by Daniel Bell
My regular readers know that I’m a teacher with a difference! I love to fuse the traditional techniques with a modern twist. I’m passionate about using technology in the classroom, and using it to unlock children’s’ potential.
Things are no different when it comes to exam period. It’s the most stressful time of year for the kids, and I’m always looking for ways to make it easier. Over the years, I’ve learnt the best ways to excel during the revision period. The following are some of my favorite tricks for top marks.
Start early – Some students might swear by ‘cramming’, but trust me, all-night sessions never work. The earlier you start revising the better. It gives your brain chance to digest all the complex topics. Remember, repetition is the key to learning. Give yourself the time to go over your notes multiple times, and drill the key points home. Best of all, starting early relieves some of the pressure and stress that builds up, and hinders good revision.
Make a timetable – I know that revising is way down on the list for my students! They’d rather watch TV, play with friends or literally do anything else other than revise. It’s so easy to procrastinate or put it off, which is why my students who make a timetable always perform better. Again, start early, and set yourself a realistic timetable that covers all the necessary topics. Stretch things out over the weeks ahead, and mix difficult topics with the ones you love.
Take lots of short breaks – Studies show that the brain works best when you give it lots of regular breaks. No problem! However, don’t make those breaks too long or you’ll get distracted. A quick five minutes every hour is a great way to break up your studying. After three hours, take a longer break, and ideally get out of the house.
Use technology – You were probably wondering when I would bring this one up! I find technology a fantastic revision tool. Nowadays, there are so many brilliant revision apps for iPhone and tablets. Each is tailored to a different age group and learning type. Most children are visual learners, and apps use that to their advantage.
Revise with friends – Revising is often a fairly lonely experience. It’s easy to find yourself going stir-crazy in the house after a long revision period. That’s why I always tell my students to buddy up. Learning with a friend makes things a little more fun. It’s also easier to learn difficult topics. You can bounce ideas off each other, and explaining it out loud helps build your understanding. Try teaching the subject to each other.
Go for a walk before the exam – One final note to help improve your test scores. Take a short walk before the exam to clear your head. Try to avoid a long wait outside the exam hall; it will only build nerves and paranoia. Don’t cram any last minute notes, just relax.
I hope you find some useful information here, and let me know any tricks of your own. Best of luck!