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Revision and Exam Preparation - information for parents and pupils
Revision – what, how and when Exam Technique Stress
What do you know? What don’t you know? How much time do you need to learn it? Prioritise Stage 1 : The Overview
Generally, it is true to say…. Read something, on average you will retain approximately 30% of that information Read something and then discuss it you will retain approximately 60% of that information Read something and actively do something with what you have read you will retain about 90% of that information
Passive versus Active Passive is simply to read and read and read again, hoping the information will stick Active is doing something with the information. Active is always best
Revision Structure The following information is not guesswork, or theory, or a trick. This is based on the study of almost 500,000 students revising for all manner of exams. The ones who followed these rules got, on average, at least one grade higher than those who ignored them, irrespective of how ‘intelligent’ they were.
How much time should I spend working at any one time? SIMPLE MINS In total? No chance!! At any one time. You can aim to do 22 x 5 in any one session
Recapping: 7 is the magic number Start your second 22 minute session by recapping the first. Start your third session by recapping your second and so on….. Recapping works best when you ask SEVEN questions or remember SEVEN pieces of information about what you have just learnt.
What does one revision session look like then? 22 mins Little break 22 mins (with recap) Little break 22 mins (with recap) Little break 22 mins (with recap) Little break 22 mins (with recap) Big Break
Like, my social life??? Yes, you can I have one, I suppose... Face to Face – talk to people not machines Exercise – fitter people are better learners Outdoors – breathe, there’s a world beyond the exam room
And in those 22 mins? Record Cards Highlighter Pens Bullet Points Graphs/Diagrams/Charts Patterned notes Post-its/posters Your room Your family
“I work well with my phone/ipad/tv on” No you don’t!!!!!! You are kidding yourself There is research (?) that shows that it would take you 25 hours to revise something in front of the TV when it would take you one hour to revise without.
What about Music? If it’s music you already know – no problem as that is background If it’s new music or the Radio – big problem. New music/DJs interrupt your thinking. In the exam you’ll remember song lyrics or what the DJ said. You will not remember the work.
Subject Checklists Create a TOPIC CHECKLIST Split each subject into topics (10-15) Planning: topics to be studied each day Vary topics to be revised in a session Timetables fail if they are too detailed or unrealistic Balance revision time between each subject This will help reduce stress
Revision Skills The “nitty gritty”
The Four Stages 1.Complete your notes 2.Consolidation 3.Memorisation 4.Practice And motivation …
Memorising Learning is about doing Condense (20%) Colour Mnemonics Image Chains Mind Maps Warm up exercises Mind Palace
Must Do’s Have an aim for each revision session. By the end of this session I will know the equations and processes relevant to photosynthesis Work out what you already know and identify the areas where you need to spend more time. Self- testing can help here, or ask your teacher. Break subjects down into topics and topics into smaller, “do-able” chunks Produce notes with key points, phrases or words.
Must Do’s Test yourself a day after your revision to see what you have learnt or work with a study buddy and test each other Keep a chart of your progress, ticking off each topic as you revise it (which will be more than once). Think about having a whiteboard in your room with all your subjects labelled and broken into topics. The more ticks you accumulate the more confident you will feel Review your revision notes after one day, one week and one month. This will help consolidate your learning. Know what your Assessment Objectives (AOs) are in all your subjects. Ask your teachers
TOP TIP: Use a consolidation book or board. At the end of each school week make brief notes on everything you have learned in each subject in that week. If you write it on a whiteboard you can take a photo of it on your phone and wipe it clean for the next week.
Mind Mapping Useful if you are a visual learner Good for organising your ideas Can cover a whole topic on one page Forces you to make sense of information A good way to start getting to grips with a topic or area
Revision Cards Why use them? Useful way of breaking down information into manageable sections Allows you to organise your notes into a logical and ordered way Forces you to transfer information and make sense of it They are portable Write a question on the back to turn them into an active revision technique More flexible than a notebook or folder
And More Revision Techniques: Draw spider diagrams on sheets of A3 paper to show how different ideas and topics are linked. Make posters of key points and display them around your house. Put your French verbs conjugations in the loo and your trigonometry formulae on the fridge! If you’re technically minded, make an mp3 file of key topic points and listen to them on the bus or in the car. Use highlighters to review work you have done in your exercise books Use appropriate and recommended websites but remember that looking at them without a pen in your hand and a notebook in front of you isn’t revision. Get family and friends to test you on a topic you revised yesterday.
TOP TIP: One of the best ways to retain knowledge and build understanding is to teach it (ask the staff). Teach a topic to your family – explaining the digestive system over Sunday lunch is a good one! TOP TIP: One of the best ways to retain knowledge and build understanding is to teach it (ask the staff). Teach a topic to your family – explaining the digestive system over Sunday lunch is a good one!
Just do it! – the 10 minute rule Getting started is the most difficult bit. So get real and use the ‘10-minute rule’ whenever you get stuck. Ditch those four-hour sessions you planned, where only 10 minutes of actual work is done. Start with the 10 minutes you know you will do. Then have a 10-minute break and start again. Anyone can do that! When working, work and when relaxing, relax. The two don’t mix. No texting friends, looking out of the window or playing with the cat. And your room can wait for another few years to be tidied! So now you have started, you’ve doubled the time you normally work in an evening and had a 10-minute break, all within the first half hour. Increase the working periods to 20-22minutes and keep the breaks at 5 minutes or less. Sorted? Well ‘ish’ at least. Don’t think about it, just do it – now! Congratulate yourself for having done it. You’ve made a start. Whenever you have difficulty in starting something you don’t want to do, staring into space won’t help – but the ‘10-minute rule’ will.
Past Papers Know where to find them Practise them in sections but always work to a time limit Re-read and assess your answers before asking anyone else to have a look Learn the timings of the different exams and papers
Ask the Experts
Parents Can you handle the pressure?
Exam Preparation and Technique
How important are your GCSE exams to you? It is not too late to really improve your possible final grades if you really would like to. There are opportunities to:- Focus your attention in lessons Ask your teacher questions Attend extra lessons at lunchtime Attend revision lessons Work with your mentor Develop good exam techniques Make sure you are prepared on the day!
In the exam room Take six deep breaths and have a sugary sweet to boost your energy – but don’t crunch! Choose questions carefully and write notes on the question paper to help you remember later. And make sure you answer the question asked. There’ll be no marks if you don’t. If you run out of time, sometimes marks can be gained by completing your remaining answers in outline only. State what you would do and how to do it by outlining the main arguments you would include in an essay – without writing the essay – and by jotting down formulae in science – stating how you would complete the question –without doing the calculations.
Keep Calm and pass the exam! RTQ ATQ
After the exam Don’t worry about the exam you have just taken – you can’t do anything about it now. Concentrate instead on the next one, where you can make a difference.
The better the preparation the less the stress Some stress is good for you – if you’re not a bit stressed you’ve possibly misunderstood the situation!
Eat well, sleep well, stay hydrated Build in rest and relaxation periods to every day Get outside and exercise DON’T have a peer testing session just before exams DON’T have a post mortem session straight after an exam
Talk You’re surrounded by people who care for you and want you to succeed – talk to them!