Your winning exam tips – and a video

Well, I did say I’d find it hard to judge this competition for your top exam tips. But I’ve managed!

All your tips are worth mentioning so here they all are:

Sue said: “Read the question fully before you start to answer it and then re-read it again!” Ouch – this brings back painful memories for me! I can’t tell you the number of marks I lost through THINKING I’d understood the question, only to discover too late that I hadn’t read it properly. Arghhh.

Dominic said: “Good revision is being honest – which areas do you (or the children) struggle with the most? Prioritise that until you feel in a position where you are able to tackle that question.” Very true and wise.

Sara said: “If you’re studying at home, try and maintain a “study ambience” when you’re working. If you go on youtube’s audio library you can find library study sounds, library ambient sounds etc. These can help put your head in the right place. When you stop working change the ambience!” Brilliant advice! This is based on “stimulus generalisation”, the brain’s way of getting into particular habitual mindsets based on cues from the environment. Change your environment and you change your mindset.

Yvonne’s good advice for her dyslexic daughter is “to do 10 min study when she feels the urge to” which is a really good idea.

Rhona said: “Study when you feel able to and don’t feel bad for taking time off. There is no point in sitting for hours staring at a book, but not really taking in the information. Revision time is about quality not quantity!” Indeed!

Jay has important advice for those times when students might feel panicky: “My tip for revision is if you are feeling stressed or anxious near to your exam, do simple controlled breathing exercises deeply and slowly by inhaling through the nose for 5 seconds, hold for 1 second and then exhale through the nose for 5 seconds, which forces your body into a state of calm.”

And Olivia, who has herself just done her GCSEs during the very difficult 2020 exam season, said: “My tip is every accomplishment starts with the decision to try. I picked this tip because you can’t accomplish your dreams with out starting it or trying it out first. You will never of known what you could have been able to accomplish or achieve if you never tried it out and given it a shot because you have nothing to lose by giving everything a go.”

I want to flag up what Olivia then said, as it’s inspirational. “I was a y11 student in the class of 2020 and really struggled to know how to revise effectively so was very proud when I received my GCSE results. Also through me realising I didn’t have a revision technique I set up a instagram account where I decided to help other young people by sharing revision techniques and how to reduce exam stress because I discovered that I was not the only one who struggled with finding effective revision strategies which in turn led to people getting exam stress because they didn’t know how to properly revise.” WELL DONE, Olivia! What a great thing to do!

ALL of that is, as I say good advice, but there have to be two winners. And the winners are….

…. I’ve changed my mind – I’m offering THREE prizes!

The three winners are SUE, SARA and RHONA!

Congratulations, all three of you! (Please contact me through the contact page to give me your address for sending books to.) But, please, all the others, know that I loved your advice, too, otherwise I wouldn’t have copied it into the post. keep sharing your excellent support for students.

For all schools, parents and students, here’s a video of an interview I have just done with 16 year old Imogen about exams:

Good luck, everyone. Stay well and strong.

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One Response

  1. Thank you so much Nicola and great advice from everyone who commented, I may use it for our YR11 & YR13 students. Anything we receive will be put to good use in the library and our sixth form area. Now more than ever, school libraries are providing pastoral support to students and staff, just in a slightly different way.

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