Helping pupils with their revision
Revising when there are so many distractions is very demanding and tough to form a habit of regular meaningful revision. There isn’t much that is new in motivating pupils with revision but here are some ideas to suggest to pupils.
Reflect on what you are trying to achieve, what is your goal?
Do you know why this exam or mock is of value? Can you imagine the consequences of doing really well or less well? This doesn’t mean consequences such as my mum will be hacked off, it is the consequences for YOU and the knock on effect of your grades; how will the grade difference effect your future? Give it some thought visualise the implications, where do you want to be and what do you need to do to get there.
A meaningful plan
Assuming the visualization includes passing the tests one needs to put together a plan that works over a sensible period with sensible breaks. It is pointless attempting to allocate the last week of the holiday to cramming everything you can into just one week which inevitably turns out to be just a few days because you will simply not be able to sustain focus for a full week.
So break it up, it is better to do a little regularly than attempt a lot just a few times. Revision is about going over the same ground several times, so allow for repeated visits to the same content until you have it totally secure. It is really useful to read the content over the first time and then leave it overnight come back to it the following day and it looks very familiar. Do that several times including writing down the important points and you’ll have got it.
You’ve got plenty of options, scrape a pass or go for the best you can do – it is far better to aim high. This will encourage you to put in the time to get the grade you are aiming for to impress yourself rather than just getting through.
Revision techniques to support your revision
You may have your own favourite approach to revision which works for you. It might be simply writing out lists of key points or drawing out mind maps, or reading aloud or working with a friend to teach them what you are learning. Try a variety of techniques and settle on a couple that work for you. Most people find simply reading the text as not a particular useful way to secure information. It normally takes an action such as reading aloud, making notes or repeatedly writing bullet points. What is for sure the tools you use require repetition so revisit each topic until you’ve got it secure.
Alternative sources for content
The internet is a wonderful source of valuable educational content which is easily accessible. If you are covering a tough topic and finding it difficult to retain the information how about changing the dynamic. Go online and see if you can get an alternative source covering the topic from a different perspective. This will have at least two effects one you will realise how much you have retained and secondly you are highly likely to pick up more information and to better understand the topic thanks to the different perspective. This will help you to remember.
Frequent breaks are essential. 20 minutes is usually plenty of time to be sitting at a desk in deep concentration, time will fly by. If you are good at keeping focused, keep going you will know when you need to break but do break regularly. Take a walk around the house do something different, allow your brain to rest for a few minutes and your body to get a look in. Regular breaks and a different short activities are a must.
Be aware of the distractions
That mobile phone is a distraction if you don’t switch it off or take it out of the room – tough thing to do but you need to be aware that every time you are distracted you are not meeting your objectives and it makes it increasingly difficult to get a clear run at the topic you are working on.
Best to remove distractions and get into your zone, close yourself off for the time that works for you. Once you’ve got to a natural point to stop, take a break.
Noisy frenetic activity kicking off around you isn’t a great place for revision, however, some people work well with headphones and music playing. It’s up to you and what works for you. Simply be aware of how distractions distract reducing your efficiency so make your choice.
Give yourself a pat on the back
Success should be celebrated and revision success is no exception you know when you’ve done a good job and achieved part of the plan, so give yourself a reward it might be a simple as turning your mobile phone back on or going for a walk or having a snack. The important part is to feel good about the successes you are achieving from the investment you are making in your study. Rewards are motivational as this is about you, your revision and your results, you get to choose your rewards.
Revision can appear to be a pain before you start but once you do start it is much easier. It’s that first step that is tough, so decided what you want to achieve, why the revision is worth doing, create a sensible plan, take frequent breaks and rewarded yourself for your successes, you will make progress.