With exams looming in the summer, teachers, parents and students alike are beginning to think about revision and have an idea of what they want to have achieved once the results are published. In the run up to exams revision becomes a key element in the lives of students and parents alike. It is needed for students to prepare and become confident in their abilities in sitting an exam, but with so many methods and approaches advertised to them with regard to revision, it is sometimes hard to know exactly what they need to do, and what will be most effective in helping them.


Huge emphasis and importance is placed on having a plan that helps to organise the revision of subjects and topics in the time frame available before the exam. Almost all experts say that this is crucial for success, because it gives students more motivation to work once they have a plan written down on paper. It gives them a much needed focus, and the relentless work load of revision appears more manageable when broken down by a plan that is achievable – if they work to what they have organised.


The stress of these exams can in some cases affect the parents more than the students themselves. To any parents reading this, a key thing to remember is that encouraging your child to work to the revision plan they have already made and implemented themselves will be far more effective than simply demanding that they ‘work harder’. An interesting theory by some experts is that revision will be far more effective if it is “target based” rather than done on a time scheme. This suggests that parents demanding their children do say an hour of revision a night won’t be nearly as effective as saying they can leave the work alone once they’ve completed a certain goal. With “target based” revision students will be more inclined to actually learn rather than waste time daydreaming during revision that is being timed.


Students will undoubtedly be given help in formulating their revision timetables at school from their teachers and tutors. Though some essential points to remember are to create a clear structure and to prioritise topics of importance. Exams are usually placed very closely together so it’s important to plan accordingly and to revise in different ways to get the most out of learning. General knowledge is something students generally prioritise when revising but it is equally and sometimes even more important to revise exam techniques and essay questions. This means students are well prepared to answer exam questions when it comes to sitting the exam and won’t be tempted to just write down everything they know with no coherent structure.


Parents need to be a support for their children but not hinder them in their studies. Only the students themselves can prepare for the exams and interfering parents will do more harm than good, resulting in demotivation and therefore lower grades than if students are left alone to get on with a plan and revise in the way they themselves feel most comfortable.

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