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What do students really want from teachers when it comes to revision?

It’s that time of year when it can seem like every second word from a GCSE teacher is “revision”. Catch-up classes, strategy sheets, stress seminars and a range of other “help” is rolled out by schools, but is the help you are giving as a teacher really of the kind that the students want? Mollie Stevens, a GCSE student at Ringmar Community College, East Sussex, gives her view…

“With exam season fast approaching and the pressure already beginning to mount, many teachers are searching for new methods to ease the stress and encourage students like me to achieve their potential.

Each student will have their own approach to exam preparation so it’s important to find what type of support is beneficial for each individual.The methods that teachers use to coach their students can vary hugely. From my perspective and that of those in my year, these are the five things we find most useful from teachers during the run-up to exams.

1. A technique that many students find particularly useful is having a set list of things to revise which could potentially come up in the exam. Many students find the concept of revising daunting and unfamiliar, and sometimes don’t know where to start. This technique gives us the push we need and helps us to prioritise.

2. One of the most tried and tested methods, extra-curricular revision sessions are practised up and down the country and really do work. Plenty of students find that this helps them refresh their knowledge and reinstate confidence in areas they felt less than expert in, as well as teaching them the skills needed to answer the questions, which are equally as important as the facts in most cases.

3. Realistic feedback is crucial, especially at this point in our education. Students need to know exactly where they are in terms of reaching their goals and how far they need to push themselves to succeed and excel.

4. Encouragement also plays a key role in the progress of a student, especially when the pressure is on. When used alongside constructive criticism, it can boost our confidence and still give us plenty to work towards in the way of improving exam technique and knowledge.

5. Teenagers can find managing time effectively a challenge at the best of times, even more so in the midst of exam season when the stress can sometimes seem overwhelming and panic is rife. Taking a lesson to help students organise revision timetables and to show them a few tricks to help them get the most out of their time will ensure optimum results and calmer nerves."

Revision resources from TES Connect

Revision techniques
Reassuring revision guidance and advice to help you prepare your students for their exams. 

Learning styles and revision strategies
Discover more about individual learning styles with this questionnaire activity and recommended revision strategies. 

Revision aids
Support students' revision with this timetable template and information sheets that have useful vocab and study tips.

Revision: Keys to success
Find revision tips and develop revision skills in this series of videos from motivational speaker Lee Jackson.

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