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Ten Top Tips. Preparing for GCSEs. Top Tip 1. Climate for Learning Removing the Barriers. Learning environment Habitual or learned behaviour. www.ucc.vt.educ/studysk/studydis.html. The perfect learning environment. Quiet, comfortable, warm room. Well ventilated. No clutter.

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ten top tips

Ten Top Tips

Preparing for GCSEs


top tip 1

Top Tip 1

Climate for Learning

Removing the Barriers


learning environment habitual or learned behaviour
Learning environmentHabitual or learned behaviour


the perfect learning environment
The perfect learning environment

Quiet, comfortable, warm room

Well ventilated

No clutter

Comfortable chair

Well lit

Spacious desk

No interruptions

Books and files to hand

No distractions - TV, music, e mail, phone

other factors
Other factors
  • Regular routine
  • Agreed timescale
  • Physical exercise / relaxation / social life
  • Normal pattern of sleep
  • Avoid caffeine / chilli – not withdrawal
  • Healthy eating / water
  • Employment Law (from www.qca.org.uk)

i) Not before 7am or after 7pm

ii) Recommended no more than 8 hours in any shift

iii) Not more than 8 hours per week

iv) Can have a detrimental effect to exams

Top Tip 2

Organisation and Timetable

  • Revision Timetable – Invest time in making a revision timetable or wall chart which specifies which revision per evening/day
  • Know what they need to revise – for each subject you need a list of topics
  • Ensure that other commitments are highlighted & worked around
  • Plan breaks & social time
  • Ensure that the exams/time & place are shown
  • Display a copy in your kitchen or communal area as well as the place where your son/daughter studies
  • Use ticks to indicate jobs done
  • Work space & equipment
  • Remove distractions
  • The right equipment
  • Box with pens/paper/hole punch/ highlighters/ equipment
  • File for revision notes/dividers
  • Box of plain postcards
  • Revision Guides
top tip 3
Top Tip 3


Internet and Websites

why use the internet to revise
Why use the internet to revise?
  • Updated
  • Interesting/eye-catching/motivating
  • Visual/auditory learners
  • Break up traditional methods
  • Personalised revision plans
  • Links to exam specifications
what types of resources are effective
What types of resources are effective?
  • Past papers
  • Revision Topics
  • Summary checklists
  • Tests/ Question and answers
  • Revision tips/ideas
practical revision
Practical revision
  • Plan short blocks of revision and review
  • Check what needs to be revised
  • Bookmark favourite websites
  • Write out notes/mind maps
  • www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/
  • www.samlearning.com BS27KO
  • Supplement not replace!
top tip 4

Top Tip 4

SAM Learning

Past Papers


sam learning
SAM Learning?
  • SAM – Self Assessment Method
  • 750,000 students will use SAM Learning this year
  • Second most “hit site” UK web site during last May
  • Used by more than half of all English state secondary schools
sam learning at kings
SAM Learning at Kings
  • After 1 month, students have already put in 700 hours of revision and exam practice.
  • Revision exercises for reinforcing basics
  • Exam practice with answers.
  • Link from www.kowessex.co.uk
  • CentreID : BS27KO
  • Userid: DDMMYYAB
  • Password: DDMMYYAB
exam boards
Exam Boards
  • www.aqa.org.uk
  • www.ocr.org.uk
  • www.edexcel.org.uk
top tip 5

Top Tip 5

Revision Guides


top tip 6

Top Tip 6


Mind Mapping


left brain

Left Brain

The left side of the brain controls:

  • Verbal ability
  • Attention to detail
  • Reasoning

Left brained people are good at:

  • Communication
  • Persuading others
  • Maths
  • Logic
  • Your left brain prefers reading, quiet and dogs


right brain

Right Brain

The right side of the brain controls:

  • Creativity
  • Flexibility

Right brained people are :

  • Daring
  • Intuitive
  • Creative with writing and art
  • Your right brain prefers day-dreaming, philosophy and sports.


top tip 7

Top Tip 7


Note Taking


top tip 8

Top Tip 8

Study Buddying


study buddying
Study Buddying

Working with your child

  • Explanation, question and answer
  • Be the student
  • Testing

Revising with friends

  • Ensure the focus is on studying
  • Keep promises to one another
  • Arrange to have breaks together at particular times
  • Act as tutors for each other
  • Ensure the arrangement is equal and beneficial
  • Regular rewards for working well are worthwhile
top tip 9

Top Tip 9

The Day of the Exam


the day of the exam

The Day of the Exam


before the exam
Before the exam
  • Know the exam timetable: KingsNET
  • KingsWEB >> Exam Info & Timetable

>> Combined Summer Schedule 2007

ensure that your son daughter
Ensure that your son/daughter:
  • Knows where to be each day
  • Knows the start time for each exam
  • Gets there early: allows contingency time!
  • Allows time for brain to wake up-shower!
  • Eats breakfast or takes energy rich food
  • Attends the Exam Briefing
be practical
Be practical!
  • Encourage a normal routine for exams
  • Going to bed and getting up at sensible times
be practical35
Be practical!
  • Check your child has all the correct equipment - including spares
  • Plus any notes or books allowed in the exam in the correct format
  • Remind them to use the toilet beforehand!
  • Bring water to exam and sip throughout
calming influence
Calming influence
  • Keep anxieties at bay. Be reassuring.
  • “You’ve done the best you can!”
  • Remind them of strategies to keep calm
  • “It’ll all be over by three!” “It’ll be fine”
  • Shelve issues that are not of immediate importance!
  • Don’t insist on lengthy post mortems
just before the exam
Just before the exam
  • Last minute revision?
  • Do what’s right for you
  • A moment to yourself
during the exam
During the exam
  • Nervousness is normal – extra adrenaline!
  • Deep breaths: “I can handle this!”
  • Read the instructions AND then through the WHOLE PAPERbefore picking up pen
  • Write down key formulae, facts, quotes
during the exam39
During the exam
  • Mark the questions you will answer
  • Stick to the time-scale for each question
  • Answer the questions you are most confident about first
  • Allow a few minutes “checking time” at the end
top tip 10

Top Tip 10

What the research says?


research shows that you remember the most when
Research shows that you remember the most when:
  • You revise in short sessions with short breaks in between
  • You revisit your revision a number of times over a period of time
  • You practice the tasks that you will be required to do in your exam