Now that we seem to be approaching a return to the classroom, year 11 and 13 students will be wondering how they are going to be awarded their grades. Last year grades were awarded based on teachers’ assessments. I’m sure this year will be different and there may be some form of examinations.
Usually, at this time of year I spend a lot of my time in lessons with exam groups reminding students that they need to be doing some form of revision. It may come as a surprise to some parents that some students don’t know HOW to revise. Some people think revision is just reading through textbooks or your own exercise books. But how can you do this if you don’t have a textbook? or if there is not much in your exercise books? or if you can’t easily understand what you have written?
Fortunately, there is a plethora of resources out there to help you. Some of the useful websites I recommend to students are:
Get Revising. A website which is full of free resources for every subject. Resources such as PowerPoints, mind maps etc.
SENECA. A great revision website for every exam subject with some useful information on likely questions based on previous exams. Some of these resources you have to pay for.
PiXL is one of the best websites which is used in a lot of schools.
Of course, you can make your own revision resources. One of the best ways to involve others in your revision is to use revision cards. These can be bought very cheaply. I saw some for sale in my local Poundland the other day. You can put key words or phrases on one side and the answer on the other side. You can then get a friend or a family member to help you out. They don’t have to know anything about the subject as all the information is already on the card.
If you are going to sit exams in the future, I always urge students to use past exam papers to practice with. Passing exams is not a test of your memory. There is a technique to knowing how to answer exam style questions. Like doing a crossword, you have to practice in order to improve. Past exam papers with marking schemes, are available on all exam boards websites.
If you prefer to listen to someone teaching you, there are lots of revision podcasts out there. Take a look at where you usually get your podcasts from and you should be able to find some. They are usually about 20 minutes long and each podcast looks at a different aspect of your subject.
If you still prefer to have another person helping you, why not try a tutor. I am usually very busy at this time of year with students worried about how to improve their exam grades. There are lots of people offering their services as a tutor. One word of advice I would give to anyone looking for a tutor, however, is to go with a qualified teacher. Teachers tend to know the exams much better as we deal with them all of the time. Lots of teachers, myself included, are also examiners. Teachers may charge slightly more than unqualified tutors, but they are usually worth it.
If you need any advice on getting a tutor, get in touch with me and I will be happy to help you.
Teatime Ted Talk
After all of that revision, you need a break. I always recommend students take a 10-minute break every hour. A good way to de-stress is to watch a short Ted Talk. This particular talk is from a TEDxYouth in 2015. Here, Douglas Barton explains what successful students do that helps them to pass exams. It may surprise you that the most successful students are not always the most intelligent. Anyone can learn how to be successful at passing exams.