To succeed in exams and get a good set of grades, revision and preparation needs to start early. However, this can be easier said than done when full time school and routine homework take up a major chunk of the term time day. This makes the Easter holidays a crucial time to make good headway into revision and exam preparation.
Parents can find the process of encouraging their children to study quite frustrating. Some children do just need guidance in how to manage their time effectively. Many young learners can also benefit from a short break before their revision begins. Going straight from a Friday in the classroom to a Saturday morning revision session isn’t always the best idea. A short break can help refresh their mind before revision begins in earnest.
The revision workspace should be quiet, tidy and free from distractions. Mobile phones and televisions can really impact the effectiveness of revision. If they struggle to work alone, allow them the freedom to meet friends and work together.
A proper revision plan that sets out subjects that need to be covered is vital and offers the best opportunity for a parent to have a positive impact on their child’s studying. Not all young learners are natural project managers so an adult’s influence at this stage in the process can be important.
Topics that need the most work should be prioritised. By knowing what needs to be covered, and for how long, your child will use their time more effectively and achieve more. Mixing up text book revision with past papers offers a good change in pace. Starting with single questions rather than the whole paper is sensible, along with sticking to the time limits set for the questions.
On the subject of time, revision sessions should be no more than 90 minutes and an allowance for treats between sessions is a good idea. Revision should be recognised as a marathon, not a sprint to the finish line.
Make sure that you include regular reviews of your child’s learning with yourself or their peers. This could be a daily rundown over dinner to solidify what has been learnt or ask them to write a flash card of the top ten things they’ve taken from the day.
Eating and drinking well during revision will make all the difference. Staying hydrated is key to keeping mentally alert, and nutritious meals will help boost your energy levels – unfortunately a diet of mini eggs and crème eggs doesn’t quite cut it! Although, as mentioned, don’t dismiss the benefit of rewards between revision sessions.
Finally, don’t forget that time off to meet friends or play sport, allows a child to unwind and stay healthy. With lots of time sat down behind a desk, physical activity offers a welcome break and getting the blood pumping around the body helps deliver more oxygen to the brain, reducing tiredness and increasing productivity.
It’s also important to find out what study methods work for you – be that notes, diagrams, voice memos, or flash cards. Check out our blog next week for more information on study skills and finding the best learning method for you.