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Year 7 + 9 tests coming up - no revision!

(6 Posts)
ftm42 Thu 09-Jun-11 12:49:17

How worried should I be that my DS1 and DS2, in Y9 and 7 resp., haven't done any revision for their upcoming tests/exams? We didn't know they had any until the day before half term, so with juggling 3 boys, their various friends and my dog-walking business, they/we didn't have any study plan prepared and wouldn't have known where to start anyway! I tried setting stuff for them to do prior to going out to walk clients' dogs, but each time came home to find they'd done nothing, and with my job involving being out of the house for long periods, I can't keep an eye on them. They believe holidays are for r+r [I have to say I'm on their side - they're at a private school where they work hard during long days [8.30-4.30] and I feel they need a break. If ES for example, was doing gCSEs we'd have had a plan drawn up for study. Y10 would be the time I get strict on study plans!

Their tutor calls them 'tests'; their maths teacher calls them 'exams'. Are they trying to just 'get a progress report' or are they really exams'as we know them'? We have been given no guidelines on how much study to do, if any, over the holiday, and only one teacher emailed specifically to ask that we encourage DS2 to revise during the half-term. The curriculum is posted on the school's website but there is no plan of what needs to be covered - last term; last academic year, everything; what?!

Anyone else feel they haven't done enough?

Schtum Thu 09-Jun-11 13:20:02

It's difficult. I agree with you that kids' holidays should be for R+R but there's another side to the argument too.

Certainly at the end of Year 11, your child will be sitting a huge number of GCSE exams. It's entirely possible that he will be sitting exam-style GCSE modules at the end of Year 10 - mine (DD15 - Year 10) is in the middle of these right now. They are a percentage of her total GCSE mark.

If the first time your child had to prepare to revise, revise for and sit exams was for these important ones, he would possibly be very unprepared and out of his depth and may, in fact, not achieve his potential.

It is possibly a better idea that schools get children used to the idea of sitting exams every summer so that they have plenty of time to learn important lessons about how they work best so that by the time they are sitting public examinations, they've got their techniques sorted.

Clearly the results of these exams/ tests that your boys are taking this year don't REALLY matter, in the sense that they are not on their CVs forever but going through the processes may be very important for them.

So, I guess all the other long school holidays are for R+R and May half term is a time to balance out a bit of revision and preparation for the upcoming exams with a bit of relaxing and seeing friends.

My two are 15 and 17 now but have been having internal exams after May half term every year since Year 7.

What's usually happened in our house when my two were younger was this:

Usually spend the first weekend relaxing but also spend a bit of time getting their stuff sorted out ready to revise, ie: they tidy out their school bags and make sure they've got all of their notes/ books etc, we make a trip to Smiths to get any stationery they need (little cards, highlighter pens etc) and they make a revision time-table. For this age, say approximately four sessions a day of 45 minutes each for the rest of half term and make sure that each of the subjects that they do is given equal weighting.

It's then a case of getting on with it. Every day, our routine would be that they would get up and showered and breakfasted and have a bit of a doddle around but try to do three sessions (with breaks for a drink/ snack/ wee/ wander about) in the morning. Proper break for lunch then sit down and tackle the last session. Knock off, all done, at about three o'clock and then go out and do something nice - go for a walk, make a cake, see a friend, go to town/ cinema/ bowling/ a swim or just play on the games console or collapse in front of the telly - whatever they want to do. Then a reasonably early night so that they can get up and do it all again the next day.

While they are revising, it's a good idea to make a list of all of the topics for each subject and tackle them methodically. One of mine likes to just make her own notes on A4 paper from her exercise book and the text book and then to go through and condense these further onto little flash cards. The other likes to make spider diagrams and then to go through these and highlight important points.

If your sons are not sure what they should revise, they should check with their teachers but in our house it's always been all of the the material that they have covered that academic year from the September onwards.

Admittedly though, mine are girls, and all my friends who are Mums of boys say that it's a whole different ball game with boys!

Amaretti Thu 09-Jun-11 14:58:36

I have a yr 7 boy, also at independent school. It has been made very very clear to him exactly what he needs to do - are you sure yours haven't been told? He has a week of revision lessons before exam week, an assembly on revision, at least one PSE lesson on revision, a booklet on revision ...

He has done about 45 mins a day for the last 3weeks, including half term so I'm a bit worried having read schtum's post but I'm pretty sure he's prepared.

Schtum Thu 09-Jun-11 15:39:31

Don't be worried Amaretti, I'm talking about how much they did, generally speaking, in the first few years of senior school. Not so much in Year 7 but certainly by Year 9 mine were probably doing four sessions a day.

Also, they're conscientious girls - even the brightest, most successful boys seem more reliant on a bit of last-minute winging.

I just feel that the most important part of these exams is that they get their head round the idea that exams happen every summer and are "normal"/ nothing to be freaked out about and that they get to find out how they learn best before it really matters.

The years fly by really, really quickly and all of a sudden you're into GCSEs... Then AS levels.. Then A2s and on it goes. Can't believe my baby (DD15) is in the middle of GCSEs module exams now.

Amaretti Fri 10-Jun-11 09:14:36

I do think he is ready - and he works pretty diligently, like a girl grin

They do grow up so fast, don't they.

jshibbyr Tue 14-Jun-11 17:44:57

until GCSE it is not that important to revise as they no longer matter as exams, on the other hand however, it's good to get them in the habit of revision pre-GCSEs im not in my final year of a levels... first year i have properly revised and it's killing me as i have never truly done it before.

don't stress that there not revising, year 9 a little bit more important... seriously not that much though, it's not a certificated exam, it is an exam, but has the same effect of just a test. they tell the kids its an exam to scare them, it means nothing but makes the school look good if they get good results, thats the only reason the school push for these kind of tests.

relax it'll be fine smile grin

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