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Revision and Exam Preparation
- information for parents and pupils
Revision – what, how and when
Exam Technique
Stress
REVISION
Stage 1 : The Overview
• What do you know?
• What don’t you know?
• How much time do you need to learn it?
• Prioritise
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
20-22 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. Selftesting 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
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!
• https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7cYM1
enisE
Motivation
Thursday 20th August
The timetable
Day
Tuesday
Date
1st
Wednesday 2nd
Thursday
3rd
Friday
4th
Saturday
Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Date
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
5th
6th
7th
8th
9th
10th
11th
12th
13th
14th
15th
16th
a.m
School
p.m
School
School
School
School
School
School
School
Hockey Club
Maths - Algebra practice
Geography - glacial features
Morning off - see friends
French - revise past tense
Maths - Graph work
Off all day to see family
Morning with family
Latin Vocab - revise and test
Biology - Human Heart
History - female emancipation
English Lit - literary terms quiz
Chemistry - hydrocarbons
Biology - test on Human heart
Aft off
Off all day to see family
Maths - past paper
17th
18th
19th
20th
21st
22nd
23rd
24th
Art Workshop
D&T Mr Richards in school
Drama Revioson in School
Art Workshop
D&T Mr Richards in school
Friday
25th
English Revision in School
Saturday
Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
26th
27th
28th
29th
30th
SCHOOL
SCHOOL
SCHOOL
SCHOOL
SCHOOL
SCHOOL
SCHOOL
SCHOOL
SCHOOL
SCHOOL
Evening
Geography - Past paper question, glaciation
Purple Hibiscus notes
Purple Hibiscus notes
Purple Hibiscus notes
Purple Hibiscus notes
Purple Hibiscus notes
Purple Hibiscus notes
Off all day to see family
Evening with friends
HW / Geog - CBD
HW/ French - vocab re: family
15/02/2014
Saturday
16/02/2014
Sunday
17/02/2014
Monday
Geography
Music
Physics
Maths
Biology
English
History
Chemistry
18/02/2014
Tuesday
Chemistry
Geography
Music
Physics
Maths
Biology
English
History
19/02/2014
Wednesday
History
Chemistry
Geography
Music
Physics
Maths
Biology
English
20/02/2014
Thursday
English
History
Chemistry
Geography
Music
Physics
Maths
Biology
21/02/2014
Friday
Biology
English
History
Chemistry
Geography
Music
Physics
Maths
22/02/2014
Saturday
Maths
Biology
English
History
Chemistry
Geography
Music
Physics
23/02/2014
Sunday
Physics
Maths
Biology
English
History
Chemistry
1700-1725
1730-1755
1800-1825
1830-1855
1900-1925
1930-1955
2000-2025
2030-2055
24/02/2014
Monday
Geography
Music
Physics
Maths
Biology
English
History
25/02/2014
Tuesday
Chemistry
Geography
Music
Physics
Maths
Biology
English
26/02/2014
Wednesday
History
Chemistry
Geography
Music
Physics
Maths
Biology
27/02/2014
Thursday
English
History
Chemistry
Geography
Music
Physics
Maths
28/02/2014
Friday
Biology
English
History
Chemistry
Geography
Music
Physics
1000-1025
1030-1055
1130-1155
1200-1225
1330-1355
1400-1425
1500-1525
1530-1555
Music
Physics
2030-2055
01/03/2014
Saturday
Maths
Biology
English
History
Chemistry
Geography
02/03/2014
Sunday
Physics
Maths
Biology
English
History
Chemistry
1700-1725
1730-1755
1800-1825
1830-1855
1900-1925
1930-1955
2000-2025
03/03/2014
Monday
Geography
Music
Physics
Maths
Biology
English
History
04/03/2014
Tuesday
Chemistry
Geography
Music
Physics
Maths
Biology
English
05/03/2014
Wednesday
History
Chemistry
Geography
Music
Physics
Maths
Biology
06/03/2014
Thursday
English
History
Chemistry
Geography
Music
Physics
Maths
07/03/2014
Friday
Biology
English
History
Chemistry
Geography
Music
Physics
1000-1025
1030-1055
1130-1155
1200-1225
1330-1355
1400-1425
1500-1525
1530-1555
Music
Physics
08/03/2014
Saturday
Maths
Biology
English
History
Chemistry
Geography
09/03/2014
Sunday
Physics
Maths
Biology
English
History
Chemistry
Just do it! – the 10 minute rule
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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!
The day before your Exam
Read through your notes to refresh your memory of the key concepts.
Do not do past papers at this stage.
Do not labour over each syllabus as time will pass quickly and
panic will set in if you think you haven’t looked at everything.
Remember the purpose of today is to refresh and rewind. Revision has been
done so feel confident!
Remember to check your timetable to remind yourself of the start time and location of
your exam. Get the equipment ready that you will need.
Finally, go to bed at a reasonable hour and set your alarm clock so that you will have
plenty of time in the morning.
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.
Stress Busting
• 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!
HARD WORK =
GOOD LUCK