With changes to GCSEs and ex­tra pres­sure at A level, Bella Aud­s­ley, of En­joy Ed­u­ca­tion, says it’s key to get the ba­sics of re­vi­sion right

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WHILE EX­AMS test knowl­edge and un­der­stand­ing, re­vi­sion tests or­gan­i­sa­tion and plan­ning. Sup­port­ing teenage chil­dren through their ex­ams can present its own unique chal­lenges.


Mock ex­am­i­na­tions give pupils an op­por­tu­nity to ex­pe­ri­ence co-or­di­nat­ing a range of ex­ams for dif­fer­ent sub­jects – and in close suc­ces­sion. They of­fer

an ex­cel­lent in­sight into the top­ics and study skills to tar­get in re­vi­sion.

This may be your child’s first ex­pe­ri­ence of sit­ting ex­am­i­na­tions across all sub­jects, and although they might not di­rectly ask for sup­port, they may find it help­ful to talk through their re­vi­sion and exam sched­ule with some­body. Due to the breadth of sub­jects at this level, and the num­ber of ex­ams, we rec­om­mend mak­ing a re­vi­sion plan as early as pos­si­ble to en­sure that stu­dents avoid last-minute in­ten­sive study­ing or miss­ing out a key topic.

Try pri­ori­tis­ing and spec­i­fy­ing par­tic­u­lar top­ics (past tense con­ju­ga­tions) and not just the gen­eral sub­ject (French). This will cut down pro­cras­ti­na­tion time and make re­vi­sion more ef­fi­cient and fo­cused.

The new num­bered grad­ing sys­tem, and up­dates to the cur­ricu­lum in­volv­ing sit­ting ex­ams at the end of the twoyear course, with fewer op­por­tu­ni­ties for course­work, put more em­pha­sis on in-depth un­der­stand­ing as pupils will be tested on two years’ learn­ing. If stu­dents or­gan­ise a cal­en­dar of top­ics to re­vise, work­ing back­wards from the exam dates, they can al­low enough time to cover all the nec­es­sary con­tent.


A lev­els al­low stu­dents to spe­cialise in favourite sub­jects. The ex­ams re­quire thor­ough un­der­stand­ing, anal­y­sis and of­ten a more per­sonal re­sponse than at GCSE level. It may, there­fore, be ap­pro­pri­ate to in­cor­po­rate dif­fer­ent meth­ods into re­vi­sion, such as lis­ten­ing to pod­casts, watch­ing de­bates and dis­cussing top­ics with peers.

As sixth for­m­ers take on more re­spon­si­bil­ity for their learn­ing, they may find it help­ful to re­vise at school or in a li­brary, free from the distractions of tech­nol­ogy. Nev­er­the­less, due to the pres­sure of these fi­nal school ex­ams, and their im­pact on fur­ther study, stu­dents may find it help­ful to have an adult around when they are work­ing. Par­ents can pro­vide sup­port by en­cour­ag­ing their chil­dren to take breaks and ex­er­cise; an evening trip to the cinema can help to dis­con­nect from study­ing.

Although ev­ery­one is dif­fer­ent, and some teenagers may pre­fer start­ing work early to free up the af­ter­noon. They should try spend­ing around five hours a day on re­vi­sion, with reg­u­lar breaks, to di­vide learn­ing into man­age­able blocks. En­cour­ag­ing your child to get suf­fi­cient sleep and eat healthy meals is a good way to sup­port them – and if in doubt, it also helps to have a rain­bow se­lec­tion of sta­tionery items on standby...

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