Exam revision can be a tricky subject for parents to raise with their children ahead of their GCSEs and A-levels. Some may feel their youngsters don’t do enough but don’t know how to tackle the situation.
Anxiety over how and when to start exam revision is a common problem and can make children stressed. Getting into a good study routine over the upcoming Easter holidays can make a real difference on results day.
Stephen Moore, head of courses at Justin Craig Education, says that while the prospect of preparing for exams can seem daunting, parents can help by suggesting ways to create a revision plan. He has five top tips:
Make a list of exam dates. Take each subject and break it down into topics, using the specification or textbook to create a useful list of everything that needs to be learnt. Also, jot down topics needing greater work, as it’s tempting to avoid these and revise what they know and enjoy.
Create a day-by-day plan. Breaking revision into chunks can be motivational as it makes it feel more manageable. By helping students prioritise, it also reduces the risk of running out of time.
Make sure revision notes are complete and in order. If students are unsure, encourage them to talk to their teachers and ask for their notes to e checked. Try a revision guide — but check it’s for the right exam board and specification.
Try out different learning techniques. For some students, reading and highlighting key points of their notes works well. Encourage students taking this approach to test themselves by covering sections and seeing what they can remember. Revision courses can also make a difference, helping to boost knowledge, motivation and exam technique.
Regular testing helps with memory recall as well as identifying areas needing work. In addition to going over past papers, try revision guides and online resources, such as BBC Bitesize (bbc.com/education), for topic-specific questions.
Mr Moore adds: ‘No matter your child’s ability or attitude to revision, there’s still time to prepare for summer exams. Take time to talk to your child about how they are feeling and how you can help. ‘GCSEs and A-Levels can be very stressful, so help students by staying calm and positive, providing encouragement and asking what sort of practical or emotional support they would like.’