Ruth Houston

Top tips for exam preparation

Here at Texthelp we understand that the run up to exams can be a very stressful time for both teachers and pupils and their families. That's why we've worked with some teachers to bring you their top tips for preparing for exams. We hope you find them useful!


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Plan ahead and be organised

To make sure you’re going to complete the syllabus, it’s best to have organised a schedule well in advance. Events both in and out of school might have an impact on how many lessons you have left, so factor these into your plan.  Four weeks can suddenly become only four hours, so planning ahead will help avoid that last minute rush.

Teach key exam skills

Spending time with your pupils on how to interpret key words such as “discuss” or “compare” will help them to understand how to address these types of questions and will enable them to demonstrate their knowledge of the topic more effectively. Teaching students how to allocate and manage their time in the exam is also important; for example, planning for long answers and tackling questions that they are more readily able to answer first. And, above all, to read each question very carefully.

Promote student responsibility

Make sure every student and their families or carers know and understand their exam timetable.  Think about displaying timetables in a visual format around the school, emailing digital copies to students and engaging with parents to make sure they know the timetable too.

Encourage use of technology

The internet opens up a whole world of content for revision, and for students today, technology can provide a more engaging platform. Ask your pupils to produce a mind map or make MP3 files covering the topics they have studied.  All these will help to consolidate their knowledge.

Plan for access arrangements early

If your students will be using assistive technology as part of their access arrangements, make sure that students and staff have had ample opportunity to practice before the exam.  Co-ordinate with IT and SEN staff in advance, and with invigilators on the day.

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