There are 2 halves to my job as a teacher, to teach and to help a child to remember what I teach. I can go through a whole GCSE English poetry anthology with a student, but if the child does not have the skills to remember it, then it’s teaching time I have wasted.
When faced with upcoming tests and exams, students can get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of work. This task of revising is like asking a student to tidy up a rubbish dump, they don’t know where to start, how to sort it and what to do with after it’s sorted.
So I break down revision into three parts.
Find out what you need to know.
Most school teachers give out “I can” sheets at the beginning of every new topic. These are just a list of statements which summarise what the student should be able to do by the end of the topic. Edexcel 1MA0 Linear Exam Topic List – Foundation.
Then take each statement and make sure you have notes and explanations on it. If you don’t, then you need to make your own notes either using school textbooks or revision websites recommended by your teacher. You can also make your own flashcards on websites like QUIZLET.
Do Some Past Paper Questions
Now that you understand the statement, you need to test your understanding. So collect exam questions or practice questions on the topic WITH ANSWERS. How will you know if you are doing it right if you can’t check the answers. Good sources of questions are end of chapter questions in textbooks and worksheets you might have in your books.
This three-step method works for any topic and for any age group. Try it!
Some good websites for making notes:
BBC BITESIZE – syllabus specific notes on most topics covered in school. It’s a big site and can be difficult to navigate. If you have a specific question, for example “how does osmosis work” then search “osmosis bitesize” in google and it will take you to the best page.
MATHSWATCH – educational videos explaining how to do maths.
WOODLANDS JUNIOR SCHOOL – better for years 1-6, but also useful for older children to recap. The writing is simple and easy to understand.
ENGLISH BIZ – great revision site for GCSE english. I love the way each section has examples of student’s work and professional examples. A good place to start for cntrolled assessments.
MR BRUFF’s YOUTUBE CHANNEL – if you want a different way to revise, try watching youtube videos. Mr Bruff’s videos give excellent tips on how to answer exam questions in GCSE english. He uses real exam questions and goes through the paper one question at a time.
Good websites for exam questions:
KESH MATHS – a great website for exam questions broken down by grade.
MYMATHS – only works if your school has given you a password.
MATHSWATCH – this used to be available on a CD but now most schools have online access. You watch a video where a teacher explains how to do a maths question, then you try a question yourself. If you didn’t understand what you did in class today, watch a video on Mathswatch.
EXAM SYLLABUS WEBSITES – make sure you know which examining board you are studying and then navigate to the syllabus you are following. Download past papers and mark schemes. the common examing boards are OCR, EDEXCEL and AQA.