Make an early start. When is a good time to start? The beginning of year 11 will help prepare you for mock exams typically held around Xmas.
Use all available time. ‘Little and often’ is a brilliant adage to apply. Make time. Snatch time. Don’t expect to study for hours either but build up from shorter periods of intense revision.
Leave revision when you’re feeling good; you’ll come back to it feeling good.
Link effort and attainment. You get what you work for. This is just as difficult for those who find exams easy as for those who don’t like to try too hard and hope for inspiration. Those students who don’t seem to try hard often come a cropper on exam day.
Practise exam questions. Get used to timings. Get used to navigating the paper. Get familiar with the instructions.
Use many and varied revision techniques. For example, speak aloud, make notes, come up with acronyms or mnemonics, do drawings, use colour, create mind maps, find study apps like Evernote or pearltrees
Learn some material off by heart. Can’t revise for English? Right? Wrong! Learn definitions of things like figures of speech in poetry; learn those persuasive techniques; learn some fantastic vocabulary, learn spellings. In maths, make sure your basic tables and number bonds are so quick so you don’t waste time working out simple computations. Build confidence.
Ask for extra homework. Get a tutor. Read as much quality material as you can and not just about the subjects studied. Keep a written diary. Get your brain in gear for thinking.
Discuss your revision with parents, friends, and school teachers and tutors. Talk tactics, subject areas, success and motivation.
Identify likely topics. Professional teachers and tutors can make close guesses as to what might appear based on knowledge of what has been appearing in recent years. Some of them probably even mark exam papers in the summer!
Monitor your progress. Know what the specification demands. Keep a check on what you have covered and how well you have done. Motivate your friends to work hard and in helping them, you may get some help back.
Don’t stress! Stay fit. Remember exams are just a stepping stone to the next level, not the end of the world. Keep everything in perspective. My high school English teacher, Jack Hodges, said: ‘Exams are inhuman.’ However, we have all been through them and there is plenty of help available when you need it.