areas of the syllabus or specification that just don t make sense. The job of teacher can be very difficult and hectic trying to teach 30+ individual students at the same time, keeping on top of marking, moving at a pace to finish the syllabus/ specification in time whilst maintaining classroom and behavioural management simultaneously can be a very difficult balancing act, even at the best of times. Unfortunately, sometimes a student may get left behind or the teacher may physically not have enough time to sit down with a student and fulfil their specific educational needs. This is where a tutor can come in. Every student is different. Earlier we looked at optimum learning styles and how choosing one that suits the student can have a large impact on retention and content assimilation. Similarly, students all have individual or specific goals on what they hope to achieve from the tuition. Over many years I have helped students achieve theirs, and I specialised individual approaches to help students To get excellent grades To move up a group / set To sit a higher paper (if they are sitting foundation) To catch up with going on in class To get a couple steps ahead of the class To gain confidence Help with homework / coursework Revision examination technique Contact me now to see how I can help you or your child reach their goals. 7. Bonus: Exam Day The actual day of the examination itself can still sometimes unfortunately be the most stressful of the entire experience. But all is not lost there are ways in which you can minimise your anxiety. Avoiding panicking friends and giving yourself plenty of time to get to the test centre on time can help reduce the pressure and the impact of some of these feelings. Finally, do not underestimate the power of eating a healthy breakfast and making sure you had a good night s sleep the night before. Try to resist the temptation of staying up all night cramming. Good Luck!
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