Revision is somewhat of an art form that some GCSE students naturally pick up and use successfully. For those that do not the act of revising for GCSE exams can be an ordeal that puts them at a disadvantage.
Revising for an exam is vital to ensure that the student is fully prepared for the knowledge that is being tested. Parents and guardians can help in many ways to ensure that their child is making full use of the time available before exams to prepare.
What you can do:
- Recognise the importance of GCSE exams and the preparation time needed to do as well as possible. Have a look at our Hints on Revision and Revision Strategies.
- Reward the effort made to revise
- Reduce the amount of work they may undertake in paid jobs
- Reduce the amount of chores they may do within the home
- Communicate the importance of revision to the family
- Nominate a quiet place for revision, where disturbances will be kept to a minimum
- Provide an area where work and revision notes can be kept safely
- Enable the provision of relaxation time, especially away from the place of study
- Maintain a positive attitude
- Acknowledge that plenty of rest, especially the night before an exam will have a positive outcome on results
Work with your son/daughter to ensure all notes and books required for revision are to hand.
Help them prepare a revision timetable including the date, time and location of exams. Also, add important dates where coursework or final assignments have to be submitted.
Use the revision timetable to plan sessions, ensuring that they are evenly spread out over the time available for each exam.
Displaying the timetable in the study area will help keep track of progress.
Make progress checks regularly. Get them to explain what they are revising. A good explanation shows that they understand the topic well enough to answer exam questions covering that topic or area.
Your son/daughter should not be shy about asking for help from their teacher(s) relating to topics they do not fully understand.
Encouragement from you will help you son/daughter to continue working hard over the exam period. Have a look at our Hints on Revision and Revision Strategies for more information.
- One-hour revision sessions with a short break in between provide the optimum amount of time to concentrate fully.
- Plan to revise a few topics properly at a time for each subject and then revisit before the exam.
- Background noise from the TV or radio can affect attention.
- Scan each topic and then make notes summarising the main points.
- Before starting a session, ensure that you have everything you need available to you.
- Each day after school, relax for a while and then start your revision. Try to relax for at least one hour after you finish.
- Make notes of any areas that you do not fully understand and then get more information from your teacher.
- Do not work in groups, as it is easy to get distracted, although revising with a friend can be beneficial especially if you test each other.
Before the Exam(s)
As a parent or guardian, you can help prepare the night before an exam by making sure that:
- Your son/daughter gets a good night's sleep before the exam.
- They have all the equipment they need:
- A few pens, pencils and rubber; - a watch.
- Some exams may require special equipment:
- - Maths equipment - calculator, compass, protractor, ruler ...
- - Art equipment - paintbrushes, paint, pencils ...
- - Technical drawing - compass, rulers, pencils, protractors ...
- They know the location and start time of the exam(s).
- You wish them well.
- You ask them how the exam(s) were that day and get them to then concentrate on those coming up.