Although most students will have undertaken tests and exams before, having tools that equip them to make the most of their previous learning, and then translate this to success in exams, can be a challenging skill to develop.
At John Spence, the pastoral and subject teams work together to support students with their revision skills: supported self-study and guidance on study skills are key features of this package.
What is revision? – Revision is the consolidation and retention of knowledge with the aim of independently demonstrating understanding and skill in exam conditions.
Why revise? – Effective revision can increase student confidence; improve their ability to successfully tackle any task or question and improve the chances of students achieving to their potential.
What the statistics show:
- 66% of new knowledge is forgotten after 7 days;
- 88% of new knowledge is forgotten after 6 weeks;
- Students only remember 10% of what they read from notes/textbooks;
- A variety of strategies is required to support revision.
How to revise
- Make a revision plan;
- Make sure class notes are in order and up to date;
- Find out the dates of each exam and put them on the calendar;
- Draw up a homework/revision timetable that spreads out learning and stick to it;
- Try different revision techniques;
- Minimise distractions (avoid mobile phones, social media and TV).
Different revision techniques:
- Read through written notes, highlight or rewrite key words and phrases;
- Reduce each topic to a set of numbered points on a small card;
- Attempt to answer questions on past exam papers;
- Devise quizzes and tests;
- Draw images that act as a prompt for recall;
- Make mind maps or posters for topics using words, colours, symbols, images, lines & arrows;
- Play word games, devise mnemonics, and create stories that form associations.
Where to revise – Although most students will choose to revise at home, opportunities for students to remain in school at lunchtimes and after school to pursue homework and extended study are always available. Student homework and revision tasks are often accessible through the Show My Homework app.
Wherever possible, we publish test dates in advance and strive to provide a four week window in the lead up to whole school internal exams. At these times, students will be prompted to revise at home; however, it is important to note that the homework provided throughout the year often supports the on-going reflection and review that constitutes quality revision. Those students who accept their homework obligations as a natural extension of work done in class often achieve the highest marks in tests.