Advice for students preparing for exams

23rd March 22

Public exams are just around the corner. For the first time since 2019, students will be faced with the prospect of sitting their GCSE and A Levels and for many this will be overwhelming.

In so very many ways, the last two years have been far from normal. We first went into lockdown 2 years ago-when the Y13s were in Y11 and the Y11s were in Y9; a very disrupted schooling has ensued. Online lessons, remote teaching, bubbles, tiers, masks, hand-sanitiser-the list is almost endless.

Our students are now having to prepare for exams as though none of this has had an impact. Sure the exam boards have sent out “Advance Information” about areas of focus but some have not found this to be particularly useful; unfortunately with reason.

We like to talk to our students about the 5Ps for exams and they are:

  • Plan
  • Prepare
  • Process
  • Persevere
  • Practise

It is important to remember, when preparing for the forthcoming period, that it is quality of work, rather than quantity of work, that ultimately will have the biggest impact:

Plan: for intensive revision periods, with active note taking, self-testing, recall, analytical, discursive writing and also plan in breaks. You need time to reflect rest and relax. Go out for a walk, a run, a cycle ride…Plan in sleep, food and social time too

Prepare: your work space and routine. Silence works best for revision despite what you may think. Are you an early-bird or a night owl? Do not work at 6am if you know you work best in the evenings but don’t work late if you are going to be up at 6am. Do what works best for you

Process: your revision. Do not just sit and read your book or your notes. Make notes, draw diagrams, mind maps, flashcards; be active.

Practise: exam questions. No point learning lots if you do not know how to answer that 20 mark question at the end of the paper.

Persevere: don’t give up. It is hard. It is meant to be hard. You will be fine. Don’t give up

Chris Randell, Principal