GCSEs have begun! Practical and Oral exams are in progress and the first written exams are only 3-4 weeks away (depending on which options were taken). The good news is that it’s not too late to revise. I will be focussing on last-minute revision but the methods can be used by year 10 pupils too.
- Know your timetable. Depending on your options, you can have between 0 and 3 exams in a day. Knowing what you have allows you to do some revision at the best time. If you have English and History on a Tuesday for example, those are the ones you want to go over Monday night, not Maths and Science.
- Knowing when your heavy days are will allow you to plan the rest of life. If you have 2 days in a row with more than one exam in, then it may be advisable to cancel any non-essential social things, miss a club or swap work shifts. Go easy on yourself for a few weeks.
- Study sensibly: An hour or two with a break is enough studying for anybody in one night. Don’t burn yourself out.
- Know your study style: Do you like music or peace and quiet? Would you study best in a group or alone? Early or late? Just try a few and do what works for you.
- Use the right method for you and the subject you’re studying. There are 4 broad categories of study methods. Allow me to explain…..
- The Oldies: Learning the way we did at school sometimes works for people in this century too! 😉 Practice questions- or even whole practice papers- are a great way of getting used to time limits, themes and mark allocation. Also, learning info (especially facts like names, dates or formulae) can be done by repetition; seeing and/or saying it like we did with our old times’ tables!
- Jazzy and Brief: this is where you get short bursts of info that trigger other recall. Good for Science, English Literature and History. A name, era or theme can remind you of other things. This is best done with bullet points, flash cards (bought or home-made) and keyword lists.
- Colour: My daughter’s preferred method. You can use mind maps and intricate pictures/diagrams or simple colour-coding. You can highlight key info, write in coloured pens or even colour-code themes/topics/subjects to such an extreme that you can buy coloured book covers, highlighters, post-it notes and flashcards to match.
- Audio: Lastly, the auditory learner will benefit most from this. It’s especially good for covering lots of info like literature texts and historical events. You can listen to audiobooks, notes (made by you or others), YouTube discussions…the list is endless. There is also a memory association you can play with. A certain sound or song playing over while studying a certain topic can help you to recall the knowledge when you hear or make that same noise.
Just try some things out and see what works best for you for each subject. Good Luck!