'How do I revise for GCSEs mum?' HELP!

(27 Posts)
Spidermama Wed 30-Mar-16 17:51:07

DS has just revealed how far behind he is with this. I have been trying to get him to revise for ages. Today he has finally decided to start but he has no idea how. I assumed they learn this at school. There doesn't appear to be anything useful on the school's website. I'd really appreciate some ideas here please.

00100001 Wed 30-Mar-16 17:52:24

They should have learnt study skills over the last five years.

How has he revised for other tests? Like his mocks?

00100001 Wed 30-Mar-16 17:54:25

Get him to loo up things like GCSE bitesize

IndomitabIe Wed 30-Mar-16 17:54:43

Some suggestions on resources
http://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/secondary/2602676-Revision-resources

IndomitabIe Wed 30-Mar-16 17:55:53

Actually, that link might not work. Suggestions have been given, it won't be difficult to find them. (I'm too pregnant to function)

incognito26 Wed 30-Mar-16 17:59:27

www.danielwillingham.com/daniel-willingham-science-and-education-blog/better-studying-less-studying-wait-what

Jaimx86 Wed 30-Mar-16 17:59:52

Tell him to revise what he DOESN'T know, rather than staying in his comfort zone of what he does know. A lot of students do this as it can feel overwhelming looking at everything they need to learn.

Quizzes are good, if you're happy to test him. Get him to make flash cards on the topics he needs to focus on and you can quiz him on a different area at the end of each of his revision sessions.

Spidermama Wed 30-Mar-16 18:07:40

Thanks for these.
Should I get him revision guides in town tomorrow? If so, which ones are good?

I'm so relieved he's finally sitting down to do something. I want to make hay while the sun shines as I'm fully aware it could be fleeting!

clary Wed 30-Mar-16 18:09:49

There are lots of ways. He needs to try and see what works best.

For example - with unwilling worker DS1 last year I dragged him to everything going (DS2's cricket coaching, DD's athletics event) and sat with him (otherwise he did nothing) going over and over the work - it really helped him to speak it out and discuss it. We would be on a walk and I would ask - six advantages of a microwave (he was doing food tech). It really did not help him to write down.

Other people - might like to make revision cards with key words (eg mfl vocab/key words on a history topic etc); draw spider diagrams on a topic; write bullet point notes from longer notes; record things on MP3 and listen while walking/doing paper round; colour code his notes; do tasks from revision guides; do a past paper then go through it with you identifying mistakes and what he did know.

Jaimx86 Wed 30-Mar-16 18:11:51

Before you buy any revision guides, find out what exam board the school use. E.g. Edexcel Maths, AQA English...as the skills/knowledge for each board differs. Once you know the exam board, you could go onto the Education forum and ask teachers to recommend for their subject.

clary Wed 30-Mar-16 18:12:05

YY to revision guides but check you have the correct board. Maths and MFL are fairly generic but things like Geography will depend on the topics covered.

Are there key subjects he needs to pass/is not doing well at? If so concentrate on those. Esp maths and English as he will have to do them forever again and again if he doesn't get a C.

(am assuming he is in yr 11 btw)

clary Wed 30-Mar-16 18:12:14

YY to revision guides but check you have the correct board. Maths and MFL are fairly generic but things like Geography will depend on the topics covered.

Are there key subjects he needs to pass/is not doing well at? If so concentrate on those. Esp maths and English as he will have to do them forever again and again if he doesn't get a C.

(am assuming he is in yr 11 btw)

clary Wed 30-Mar-16 18:12:15

YY to revision guides but check you have the correct board. Maths and MFL are fairly generic but things like Geography will depend on the topics covered.

Are there key subjects he needs to pass/is not doing well at? If so concentrate on those. Esp maths and English as he will have to do them forever again and again if he doesn't get a C.

(am assuming he is in yr 11 btw)

clary Wed 30-Mar-16 18:12:54

Sorry for double post blush

CointreauVersial Wed 30-Mar-16 18:15:02

Go onto getrevising.com and help him put together a revision plan. It makes it seem less daunting if it's all broken down into little subject chunks day by day.

