10 useful tips when creating a revision timetable for children
Revision timetables are a great tool to help get your child organised during the exam period and bring some structure in order to help them succeed. Revision can be made more fun and less of a chore for children if they design their own schedule and get to choose how to use their time. There are many revision timetable templates and revision timetable makers online, so below are 10 useful tips to help design the perfect revision timetable for GCSE or any other exams they may have.
Keep sessions short and sweet – The attention span of a 10-year-old is around 30 minutes so try and keep revision sessions short. Any longer and they are likely to get distracted and become unmotivated.
Build in regular breaks – Humans aren’t wired to be learning all the time so allow 10-15 minute breaks between each session to help burn off energy. Everyone need breaks to help keep them engaged and these can often be viewed as small rewards for the hard work.
Tackle the hardest subjects first – Concentration levels are highest in the morning and get shorter throughout the day. Schedule the most difficult subjects before lunch to maximize results.
Balance time between subjects depending on difficulty – There isn’t much point in dividing time equally between subjects when some require more time than others. If math’s isn’t their strong point (https://vaks.co.uk/tutor/maths-tuition/) then there is nothing wrong with dedicating more hours towards this.
Colour coding – Designing a revision timetable should be a fun activity. Try colour coding it to make it visually appealing. Hang it in a place where it is easy to read so you can refer back to it throughout the day.
Be flexible – It is okay to leave small gaps and be flexible with your time as some tasks are inevitably going to take longer than others.
Mix up revision styles – Don’t just write notes from textbooks as this can get very boring and repetitive. Switch up revision methods to include ones that are fun and interactive such as educational apps, YouTube videos and online quizzes. Find out here which learning style is best suited to you: https://vaks.co.uk/inspire/different-learning-styles-in-the-classroom-how-easy-do-you-find-it-to-learn/
Bite-size chunks – Pick a few topics to revise per day and be realistic by not setting unreachable goals.
Save evenings for relaxing and sleep – As the sun goes down, the body starts to produce melatonin which prepares you for sleep. You don’t want your brain to be in a battle of trying to stay active whilst preparing to shut down for the day. Sleep is one of the most important activities during a revision period as your brain helps sort and retain the information you learnt throughout the day.
If you find that it’s not working, change it! – Revision timetables are a case of trial and error and there’s nothing wrong with scrapping it and designing a new one if it’s not working.
Other great revision tips and techniques can be found by following this link:
Revision timetable templates for GCSE
There are many great examples of revision timetable makers and templates online so we have sourced a few of the best and listed them below for you!
Get Revising revision timetable maker – https://getrevising.co.uk/planner
Revision world revision timetable maker – https://revisionworld.com/create-revision-timetable
GCSE Pod revision timetable template – https://www.gcsepod.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/NEW-Revision-Timetable1-1.pdf
BBC revision timetable template – https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/articles/zn3497h
- Benefits of practising using past exam papers; timings, writing styles, different types of questions, similar questions repeated each year
- Example papers to download
- Specific tutoring sessions/offerings for practising past exam papers
- Subject specific past paper blog posts
How to get the most out of past exam papers
What are past exam papers?
They are exactly what they say on the tin. They are actual exam papers that have been used in the past to assess students at various levels. These days, they can be found easily online through examination boards such as AQA, OCR and Edexcel. They are available for almost every subject imaginable and at no cost to the school or student. It is important to get to know the exam boards and a useful guide can be found here: https://vaks.co.uk/inspire/know-importance-knowing-childs-exam-board/
Past exam papers are well known to be a vital resource during revision period and exam preparation but what are the best ways to use these and get maximum benefit? Everyone has different learning styles but these tips below are tried and tested from successful students who want to share what worked for them.
Past exam questions
Examination boards don’t tend to make any large changes to the format of papers year on year so familiarising yourself with ones from previous years can prove to be really beneficial. The sections within exam papers will usually be structured similarly to the year before, an example being that the first section is made up of multiple choice questions. The past exam questions usually use the same phrasing or key words such as ‘analyse’, ‘describe’ or ‘explain’ and knowing the meaning of these words can be the key to gaining extra marks.
Replicate exam conditions
The best way to get the most out of papers is to replicate exam conditions as well as you can so that when you are actually sitting in the exam hall in silence, you won’t be as anxious as you will have prepared in a similar environment. This means no notes, no talking, no breaks and no electronic devices! This may seem slightly over the top but exam conditions aren’t something you can easily prepare for as it is a fairly unnatural environment.
Be strict with yourself
Time yourself and try to answer every question so you get an idea of how long you should spend on each section, this will help to reveal which parts you need to spend more time revising. When marking your paper make sure you’re strict with yourself and don’t be generous. Examiners aren’t generous and you shouldn’t be either. It’s better to be honest with yourself and spend extra time on areas you need to improve than going into the exam with false confidence.
Alongside past exam papers online you can usually find examiner reports if you are lucky. These are the main notes from the examiners who marked the students’ exams in which they give insight into the common mistakes made and where most students dropped marks. This information can be invaluable when preparing for an exam as it can get you to think with the mindset of an examiner and how they would approach the question. If you can familiarise yourself with their style and what they look for in answers then you will feel far more assured when answering questions in the exam.