Good luck with the exams.
As well as getting a tutor (if this is something you are considering) here are some of the revision techniques I would recommend.
I hope they help:
- Mind maps: These are like spider diagrams. They have a key point in the middle with subcategories leading off it. Use a different colour for each subcategory and don’t overcrowd them.
- Youtube: When my lad was doing his GCSE’s we often used to revise together. We’d find a relevant Youtube clip associated to what he was revising (normally maths). We’d watch the start of the clip up until where the presenter gives you the question he is going to walk you through. Having watched the question, we would pause it before trying to work it out ourselves. Then we’d watch the clip to see if we got it right and if we had gone wrong, the presenter’s method would show us where.
- Revision cards: When Jamie (my lad) did A’ Level English Lit he used this method to learn the quotes he needed. I don’t know if it was his idea or the school’s idea. He broke each quote down into images. An example would be: “Is this a dagger I see before me, The handle toward my hand?” (Macbeth). He would find an image of: a dagger, a pair of eyes, a handle and a hand. He would then stick these to one side of the card to use these as prompts for the actual quote which would be written on the back. The visual imagery and probably taking the time to prepare the cards really helped him memorize these quotes.
- Past papers: These can be downloaded for free. The benefit of going through past papers is that, as a rule of thumb the questions vary very little from year to year. Therefore, the more familiarise yourself with the past papers, the less surprised you are likely to be in the actual exam. Going through the questions will also highlight any areas you need to do additional revision on.
- Games: I am a huge believer in the benefit of games. There is so much research these days showing the benefit of games. Games help you to relax; they help you to feel good because when you enjoy yourself the brain releases “feel good endorphins”. The more relaxed we are the more likely we are to absorb and retain information. My favourite game is pairs. You will create 2 sets of cards. One set of cards will show a term, date, etc. On the other set of cards you will have the corresponding definition. Taking it in turns to turn over 2 cards you need to find a corresponding pair (you can keep a cheat sheet / answer sheet to hand if you choose). The person with the most pairs at the end is the winner.
It’s hard as a parent to offer support without them thinking you are being pushy.
Encourage them to set achievable targets and once they have been achieved offer the necessary praise. If they want to continue, that’s their prerogative, let them make that decision.
It often seems that the children who are under the most stress are the ones whose parents are also voicing their stress! The child is under pressure from themselves and the school; try not to lay more stress at their feet.
Tell them you love them and providing you both know they have done everything they can, you will be proud of them regardless of the outcome.
I hope this doesn’t come across as someone preaching from their high horse. It’s just what I’ve learned from going into people’s houses as a tutor and listening to what the parents have to say which are living through the experience. Also as a parent of 3 children who have now completed the schooling part of their lives.
And remember, soon the exam season will be over and you will all be able to sit back, relax and ….wait to celebrate the results.
Whatever happens, good luck.