Different revision strategies work for different people. DS is all about mind-maps and does lots of past papers, but DD1 goes through her topics making reams of notes and learning by heart.

I'm amazed your school haven't offered any support and guidance.

CointreauVersial Wed 30-Mar-16 18:16:00

Correction - it's getrevising.co.uk

SpuriouserAndSpuriouser Wed 30-Mar-16 18:19:12

I would say he needs to make a list of all the topics he needs to cover for each subject (you can get the syllabus for each exam board online), and then work through the list, testing himself (covering his notes and trying to write the main points from memory, doing exam questions on the topic etc.) as he goes along to check he is really learning it.

TeenAndTween Wed 30-Mar-16 18:58:03

DD1 did GCSEs last year. Disorganised dyspraxic so I oversaw revision. This is what we did:

Start with list of topics for each subject.
Then estimate time needed for each topic.
Add in time for practice papers (science & maths esp) and 'last minute review everything' the day before each exam.

How many hours can he do each day (better less e.g. 4 and realistic, than say 8), make sure breaks are built in, short ones every 45-60mins, plus longer ones. breaks for eating, exercise, socialising.

Check total hours needed v planned and adjust so it fits.

Allocate which subjects (and topics) will be done each day taking note of when the exams are. Mix enjoyable ones with less fun ones.

Revision needs to be mix of things like
- reading the topic
- taking notes / drawing diagrams / whatever
- online quizzes
- listening practice for MFLs
- practice papers
- being tested by Mum

All sessions have a topic based goal.

So e.g
session 1
45 mins Chemistry - notes on structure of atom etc
45 mins French listening practice
45 mins Maths questions on fractions

later in day session 2
45 mins Chemistry practice questions on structure of atom
45 mins Geography notes on volcanoes
45 mins Biology BBC bitesize revision on DNA

Use plan as a guide, and let sessions be moved around, provided they are all making sensible equal progress.

lljkk Wed 30-Mar-16 19:06:33

Depends on the subjects...
Fact subjects: revise what you don't know & practice repeating it.
Math or science: practice solving problems.

antiqueroadhoe Wed 30-Mar-16 19:10:17

Lots of ways to revise. Key to any is ensuing phone is OFF or in another room.

TeenAndTween Wed 30-Mar-16 19:26:39

And social media blocked smile

ihatethecold Wed 30-Mar-16 19:34:22

My ds's phone is the Bain of my life when he should be revising angry

KittyOShea Wed 30-Mar-16 19:39:26

The key is to make sure you're actively doing something not just reading over/ highlighting. As PPs have said spider diagrams/ bullet points/ teach to you or a sibling/ past papers etc. This means he is processing the info so it's more likely to stick.

A real help is to take 10 mins to review what he revised the day before to solidify it in his memory by quizzes/ telling you/ bullet pointing key phrases.

YaySirNaySir Wed 30-Mar-16 19:45:22

I emailed all his teachers before Easter and asked for what he needs to revise, roughly what will be in the exam e.g. Volcanoes, rivers etc for Geography and what are his weaknesses in each subject. School have helpfully sent him home with revision guides with highlighted topics and suchlike, past papers, worknooks etc.
He does 1/2 hour on a subject about 4 times a day, half on his own, half with me and we do little quizzes and recaps.
For a not very academic child he is doing quite well so far imo.

homebythesea Thu 31-Mar-16 08:23:06

You might find it helpful to essentially keep to the school timetable during the holidays, so if lesson one is chemistry revise chemistry etc etc. Saves having to make a separate revision timetable and ensures an ebpven spread of time on each subject. But yy to doing a list of topics to cover and use postcards for things like Eng Lit quotes (one for each character, one for each theme for example). Past papers are vital, all can be found on exam boards' websites, useful for format and style and of course practicing timed answers. But when you go back after the break, press the school on what THEY are going to do to help revision

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