A Tale of Two Students

Over the last week, I have asked a number of students how their revision is going and have been pleased that the majority are making use of their Weekly Work Plans to organise their time and prioritise their work.

One pupil who has made excellent progress since the trial exams reported that he has developed a really helpful rhythm and feels pleased with the progress he has made. He can then really enjoy his time off with a feeling of a job well done.

However, another very able student confessed that, although he religiously filled in his plan, he then largely ignored it and often ended up wasting time during study periods. I replied that examiners do not judge candidates on the quality of their plans but their answers.

One method to avoid this common trap is to share your plans with parents and report honestly on progress. It is vital to display your plan in a shared area of your home and to also keep a copy in your file or bag. Setting alerts on your phone might also help!

It is also important to ensure that you plan the use of study periods in school with great care. It is obviously vital to make clear what subject you will be studying and what tasks you will undertake. I also recommend choosing a room in which to work in advance.

Making best use of Exam Practice

Both A-Level and GCSE students have a number of opportunities to practise their exam skills in the coming weeks. It is a good idea to prioritise revision for these subjects as you get to really test your knowledge and abilities and will also benefit from marking feedback.

Using Past Exams

Many students also benefit from taking a second attempt at a paper they have already sat. Before you try this, make sure you have looked at where you failed to gain marks in the first attempt and revise

these areas. You should obviously also make use of any feedback you received from teachers. Having tried the exam the second time around use a mark scheme to judge your efforts or even better mark the paper with a friend.

Use the Mark Scheme

I was very impressed to see some Sixth Form students using mark schemes to add to their revision notes this week. By looking at
what information and skills the examiners are looking for in a C or A grade answer, you can decide what you need to include in your notes, mind maps or model answers.