Our mantra for revision is to recap and practise.
- Get them to self-test, a lot. Research shows that testing in order to recall content is the best way of getting us to think hard. Thinking about and getting the answer is much better than re-reading notes. The more we recall information the better it sticks in our long term memory. This should be in the form of quizzing themselves where possible.
- Encourage them to redo any past exam questions; however they must be sure of what the correct answers are, so get the mark scheme and help them with this. Past papers can be found on any exam boards’ websites.
- Get your child to tell you what they have learnt or are revising. Then quiz them at random times. At breakfast, at the dinner table or even in the car. Ask them questions that relate to their studies and get them to think hard about the answer. Their books should be beautiful and hence a good source of quizzing information for you.
Get them to explain their answer. Adding reason to an answer helps to remember.
Only accept the right answer – no half marks.
- Read around the subject. Even if the content is not in the exam, understanding the subject area better helps to build links which may be valuable for those higher grade questions. Recommended documentaries, websites, exam board resources and places of interest to visit can also be beneficial.
- Distribute their practice of different subjects or different areas of a subject. By spacing out practice this aids memory. Cramming will help for a short period and may be useful the night before an exam but this is not the most effective for long-term memory. A time table can help with this.
- Learn keywords and definitions by heart. Learning the correct definitions in some subjects will help gain a few extra marks, so long as they use them correctly. Produce memory cards with the key word and the definition on to test them regularly.
- Mnemonics, such as “Richard of York gave battle in vain” to remember the colours of the rainbow. These can be a good way to helping to store larger chunks of information. Write these on posters and stick them up around their room or the house.
- Rereading and highlighting key points is not the best way to revise. However if they are unsure on a subject this may help to learn a topic. Always get them to check with a teacher that they have understood properly what they have read.