Welcome to the business end of the academic year! Students should be revising hard…
However, if that isn’t the case yet it’s never too late to get started. So let’s take a look at how to get the revision basics under your child’s belt.
Revision is all about organisation and planning
During the revision period we often find that many students struggle with these key elements no matter what their learning needs and abilities are. This is quite understandable, as for many this will be their first experience of sitting exams across all subjects.
So first and foremost, sit down with your child and talk through their exam timetable. This will help them (and you) grasp the task in hand. From there, make a realistic revision plan with your child based on how long they have until their exams and how much content they should be revising. Some students find particular subjects heavier than others. For example, many find history and English difficult to revise because of the amount of factual information they have to remember. So be sure to add in as much time as possible to cover everything. Making a solid revision plan will help ensure nothing is forgotten and avoid any last minute cramming sessions.
Develop memory skills
Anxiety can affect our working memories and being in an unnatural setting like an exam hall may not help. So whilst students are on study leave help them work through various memory aids to ensure they are taking in what is in front of them. Hopefully by the time they come to the exam the knowledge they have worked hard to retain will just flow out onto the page. Here are some ideas you can try with your child:
- Ask them to read out loud instead of to themselves.
- Ask them to teach you what they have just learnt.
- Discuss a topic they have just learnt over a 20 minute walk.
- Encourage them to draw and label diagrams (for example, of the human heart).
- Meditate with them for 10 minutes each morning before they start studying.
Establish a routine and stick to it
This is the hard bit! The exams are now graded 1-9 instead of A-E and focus on testing two years’ worth of work. As there is very little coursework left the exams will expect students to display a deeper knowledge of their subjects. In order to cover as much as possible try and help your child stick to their revision plan as much as possible. Many students tend to get bogged down if they discover an area they are struggling with. If they are spending too much time on something encourage them to make a note of it and come back to it later. It also helps to break subjects down into smaller topics to make revision sessions more focused. That way students will feel more encouraged to continue as they can see they are making definite progress.
For more tips on revising well, take a look at the TES GCSE resources pages. They are full of ideas for students and parents and go into subject specific detail. We wish all our students the very best of luck with their exams and if any additional tuition is needed please do get in touch.