For students sitting GCSEs or A Levels this summer, the Easter holidays are always a crucial time for revision. However, due to the Coronavirus outbreak, this year’s cohort of students also have to deal with significant uncertainty and potential disruption.
To help your child with revising independently over this crucial period, we have prepared a short checklist of things to do NOW:
Checklist For Students
1. Print off your exam timetable
2.Do a self- assessment vs the exam board specification for each subject.
Print off a copy from the exam board website and then use a simple traffic light (green/amber/red) system to assess how confident you feel about each topic. This doesn’t need to take long , but will really help you prioritise and plan your revision time.
3. Get teacher input.
For students who are unsure about where to focus or how to revise, we always recommend getting teacher advice prior to the Easter holidays. However, due to the risk of schools closing due to Coronavirus, we would recommend that you do this sooner rather than later. For example, teachers may be able to provide guidance on topics to prioritise, provide additional practice questions or ideas about the best online resources or ways to revise different topics. Lots of students are a bit reluctant or embarrassed to do this – if this is the case, then maybe ask your parent to make the initial contact with the school or teacher.
4. Build up a question/resource bank for each subject.
Past papers are available on the exam board website, along side mark schemes and the examiners report. Printing these off takes time, so do it now and add them to your file of practice questions to do later in your revision. Your teacher should also be able to give you past papers and/or practice questions. Other good revision resources are:
- Gojimo. This revision app is easy to use and enables users to test themselves using quizzes which are subject/exam board specific. In addition to instant feedback, you get detailed explanations, so if you go wrong, you can work out why. The app also tracks progress over time so you can identify your best and worst topics for revision.
- iMindMap and bubbl.us These tools make creating and sharing mind maps easy. It works the same as it does on paper, but it is more mobile and, arguably, more collaborative.
- Quizlet Quizlet enables students to create their own revision flashcards, as well as to use sets created by others. When you access a set, there are four different modes in which you can use them: cards, learn, match and test.
- Study guides – if school can’t recommend one, then have a look at CGP as they cover a wide range of subjects and are, generally, highly regarded.
- Websites and Youtube channels. There are lots of good resources available online to help you with revision for specific subjects. BBC Bitesize covers all the main subjects and is particularly popular with GCSE students. If you need suggestions, ask your teacher, friends or post a question on the Student Room’s online chat.
5. Check & complete school notes.
If you have been revising throughout the year, this should hopefully not take too long. However, it’s worth scanning through your notes and checking against the subject specification to see if you have any gaps. If you have, then ask a friend or your teacher for the notes on that topic – it’s easier to do whilst at school as you are in daily contact with your friends and teachers.
6. Talk to your parents.
Parents can often add to student stress in the run up to exams, frequently because they want their child to do their best and don’t know how to help them. It might sound simple but just telling your parents about your revision plans, any worries you have and how you would like them to support you can make a difference.
7. Sort out your revision space & materials.
Again this sounds obvious, but work out where you are going to study and stock up on materials like post it notes, A3 paper for posters, coloured pens or flashcards. If your study space is in a family room, then make sure you agree this with your parents so that they can ensure that you are not disturbed when revising.
8. Create a revision timetable.
Draw up a timetable you can realistically stick to, breaking down what you need to study into chunks to make revision more manageable and factoring in extra time for past papers as well as topics which need more attention. Watch the Exam Coach Video on how to create a realistic timetable that works .
Last but not least, have a think about how you study best and whether you need some extra support. Revising alone can be difficult, even if you are highly motivated ! So have a think about other options such as revision courses. Subject to Government guidance on social distancing, studying with a friend might also be an option.