Worrying about the lack of GCSE/ A Level revision so far? Don’t panic, it’s not too late for students to kick start their revision over the Easter Holidays and ace their summer exams.
As a parent, it’s often a tricky area to broach revision with students. Procrastination on how and when to start revising is a common problem, with students stressing about the fact that they are not revising and anxiety building as the days tick by. The Easter Holidays provide the time and space for students to gear up their revision efforts – getting into a good study routine over the Easter holidays can make the difference between success and disappointment when it come to results day.
Here are our top 5 tips to help ease students into revising so that they can make the most of their Easter Holidays.
Do a list. The first step is to make a list of all exam dates as this will help students plan their time. Next, take each subject and break it down into topics, using the specification or text book to create a useful list of everything that needs to be learnt. Also note down any specific skills/areas that need greater work.
Make a plan. Creating a day-by-day plan can be really motivational for students and makes revision feel more manageable by breaking revision into chunks. By helping students prioritise, it also reduces the risk of them running out of revision time. Plans can be as simple as a list of what needs to be done each week up to hour-by-hour colour coded works of art. Don’t expect students to stick 100% to their plan – things change and the plan will need to adapt. Its also good to leave some” blank” time close to each exam in case they need to revisit anything.
Organise/complete notes. If their notes are the starting point for revision, make sure they are complete and in the right order. If they are not sure, encourage them to talk to their teacher and ask for the teacher to check their notes. If their notes are in a really bad state, try using a revision guide as the basis for revision – just make sure that the guide is for the right exam board and specification.
Try out different learning techniques. Everyone has different ways of learning. For some students, reading and highlighting key points of their notes works – for students taking this approach, encourage them to test themselves by covering sections and seeing what they can remember. Flashcards and mindmaps are also popular tools – find out more about techniques to boost memory recall. For many students, revision courses can make a real difference, helping to boost knowledge, motivation and exam technique.
Build in time for frequent testing. Regular testing, using different approaches, helps with memory recall as well as identifying areas which need more work. In addition to past paper questions, try revision guides and online resources, like BBC Bitesize, for quizzes and topic specific questions. When doing past papers, learn how to score maximum marks by analysing the marking schedule and the examiners report.
Don’t forget: No matter your child’s ability or attitude to revision, there’s still time to prepare for the summer exams. Take some time to talk to your child about how they are feeling about their exams and how you can help. GCSEs and A Levels can be very stressful for students so help them by staying calm and positive, providing encouragement and asking what sort of practical or emotional support they would like.
For more advice and articles from Justin Craig Education on how to achieve exam success, please call us on 01727 744340.