7 tips for exam preparation

7 tips for exam preparation Now the excitement of Christmas is over, thousands of school children will be turning their attention to mock exams. So we thought we’d share with you our 7 tips for exam preparation It’s only natural to feel anxious about exams, especially if it’s your GCSEs which are the first important assessments many youngsters will sit. Thankfully, however, you can minimise stress levels by preparing early and taking time to draft a revision plan. You can also improve your physical stamina by making sure you get plenty of rest and early nights in the run up to your exams and by eating healthily. The following tips are recommended for school-aged children and further education students preparing to sit final assessments: 1. Start your revision early. Many experts believe exam revision should begin at least five or six weeks prior to the event – not the night before. The three stages of revision should be understanding the topic you are studying, committing what you have learnt to memory and practicing planning and writing answers to questions. These three phases cannot be completed in a week so it’s better to build up to stage three over a number of weeks. 2. Devise a revision timetable. This is the golden rule of exam revision and is especially important if you are sitting more than one exam. Even if you have one exam, a timetable will ensure you are able to cover every subject adequately. It also helps you to set aside important relaxation time which also helps performance. 3. Summarise. The human brain cannot retain everything it reads and most experts agree that the best way to memorise information from textbooks is to write it down. Once you have read through class notes and text books, make a brief summary and highlight any areas where there are gaps in your knowledge. This will allow you to go back and re-read the necessary information. 7 tips for exam preparation Kip McGrath Education Centre Basildon4. Make flashcards. There’s a good reason why toddlers, pre-school and reception-aged children are provided with flashcards to help them learn the alphabet and numbers – it’s the most successful technique for retaining information! Using the same principles, use flashcards to outline key information that you will need for exam. These can be carried with you on the move to make spare time more productive. 5. Get professional help. If you find you’re struggling to understand a topic due to incomplete notes or lack of insight, seek professional help rather than bury your head. By starting early, you should have enough time to ask your teacher for help when tricky subjects arise or to seek the services of a professional tutor. 6. Complete past examination papers. It is extremely helpful to get used to the language used in examination papers and to get experience answering questions within a specified timeframe. Not only will this experience help you practice your exam technique, you’ll also be revising at the same time. 7. Informal discussion and idea-sharing. One of the most relaxing ways to revise is to gather together a few students on your course to take part in an informal discussion about the topic and improvise answers to possible exam questions. This can take place in a relaxing environment such as a coffee shop and might help ease your stress and anxiety. Few students look forward to exams but hopefully these tips will help you prepare early – and this can alleviate some of the fear. There are many online resources available to help you revise and your teacher will also be able to provide additional support such as past exam papers. Thank you to Reggie @ Kip McGrath Basildon

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