EXAMS – Parents evening on GCSE revision

A workshop and presentation for
parents/carers of Year 11 students
The conversation………
• Why should you revise?
• Where should you revise?
• When should you revise?
• How should you revise?
• How often should you revise?
What the students say:
• Keep your nose out ‘coz it’s so annoying
• Stop nagging
• Leave us alone – if s/he left me alone I might
actually do some revision
• Keep the house quiet and siblings under
• Don’t force us to make a revision timetable
• Money/biscuits to revise please!
The count down to GCSEs
• How many weeks to go?
• Study leave?
• Study rooms on exam days
• Examination calendar
• Examination board
What the school is doing...
• The PSHE+ programme / Learning
Performance Workshop have already covered
revision techniques and styles
• All subjects will carry out revision sessions
once the syllabus and coursework has been
• Work is done on past papers and exam
technique in subjects
What the school is doing...
• Subject teachers will make crystal clear,
to students, what is exactly required in
each subject
• Gaining Grade A booklet
• During study leave, teachers are often
available to give advice. If a student has
a problem during study leave, they
should contact a teacher at school to
arrange a good time to come in
Learning Performance
How to Revise:
• Highlighter pens for Key Words
• Spider-diagrams and flow charts
• Mnemonics
• Suitable educational internet sites with
animated diagrams e.g.
Put your child in charge!
• Give them choices
• Allow them to work out strategies which
best suit their preferred learning style
• Talk through their plans with them to
allow them to reflect on and modify
• Suggest and monitor group revision
They don’t do it the way we did!
Where? How?
Silence? i-pod?
Sitting at a desk?
Computer access?
Use of internet?
On their own?
Current Workload
• 2 – 2.5 hours per night at the moment.
• 5 hours over the weekend
• Increasing work at weekends as exams
Statement: “I don’t have any homework”
Answer “Coursework/controlled assessment and
The most effective revision time
• The concentration span in minutes of a person
is their age, plus or minus one. This means
that the concentration span of a 16 year old is
15 to 17 minutes – bitesize chunks
• Take a break, “All work and no play…”
• Begin revising as early as possible, the more
they do the easier it becomes. Optimum is 68 weeks
How should they revise?
If you just sit down to revise,
without a definite finishing time,
then your learning efficiency
falls lower and lower,
like this:
How can they improve this?
If they decide at the beginning
how long they will work for, with a clock,
then as the brain knows the end is coming,
the graph rises towards the end
How can you improve this even more?
If you break up a 2-hour session,
into shorter sessions, for example 17minutes,
with a short planned break between each session,
learning is more efficient.
Compare the next 2 graphs:
One solid session
4 shorter sessions
The yellow area shows the
The Curve of Forgetting!
How often should they revise?
Look at the graph below:
It shows how much your brain can recall later.
It rises for about 10 minutes …and then falls.
if they quickly re-revise after 10 minutes,
then it falls more slowly! This is good.
Analyse the new graph:
Even better,
if you quickly re-revise again, after 1 day,
then it falls even more slowly! Good !
Analyse the new graph:
And even better still,
if you quickly re-revise again, after 1 week,
then it falls even more slowly! Great!
Analyse the new graph:
When to Revise?
So the best intervals for ‘topping-up’,
by reviewing or briefly re-revising
 10 minutes
 1 day
 1 week
 …and then 1 month
When freshest tackle the subject that
they find hardest.
What you can do to help...
• Plan around your child e.g. family activities
• Cut back on some extra-curricular activities
• If financially possible, suspend part-time jobs
What you can do to help...
• Treats e.g. food, TV at
• Motivation – goals and
• Short term/long term
• Rewards for revision
and not results
Dealing with Stress
Healthy diet – proper meals especially breakfast
Avoid high doses of caffeine
Relaxation exercises
Coping with ‘absolute terror/panic attacks’!
Look forward with optimism
On the exam days
• The night before, make sure they have put everything they
need in their school bag : like extra BLACK pens, pencils,
transparent pencil-case, calculator and maths equipment.
• If they have a mobile phone, remind them that anyone with
any electronic device on or off found during an examination
will be considered to have cheated
• Make sure the alarm is set so they’re not rushing and have
time to eat breakfast.
• Say: “Don’t panic, don’t worry - just do your best.” Tell them
to say it to themselves during an exam.
• Arrive at least 10 mins early
• Illness and late arrival
‘In the exam I just went blank!’
• Revision literally means ‘re-looking’ at
information that’s already been learnt
• How can a student improve their recall so
they can apply what they have learnt?
‘We remember: 10% of what we
hear, 20% of what we read, 50%
of what we do, 75% of what we
discuss and 90% of what we
…………….and finally!
Count the days to the final exam
………………..because this time next year you will
already have sat the January modules and
about to embark on the summer AS
Good study habits now means less effort later!
Any questions?
Thank you for coming
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