Exams and Support
Information for Year 10 and 11 Students
Please find below and attached some useful tips on how to improve your revision time and keep those nerves under control.
Where to study?
Creating good conditions to study in can help you make the most of the time you spend revising. Here are some suggestions:
Find a quiet place to study away from distractions
- Make sure your desk is well lit and you are sitting comfortably
- Keep background noise to a minimum
- Have everything you need to do your revision to hand before you start
How to Study
There is no ‘right way’ to revise, as long as the method you choose enables you to gain a solid grasp of key facts and consolidate your knowledge. In practice, most students find that mixing different revision techniques suits the varied nature of the subjects being revised, and provides essential variety when studying.
Turn your notes into revision tools;
- Write ideas and facts on to cards to use as ‘prompts’
- Create memory aids such as diagrams or mnemonics (e.g. initial letters to make a word you need to remember). These will help you remember key facts
- Write key facts/notes and display these around the house where you will see them
- Record yourself reading notes to listen to Study with a friend and test each other’s knowledge, but remember you are meeting to revise rather than to chat!
Work through past question papers – and use a watch to time them so that you can practise timing your answers.
Choose study and revision guides sensibly. As well as established published revision guides, there are hundreds of websites offering help and advice.
The problem is not how to find such help, but how to judge which is the best source for your needs. Save valuable time and get recommendations from your teachers.
Keep yourself more alert by changing revision methods during a session. For instance, try switching from questions to memorising; from reading to asking someone to test you.
Attend any revision classes that your teachers may be running at school and get their advice on revision methods. Look after yourself – You need to rest as well as study, eat well, drink lots of water and make sure you pace yourself.
Please find on the below links some key information for students, parents and carers on GCSE examinations for 2022. In addition, within the video and slides you will find useful tips and guidance on how students should use their personalised learning checklists, how to use some of our online revision platforms such as GCSE Pod and tips, advice and guidance on how to revise and avoid distractions.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us:
The top tip for successful revision is to make a plan; otherwise it is easy to waste your precious revision time. It is helpful to look at your exam dates and work backwards to start early! We have created a revision planning booklet to help you with this process.
- List all your exam subjects and the amount of time you think you will need for each one. It is unlikely that the amounts will be equal.
- Draw up a revision plan for each week – use the one provided in your revision pack
- Fill in any regular commitments you have first and the dates of your examinations
- Use your Personalised Learning Checklists (PLC) or specifications for each subject as a starting point. Look at what you need to know and where you have identified as having gaps in knowledge
- Divide your time for each subject into topics based on the units in the PLC or specification, and make sure you allow enough time for each one
- Plan your time carefully, assigning more time to subjects and topics you find difficult
- Revise often; try and do some every day
- Plan in time off, including time for activities which can be done out in the fresh air. Take a 5 or 10 minute break every 25 minutes and do some stretching exercises, go for a short walk or make a drink
- You may find it helpful to change from one subject to another at ‘break’ time, for example doing one or two sessions of maths and then changing to English, or alternating a favourite subject with a more difficult one. It helps to build in some variety
- Write up your plan and display it somewhere visible
- Adjust your timetable if necessary and try to focus on your weakest topics and subjects
Coping with the Exam
Be prepared; find out what is involved in each of the examinations that you are going to sit and where it is being held. Organise yourself the night before and get plenty of sleep. Eat a good breakfast and set off for the exam in plenty of time. Check you have the correct equipment with you before you leave the house (pens, pencils, ruler, scientific calculator, etc).
In the exam room:
- Read or listen to any instructions given to you.
- Look at the marks available and read the questions carefully, follow instructions given in the paper (e.g. to show all workings, word limits etc)
- Use the information provided on the paper (the answer’s often there)
- Pace yourself and allow enough time to answer all the required questions
- Write as neatly as possible to help the examiner to mark your work. Marking untidy writing is difficult
- For longer answers, take a few minutes before you begin to produce a structured plan of what you are going to include in each section
- If you finish before the end of the exam try to read through your answers and correct any mistakes
Aim High – Do your best!
What can Parents do to help?
- Make sure your child has the time to study and a quiet place to study
- Talk to your child about how you can support them and what they would find helpful
- Ensure they have the correct study guides. Provide them with any files, dividers, sticky notes, highlighters that may help them organise their revision
- Reduce your expectations of their contributions to household chores
- Make sure they get started! This will be the hardest bit over
- Help your child produce a realistic revision timetable and stick to it (see instructions on how to produce a revision timetable). This may take a big investment in time and effort but is the single thing that will make the most difference
- Encourage your child to use their subject PLCs to identify any gaps in knowledge and focus their revision here as a starting point
- Offer to test them on their work if they want you to (this is one of the most effective ways to revise)
- Be sensitive to the pressure they are under. Show an interest in how it is going. Try to stay calm and positive and praise the effort they are making
- Encourage your child to talk to their teachers if they any questions or concerns (you may need to do this for them if necessary)
- Encourage your child to attend all revision and warm up sessions put on by the school
- Make sure your child has a good night’s sleep before an exam (they’ll need to practise this!!)
- Make sure they eat well before setting off for the exam
- Make sure they have all the equipment they need (black pens, pencils, rubber, ruler and calculator)
- Make sure they set off in plenty of time for the exam
The below links may also be helpful: