However well you’ve taught your subject, and however hard your students have worked, exams can be a daunting prospect. Help them to prepare with these useful revision techniques for students.
1. START EARLY
Doing revision is a bit like planning a pension – the earlier you start, the less you need to put in as the deadline approaches. Help your pupils to think about revision well in advance by holding scheduled revision sessions that give them enough time to cover the whole curriculum without any last-minute cramming. This is a good time and place to offer school revision tips that will help students with different learning styles to get a handle on their subject.
2. Understand the marking scheme
‘Teaching to the test’ is a strategy that’s understandably criticised, but once revision is underway it makes sense to focus more on the areas that will carry the most weight in the exam. Make sure your students understand the varying levels of importance that different topics will have in their assessment, so that they can target their revision accordingly.
3. SWITCH ROLES
Get pupils to play the teacher and explain a key concept to the rest of the class. This will help them to consolidate their learning, answer off-the-cuff questions and think more deeply about the topic. You could go for a ‘Just a Minute’ style approach that asks the speaker to talk without repetition, deviation or hesitation for a minute or more.
4. HOLD A QUIZ
Capture their competitive spirit and organise a quiz containing questions taken from your exam curriculum. This could be a simple multiple-choice question at the end of a lesson, or a team-based class activity. Some students thrive off group learning, so this is the perfect opportunity for that, as well as a chance to make a potentially less thrilling topic that bit more fun! Creating cue cards with a word on one side and a definition of the other can be a great way to get students to test each other or themselves.
5. MIND MAPPING
It can be tricky to get to grips with an entire syllabus in one go. Mind mapping is a useful revision technique, which helps students to relate topics to each other. Mind maps are particularly helpful for visual learners – encourage them to use colour coordinated bright colours to make them visually enticing. Students can then take these home and stick them up around their bedroom or home if they so wish.
6. PAST PAPERS
It’s not the most original of techniques, but it’s one that will get them prepared. Completing past papers in a timed, exam-like environment will help students get used to strict exam conditions, and will give them (and you) a benchmark to highlight which areas need working on. It will also give students practice in addressing the specific question the paper is asking, rather than offering a general overview of the subject.
7. Quiet conditions
Everyone’s learning style is different, but many people need a dedicated, quiet study area in order to get the best from their revision sessions. Not all pupils have a suitable space to study at home, so by offering revision space in your school library or another dedicated revision area, you can help students to prepare for their exams.