Last-minute tips to nail GCSE revision

As exams approach, your teens will either be in a state of Red Bull-fuelled overdrive, or utter denial - either way, here's Mumsnetters' best advice for helping them ace their exams

1. Try to relax

"As much as you might want to see your kids doing last-minute cramming, you can't force them. Just make sure they have all the materials they need to revise - coloured pens and big paper to make notes and diagrams are really useful. Expect them to revise but don't stand over them."


2. Don't sweat the small stuff

"If they lose a vital protractor, just let them buy a new one and don't fuss. You have to restrain yourself, or you'll stress them out even more."


3. Set the scene

"My son found it really useful to do past papers in timed conditions – that way, he was practicing his time management and answering similar questions to those that his real exam would ask. Far more useful than cramming."


4. Focus on the gaps

"At this stage, it's best for them to focus their efforts on the subjects they're not so comfortable with, as these are the areas where revision will make the most difference."


5. Build them up

"Buy 'revision food' – ask your kids what they want, and make sure there's plenty of it."


6. Remind them to have breaks (yes, really)

"It's better to take short breaks of something like 10 minutes once an hour, than to plough on for hours and hours without a change of scene, then stop for a long time."


7. Check their equipment

"Make sure they know when each exam is, and get them to put all their equipment in their bag the night before. You might want to double check this, too."


8. Make sure they get some sleep

"Sleep is the most important thing. There's nothing to be gained from studying the whole night through and exhausting themselves. Sleep is when your brain processes all the information you have taken in during the day."


9. Throw 'em a carrot

"I like the idea of some kind of celebration to mark the end of each subject. My son has suggested a massive textbook bonfire; I've countered with a BBQ in the garden."


10. Let them know their best is good enough

"Schools put so much pressure on the children, and sometimes being reminded that they won't be valued for the rest of their lives by the number of A*s they get is a good idea."


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Last updated: over 2 years ago