GUEST BLOG | My child won’t revise – HELP!

Written by Glynn Hayball

Across the country there is shouting, door slamming, and temper tantrums.  What is it that unites the country?  Football? Rugby? A new government initiative?  No, dear reader, it is the fast-approaching GCSE and A Level exam season. Some may be novices to this, others are exam-season veterans.  The novices can be seen wandering around the supermarket muttering: “Where would they put the see-through pencil cases?” at silly o’clock the night before the very first exam whilst the veterans have stocked up – months’ ahead – on pencil cases – a choice of at least three, a plethora of black pens and an array of highlighters that the rainbow fairies themselves would envy.  Oh … and gin, lots of it. 

Whilst this article is purposefully light-hearted; for many children, these will be the first formal exams that they are facing and there is very little levity.  As adults, we want to do whatever we can to ensure that our children achieve their potential. However, although I refer to them as children; they are young adults who will need to take the lead in their revision.

If you are living with a teen preparing for exams, there are a few things you can do:

Firstly, remind them that it is not too late to start revising.

Most importantly, help them to draw up a revision timetable, using their printed, official exam timetable as a guide.  Make the timetable specific (stating which subject they will revise, what content in that subject and set specific tasks that need to be completed – flashcards, mind maps, past papers.)  Encourage them to look at what they need to revise in order of importance, beginning with what they find most challenging.

Show them how to make flashcards and mind maps, plan questions, highlight key points, and do past papers.  There are likely to be resources on the school’s website.  Encourage them to vary the ways in which they revise – posters, spider diagrams, mnemonics, storyboards, quizzes, challenges, creating their own knowledge organisers, collaborative learning, anagrams, diagrams …

Then, make sure that they have a quiet space to study with all the equipment* they need to hand, a drink, and lots of snacks.

Then, just like you used to do when they were tiny and had finally dozed off for their nap, tiptoe quietly away …

*Pens, pencils, rulers, erasers, highlighters, a good calculator, maths set.  A clear pencil case, a water bottle with the label removed, or a refillable bottle.   

Additional information can be found by watching Glynn’s video below:

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