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Revision Techniques

(19 Posts)
Ponymagic Sun 15-May-16 22:01:28

DS is year 9 with exams in two weeks and struggling with revision techniques since starting secondary school. He finds it hard to focus for any length of time, finds note-making tedious, gets distracted by the slightest thing and basically can't find a revision method to suit.

Can anyone share how their DC revise please so he can try some alternative approaches.


TeenAndTween Mon 16-May-16 08:33:29

note taking
mind maps

BBC bitesize
practice questions
get Mum to test you
can you write down 5 key points

make sure you have a 'goal' for the session.
if can't concentrate try just 15mins at a time
ensure phone is out of room, (and x box!)

Lweji Mon 16-May-16 08:37:33

How is he answering questions and looking up the answers?

Could he make each subject into a poster presentation, as if he wanted to explain it to you?

VulcanWoman Mon 16-May-16 08:46:42

Someone suggested on another thread about recording their own voice reading through things, then listening to it back, sounds a great idea to me, might not work for everyone but worth a go for sure. What ever way the info sinks in.

Ponymagic Mon 16-May-16 11:15:28

Some good ideas, thank you. Have suggested to him that he sets goals, breaks his revision time into manageable slots then each slot down again into planning,, revising and testing. He's doing mind maps but really just scrawling them out and learning nothing.

Truthfully, he's driving me to distraction! Any excuse not to study, sloppy work - 10 mins in this morning I found him on the laptop googling 'how not to get distracted when revising' . Is now writing an English essay but actually it's a rewrite of one poorly done - grrrrr.

lljkk Mon 16-May-16 11:16:54

DD sits on my bed at 10pm & recites thru her notes. (sigh). We discuss some points as she goes.

lljkk Mon 16-May-16 11:17:24

ps: her other revision method is "Revise until you Cry" but I don't actually recommend that one.

TheDailyMailareabunchofcunts Mon 16-May-16 11:24:10

I taught my son what I did at high school

A box for index cards
Many different colours of cards and dividers

Go through each subject and write a list of topics with a score out of 10 as to how securely he knows each one

Write the key points on a card or cards for each topic on each subject

When finished.
A version of look hide write how we learnt spellings..
So turn each card over and rewrite what's on the front

Re score on topics /10
Concentrate on weak topics

Cards are portable. Easy to remove most of crap in their exercise books which are often very hard to revise from and have numerous folded stuck on sheets

It works smile

Nuttybutnice Wed 18-May-16 14:09:36

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

notagiraffe Wed 18-May-16 14:13:49

SEN at DS's school gave me some brilliant tips for pupils who don't find it easy to revise using trad methods of taking notes. She said the best way to revise, for them, is to teach us. (Interactive and time consuming I'm afraid) She recommended DS make a set of You Tube videos on the subjects he needs to revise - short five minute ones, talking through the subject as if teaching it. And at dinner table we have to ask loads of questions, as if we are clueless and get them to explain to us until what they say is completely clear.
Also recommended using lots of different colours etc but DS says that's just a diversion for him.

Mind maps, used properly (as a way of ordering random info, not just as a brain splurge) are really brilliant imo.

Nuttybutnice Wed 18-May-16 14:46:56

Totally agree notagiraffe. This is all about retrieving the information from memory. So many of our children will just mindlessly copy their notes from their books onto flashcards but this is pretty pointless. They need to be asking and/or answering questions, explaining and therefore 'training' their brains to retrieve the information from their memory. Love the idea of making videos :-) but could be a time consuming distraction for some!

TheSecondOfHerName Wed 18-May-16 19:25:59

I have a child in Y9 who usually does v. well in exams, especially Maths, Sciences & languages. His revision methods are different for different subjects, but mostly involve testing himself and practising recall. He has only just started his revision for exams after half-term, but these methods have worked well for him so far:

Maths: he is doing a few practice questions each day and then marking them.

English literature: he is building a quote bank for each character in the text he is studying.

French listening & reading: he has been testing himself on vocab.

French speaking & writing: he gives himself a topic (e.g. opinions about TV shows & music) and then writes or speaks about it for a few minutes, trying to use certain tenses & grammatical constructs.

Latin: he tests his vocab and grammar every few days on the CSCP website.

Physics: he has learned some formulae and is planning to do some practice calculations.

Chemistry: he has made lists of properties and reactivity and how these are explained by atomic structure and is planning to do some practice questions

Biology: he has learned definitions of keywords and is planning to do some practice questions

Geography: he has created lists e.g. causes & effects/impacts and is planning to test himself on them then answer practice questions. This is his weakest subject, so there is room for improvement in his revision methods.

Computer Studies: this will be his first GCSE-style test in this subject, so he doesn't really know what he is doing. He understands the concepts and has made lists of advantages & disadvantages of different types of hardware, sorting algorithms etc.

Nuttybutnice Wed 18-May-16 20:23:40

Using images can really help as well. My DD made huge progress when her notes were turned into highly visual topic books. It was amazing how much more information she took in when there were images to support the text.

Ponymagic Thu 19-May-16 00:02:50

Thank you for all your suggestions. Some great ideas - some might work for him! Shall have a chat to DS and see what he thinks. TheSecond - wow! I wish my lad could be as organised as that! Hope the exams go well for your DC.

notagiraffe Thu 19-May-16 09:01:13

TheSecond your son sounds impressive!

TheSecondOfHerName Thu 19-May-16 10:08:14

Sadly, he's the only one of the four with that kind of work ethic. DS1 has a Chemistry GCSE exam this afternoon and is still in bed.

LooseAtTheSeams Thu 19-May-16 10:19:19

Lots of great tips!
What seems to work for DS1 in Y9 (apart from me stalking him until revision is done) is bursts of revision followed by short tests. If he gets something wrong he goes back and looks at it again. We put post its of key French vocab on his bedroom wall and I tested him on the words. I think you do need someone to test you on things like vocab but other stuff is easily done with Bitesize. Index cards are great for boiling things down to the essential information as well.

notagiraffe Thu 19-May-16 10:24:06

Goodness, we haven't even started Yr 9 revision. Cramming over half term...

LooseAtTheSeams Thu 19-May-16 10:31:56

Our school already did them - poor year 9s had to revise over Easter holiday! I couldn't see that DS1 made much effort with revision apart from science where he had to redeem himself after a poor biology result in the autumn term. But it's only year 9, not year 11 so a bit of holiday cramming sounds like the way to go!

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