As we rapidly approach the Easter holiday we can almost hear a collective sigh of relief all over Nottinghamshire. Many GCSE and A-Level students are relishing the thought of a couple of weeks to get off the study treadmill, which will have been on top speed since Christmas, and take things at a much slower pace. They will be longing for lie-ins and lazy mornings to combat the ‘tearing themselves out of bed’ feeling that they experience most mornings. And it is important that they do so.
Providing a timetable is in place, and revision is planned and executed, a period of downtime is absolutely necessary to ensure they achieve in the exams. Catching up on sleep, making time to relax, eating healthily and regular exercise are all the ingredients needed in the recipe for success. Especially as lack of sleep, good nourishment and exercise can contribute to how we handle stress.
Many of the students that we work with ask us for advice on how to revise. Revision itself is not difficult, it’s really all about finding the best way that suits their learning style, and then it’s about making time. One of the most successful ways to get a student to commit to revision is to plan their time with them, giving them control over it. Often the will is there but the organisation is not, also the thought of getting started can overwhelm them.
In anticipation of the Easter holiday we have been supporting students in organising their revision time, to help them to keep the balance between leisure time and study time. Blocking out all the commitments they have first, and those all- important meal times, shows them just how much available time they have in a week. They can then get down to the business of adding in their revision time. Working on this collaboratively means they are more likely to take ownership of their revision time.
The common belief is that Year 11s should be building in 15-20 hours of revision each week. This sounds a huge amount but when you spread it out over the whole week it should be manageable for most students. As guidance on the The Student Room states, this can be as little as 3-5 hours a day with weekends off! The impact of careful planning is time that students want to preserve is assured and revision gets done, which in turn means that they feel much more prepared for their exams.
Creating the right environment to revise is also key to success as teens can be easily distracted. When we discussed own experiences of revising in the office, we recalled lying on our beds with our text books open and a magazine concealed inside so that if our parents walked in they could ‘see’ us revising. Encouraging them to leave their screens downstairs, if they are studying in their bedrooms, or providing a quiet space somewhere neutral in the house are the first steps to take. Letting other family members know how it is important to them to have quiet is also a good way to show students that you are supporting them.
You can find more advice on how to help students to avoid distractions by clicking on this link. If you would like further guidance regarding revision, a copy of our PDF booklet Effective Revision or to book a specific revision session then please get in touch using our contact form or by phone.
The message is clear; rest and revise.