GCSE and A Level exams and assessments are major milestones for every child across the UK. For some, they are the only qualifications needed to start their career. For others, these exams are a stepping stone to exploring different ways of learning and completing higher qualifications.
For both students and their parents, exams can be stressful. Often students don’t know how to make the most of their revision time and parents are unsure of how best to support them.
Our 10 top revision tips will help minimise those stress levels and maximise your revision time. Check them out below.
1. Print out a copy of your exam timetable
Timetables will be available on most exam board websites and help you plan your time effectively. Having a visual guide for when and where each exam will be taking place can help you allocate revision time properly and help you get in the zone mentally.
For parents it can be a great way to keep on top of your child’s schedule, should they need reminding of it.
2. Help each other to plan a revision schedule
Sit down together and work out a revision schedule that works. The important thing is to be realistic here, the timetable must be easy enough to stick to.
This is an opportunity for students to prioritise and organise their own workload – a key life skill.
3. Plan realistically
It may sound obvious but keeping planning realistic really makes a huge difference. Allow for regular breaks and rewards at agreed milestones. For example, this may be at the end of a full revision session or after a completed exam.
4. Timing revision sessions
The length of individual revision sessions can vary depending on the student. As a rule, we recommend spending no more than 2 hours per session on a particular subject.
However, if a student struggles with this, shorter sessions with breaks in between can be just as effective.
We would also recommend focussing on no more than 2 subjects per school night, and 4-6 subjects over a weekend. This allows for optimum revision.
Set boundaries. Although it is a natural concern as a parent, it can be totally detrimental to a student’s learning if there are constant questions around their revision. That said, there is often a certain level of supervision required.
6. Establish a specific workspace
This is such an important point. Set up a dedicated workspace where the student can study in peace. Ideally, this will be somewhere quiet and away from the bedroom.
Having a specific area to work in helps improve concentration and reduce the impact of distractions. If possible, set up a number of suitable locations around the house.
7. Get your body moving
An often overlooked point, children need exercise every day. Enough movement and fresh air each day dramatically help concentration levels when it comes to revising.
If you’re able to exercise earlier in the day then great, but if not why not go for a short walk in between revision sessions.
8. Practise, practise, practise!
There is a wealth of resources out there, make sure you use them! In particular, any past papers or exam-style questions. These will help you work out how to structure answers and how long they will take you. It really will help no end when it comes to the real thing.
Justin Craig’s online revision courses can help you get the very best tuition and revision support in preparation for your exams.
9. Focus your mind
Every student is different when it comes to revising. You will need to work out what works and what doesn’t work for you. A good routine is essential to successful studying.
Do you work better with background music playing or do you find it distracting?
Is it worth grabbing a drink and some snacks beforehand to help you through?
Does it help to talk through what you have studied once you have finished?
10. Start early.
This may sound obvious but the earlier you start, the more you can revise. Setting your revision schedule and agreeing timescales nice and early is setting yourself up for success.
If you leave it all too late trying to fit everything in becomes an impossible task. This only adds anxiety to an already stressful time in every young person’s life.
Those are our top tips for revision! Make the most out of your revision time this exam season by following them.