Headmistress, Church High School, Jesmond
Start your revision in plenty of time. The earlier you start, the more confident you will feel. This is perhaps the most important action to take.
Ensure you have a dedicated and well-organised working space where you can sit and work comfortably with the materials you need at hand.
Work in short sessions (35 – 45 minutes) then have a short break. Build small treats into your revision programme.
Recap your revision before moving on to new topics and then return regularly to your summaries to remind yourself of previous learning.
If you are revising for GCSE or A Level examinations, complete past papers against the clock. Your teacher will be happy to give you feedback to help you improve further.
Director of Teacher and Learning, Central Newcastle High School
Get organised. Keep a file for each subject with all the information you need and include a clear list of what is on each examination paper, past paper and mark scheme. Cross reference your file against the examination specification; know what you need to learn, how you will be examined, what the examiner is looking for and make sure that you have everything.
Be honest with yourself. When you are learning new information or practising examination technique, your environment is very important. You will need a table and chair, fresh air, water, no background music or noise and no electronic equipment.
Make best use of your brain. If you are dehydrated your brain only works at 70% capacity so drink plenty of water and remember that caffeine has a detrimental effect on your concentration. Eating Low Gi food will help you concentrate by slowly releasing energy (rather than sugary foods and drinks that will give you a lift followed by a low). Exercise is essential to improve concentration and reduce stress!
Make your memory work for you. The brain remembers 10% of what you read, 20% of what you hear, 80% of what you experience for yourself. Use Active Learning: Mind Maps; tables; charts; diagrams; internet revision sites; short memory tests; concept maps and mnemonics to help. Memory likes structure so also use lists, numbers, colours and structure to help you.
Review your progress. Set out a revision timetable so you can be confident that you will cover all areas you need to before the examination date. Tick off the areas you have covered so that you can feel a sense of achievement. Build in some time to review what you have learnt and what areas you may want to revisit.
Mrs Debra Thompson,
Deputy Head Teacher at Westfield School
Make sure you don’t just revise the subjects and topics you like. Work on your weaker ones as well.
Make your own revision notes because you will remember what you have written down more easily. Stick key notes to cupboards or doors so you see them everyday.
Use different techniques. Make your own learning maps, use post-it notes to write key words on, create flash cards. Record your notes and listen to them. Ask family and friends to test you. Use highlighter pens to mark important points. Chant or even make up a rap song!
You will need help at some stage. Ask parents, brothers and sisters, teachers and friends. Use websites specifically designed for revision and clarify any points with your teacher if you are away on study leave.
Believe in yourself and be positive. If you think you can succeed you will. If you convince yourself that you will fail, that’s what will probably happen.