10 top tips for revision success this exam season

With the exam season fast approaching, teenagers are bracing themselves for revision. Here, Emma Lee-Potter, a senior editor of The Good Schools Guide, shares their 10 top tips for success…

1 Encourage your child to make a realistic revision timetable – and then stick to it.

2 Help them to find the method of learning and retaining information that works best for them. It could be reading and making notes, using flash cards or Post-it notes, looking at video clips, playing back recordings of their own voice, mind mapping or perhaps a mix of these.

3 Check the exam specifications carefully. All exam boards publish these, along with practice papers and mark schemes too.

4 Search out revision apps and online resources – such as BBC Bitesize, the Free E School site on YouTube and the Khan Academy – to clarify areas your child feels less confident about. Some students concentrate on their best subjects and leave their weaker ones till the end but it is a good idea to tackle weak areas early on.

5 Get your child to study where you can see them, or easily check on them, rather than in their bedroom. They are far more likely to stay off Facebook and concentrate if they are in view of the rest of the household.

6 Stock up with treats such as chocolate biscuits, as well as healthy snacks including bananas and dried fruit, to help keep them going.

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7 Encourage them to take regular breaks. It is a good idea to break revision into manageable chunks and do 30 minutes of successful revision – rather than plough on for hours on end and not get anywhere. This is backed up by research by academics at the University of Sheffield who have found that learning is much more effective when spread out over stretches of time.

8 Exercise, fresh air, healthy meals and lots of sleep are all crucial to revision success, and are also vital during the exam period itself.

9 It can be helpful to let your child have friends round so they can discuss exam topics and test each other, but keep an eye on things!

10 Above all, encourage children to keep exams in perspective. Remind them that the better they prepare, the less stressed they will feel when the exams actually start – but also that by the end of June the exam season will be over and they’ll have the summer holidays to look forward to.

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