What Do You Know?

By January 3, 2017Features-Manchester
education lead

We are now in the run-up to exam season, JLife brings you the essential guide to help you prepare. Ready? Let’s go…

We have entered 2017, which means one thing for GCSE and A-level pupils across the region: time is ticking down to the first of the exams. If you are currently one of those pupils, you will be getting daily reminders from teachers, parents and school friends about things to remember and important ways to pick up marks. It can all be a little overwhelming, but fear not! There is a way to manage your time, and JLife has broken down the next few months into chunks so you can go into the exam hall feeling calm and ready to show them what you know.

January to February
You will have taken your mocks and have the results by now. No matter how you did, use this time to check your knowledge.
If you did well, congratulations! You are one step closer to transferring your knowledge in the real things. Use this month to check through the papers and make sure you can see where you may have gained more marks.
If you did not get the grades you wanted, do not be disheartened. It might be useful to make a list of questions that you have for your teacher. They are there to help and will cover anything you are unsure of. Also, go through your notes and see if there are any areas you need to go over.

Top tip for GCSE pupils:
You will be revising for up to 10 subjects at once – sometimes more – and there is a lot to take in. Instead of just focusing on the subjects you are finding tricky, balance out your revision time by taking one subject you want to improve upon with one that you have an aptitude for. This is a quick way to give yourself a confidence boost and remind you that you can do it.

Top tip for A-level pupils:
Now that the mocks are out of the way, make sure you have a copy of the syllabus for each of your subjects. Look through your notes and match up the list of topics being covered with what you have written down and what you already know. If there are any gaps or any areas you are unsure of, this is your chance to go to your teacher and ask classmates what you need.

March to April
During March your teachers will be offering you some quick ways to remember formulas and giving you more feedback than ever before. You have a lot of subjects to juggle, so treat yourself to some stationery, such as highlighters and stickers, to make key information stand out.

April is spring break and this is traditionally when you would be out and about. It can be hard to turn down invitations to the cinema or to the park – so don’t! It is so important to take a break, especially when your head is swimming with information. Plan your revision during the holiday but make sure you keep aside a day or two where you see friends and do something that has nothing to do with school.

Top tip for GCSE pupils:
By this stage, you will have an awful lot of information to take in; sometimes for subjects you know you do not want to study at A-level. For these, it is important to stay motivated and positive. If you struggle to understand that Shakespearean quote that you have been told to remember or you have no idea why you need to remember that speed equals distance over time, try to make revising fun. Invent a silly song to try to keep it in your head and repeat it on the bus to school or stick the notes to your wall and read them while you brush your teeth.

Top tip for A-level pupils:

This is the time to make the most of your teachers. Ask them as many questions as you need to and do not be embarrassed to approach them after a lesson. Not only will this prepare you for your A-levels, it will get you used to the conversations you will be having with tutors at university when you have passed your exams.

The exams start here! At this stage, you will have everything in your head already, and this is the time to refresh your memory. For each subject, write out key points that you know and go over the bits you are hazy on.

The night before each exam, make sure you get a good night’s sleep. You know what you are doing and you will be great!

Top tip for GCSE and A-level pupils:
Try to resist comparing how you answered questions with your friends after each exam as this can only cause unnecessary worry that you might have given a different response. You can do it!