Top tips for exam success

Got your exams coming up soon? If you are feeling nervous or stressed, help is at hand! We’ve got some top tips to help you on your route to success.

1 Keep revision sessions short and sweet
Want to boost your concentration? Research shows that 20-30 minute spells of revision, mixed with short, frequent breaks, work best.

2 Exercise your way to success
Don’t be tempted to save time by missing a trip to the gym or a sports game with your friends. Physical activity increases your heart rate, which makes the blood circulate faster. This gets more oxygen to your brain, increasing productivity and reducing stress.

3 A room of your own
While revising, you need a quiet space, where you can avoid distractions for a few hours. If you are at home, keep the TV and music off (or play relaxing tunes at a minimum volume). Revising in a coffee shop is not a good idea as you may get distracted.

4 The early bird catches the worm
Keen to give yourself a headstart on work for the day? Then set up your alarm clock to start revising early in the morning – this will help you do all the work you’ve planned for the day.

5 Spice up your revision
Drawing colourful learning maps will help you to memorise facts. Colourful notes are easier to memorise than plain black and white ones. Give it a go!

6 Make notes
The best way to memorise information is by making notes over and over again. At least three sets of the same notes in a run up to the exams will help you memorise the required information.

7 Practice makes perfect
Learning more about the exam format and the type of questions asked can be very helpful. Ask your teacher for some past papers (or Google them) to help you practice.

8. With a little help from your friends (or family)
Ask people around you to test you and give you feedback. Why not give your revision notes to your mum and ask her to test you?

9. Reward yourself
Finding the right balance between study and leisure will help improve your marks. Go to a cinema with friends after a productive day of revision or treat yourself to some chocolate.

10 Think positive
Remember to keep things into perspective. Plenty of people did well in life without getting an A* in every single exam. Work hard but take the pressure off yourself.

Supporting your son or daughter on the road to exam success

Sixteen year old Adele Tumilty completed her work experience with Activate Learning. In this guest post, Adele gives us her views on how parents can support young people during the exam season.

If your son or daughter is sitting an exam any time soon, they may be feeling nervous, stressed or even angry. These emotions, although difficult to deal with, are understandable.

If they have used their time well to prepare, they are likely to get good grades. But what can you do to support them?

You probably know that as a parent or carer you have a key role in your child’s success – helping keep things in perspective, remaining positive and encouraging good study, nutrition and exercise habits.

Parents or carers want to help but sometimes it can be tricky to support young people during the exam period. With that in mind, here’s a handy list of practical tips, prepared for parents by parents:

  • Give your son or daughter access to a quiet space where they can work by themselves
  • Encourage them to start revising early to ensure they have enough time. You could offer to work with them to test their knowledge in an informal way
  • Help your son or daughter to understand the importance of hard work and revision, but also help them keep the importance of results in perspective
  • Promote sport and exercise as a healthy habit to relieve stress. For example, going for a brisk walk or playing football with some friends can help boost your son or daughter’s wellbeing
  • Let them know that you are there for them to talk to, but don’t pressure them into it.
  • Help young people explore the different options available to them. You could offer to accompany them to an Open Event or Taster Event at our colleges, or encourage them to have a chat with our impartial Careers Advice team. Learn more about their chosen career so you can help them with the choices ahead. You could also talk to them about friends or family who have develop a fulfilling career with a range of different qualifications and grades

Exams season can be a tough time, but if your son or daughter remains focused and perseveres with their learning, and with your added support, their chances of success will be greater than anticipated.