How would you describe exam season in one word? Ask most students this, and you’re likely to hear Stress! Anxiety! Grief!
Thankfully, revision doesn’t have to be the dreaded thing it’s often pegged as. In Help Your Kids With Study Skills, bestselling author and educator Carol Vorderman identifies common revision problems and tackles them at the root, laying out clear, simple, step-by-step methods to take the pain out of exam prep.
Below are four common revision issues, and simple solutions. For more study planning help, download the PDF for a SMART model chart and short- and long-term goal planner.
1. Dizzying distractions
Any history revision session will find it hard to compete with snaps, apps and games! Best to take these out of the equation. Have your student try the following strategies to keep focused and clear.
2. Lack of motivation
It’s a fact of life: sometimes we just don’t want to study. When a student doesn’t feel motivated, procrastination is much more likely. Try some of the following tips to help your student get started on the tasks at hand.
3. Memorization over understanding
Exams aim to test knowledge and understanding. Memorizing large chunks without understanding their meaning is like putting pieces of a puzzle together randomly, without thinking about the bigger picture.
Studies show that information that has been specifically memorized for a test is often forgotten shortly after the test. However, information whose meaning has been properly understood is internalized and stored in the long-term memory, where it can be accessed again later.
To facilitate link-making between pieces of information, have students write notes in their own words, connect the new information to what was previously taught, and ask questions in class if something is not clear.
4. Time management
When a student has many different exams to revise for, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. Creating a revision time table helps to manage time and avoid overworking. Starting early with a weekly plan makes it easier to keep on top of things and clearly shows what needs to be revised when.
Always remember that shorter revision sessions with regular breaks have been shown to be more effective than one longer study period. Younger learners should start with a study sessions of 30 minutes, followed by a 10-minute break, while teenagers can easily maintain their concentration for 45-60 minutes, followed by a 15 minute break.
For more resources like this, try Help Your Kids With Study Skills. This colourfully illustrated book helps guide you and your child through revision techniques, online study, and handling anxiety, all the way to the big exam questions.