As exam day approaches, you’ll want to make sure that your child is as prepared as possible. It’s never too late to encourage a student to study in the lead up to an exam, no matter how last minute.
Our guest Faisal Nasim is the Director of Exam Papers Plus and has worked as a teacher and tutor for a number of years. He’s put together this post of last minute revision tips to help your child make the most of the study time that they have left.
Work Smarter Not Harder
With exam day just around the corner, it can be tempting for students to study harder by spending all day and night locked in their bedrooms. As good an idea as this sounds though, the reality is that by the time the exam comes, they’ll be burnt out from too much information and not enough sleep.
The key to making the most of study time is to study smarter – and that means getting organised. Help your child work out how many days they have left to study and look at what topics they still need to improve on. From there, they can create a study schedule that enables them to study for short periods, often.
A study schedule can be as simple as an Excel spreadsheet or a wall planner and can help students take ownership of the time they have left. It’s important that they focus on the areas that they feel less confident in – there’s no point going over the topics that they already know they’ll do well in.
Create Bite-Sized Revision Notes
At this late stage, it’s time for your child to immerse themselves in their revision, and that means having visual reminders all over their bedroom, or study area. Using flashcards, or post-it notes, have them write down important snippets of information and stick them to their walls. Flashcards can give your child a good visual representation of what information they need to know.
Studying from textbooks, or a laptop is all well and good, put having all the key information they’ll need set out in front of them, can help your child visualise the answers they’ll need on the day of the exam.
Make a ‘Cheat Sheet’
A cheat sheet is a condensed document that contains the most essential information your child will need for the exam. For example, if they have a Maths exam coming up, they may want to fill their cheat sheet with all the formulas that they’ll need. If their English exam is next, then they may want their cheat sheet to contain all the quotes they’ll need for their texts.
Cheat Sheets are very useful documents as they can help break down all the information that students have in their notes into one essential page. They can read over their cheat sheet on the way to the exam and in the minutes before they step into the exam hall.
Record Important Notes on a Phone
Another last minute revision tip is to record revision notes on a smartphone. When revising for exams, most students will read their notes, some might even use visuals like flashcards, but not many students use audio.
It’s been said that we remember 10% of what we read, 20% of what we hear, and 30% of what we see and hear. Recording notes aloud into a phone, is a great way to retain extra information that you’d otherwise forget. Once your child has recorded their notes, they can listen to them in bed at night before they fall asleep. They can also listen to them on the bus, or in the car on the way to the exam.
Focus on Practice Exam Papers
Knowing the content for an exam is one thing, but being able to put knowledge into practice is another. As part of your child’s last minute revision, try to incorporate practice exam papers into their schedule. Have them time themselves doing a paper and check their answers afterwards. By practicing with exam papers, you’ll be able to identify any weak spots in their studying.
Practice papers are also a great way for students to improve their time management skills for the exam. By taking a practice test under exam conditions, they’ll be able to identify which types of questions take longer to answer and allocate more time to them on the day.
If you want to help encourage your child in their revision for either GCSEs or A Levels, we’ve also created a list of our top revision tips.