Everyone has at least a basic idea of what revising means and so when students are asked to revise for a class test, an assessment or a national examination they know that this means looking back at previous topics to make sure that they have re-covered old work.
Revision literally means to ‘see again,’ to look at something from a fresh, critical perspective. Revision is a personal, individual process where individuals’ review different sets of knowledge and understandings; have different responses to the stress of the revision and exam/assessment period; have different preferred revision techniques; and different psychological and life contexts into which the revision needs to fit.
Revising effectively is the key to students’ achieving a sense of control over their work and a clear, calm head; in short, it is the key to maximising their exam potential. Planning and preparation is where effective revision needs to begin. In Year 11 or 13 planning revision should be a priority and the creation of an effective timetable that takes account of the national exam schedule will remove the stress of not knowing what to do first. However, there are times when every year group needs to revise whether that is for a class test or a national assessment so being able to revise effectively and efficiently is important for all students at Denefield.
There are multiple methods of revising and active revision is much more effective than passive revision. Passive revision is generally associated with activities such as reading notes, and copying material. Active revision is concerned with using and organising material strategically to retain and recall information.
Revising effectively means much more than simply trying to memorise information to regurgitate in the exam: it involves practice in recalling information in a flexible and 'useable' way; it involves practice in understanding and answering exam questions in the most appropriate manner which will most certainly require at times some form of application of knowledge. Revision involves practice in assessing the quality of an answer and as such, revision needs to be an active and varied process that addresses all of the above elements. Passively reading through class notes will not be enough. Ideally, students should have been revising/reflecting on what they have learned regularly throughout their courses of study, rather than viewing revision and the class tests, assessment or exams as a separate activity which takes place at the end. Well-written, meaningful and frequently revisited notes, as well as making use of mind maps, flash cards and timelines, can make the revision process far easier than being faced with jumbled and half-forgotten piles of scribblings. Formal revision should normally start at least six to eight weeks before the GCSE and A Level national exams begin, but students need to take their individual working patterns and how much they realistically have to do into account. Students should be reviewing their strengths and weaknesses with regard to each subject as this will also inform their revision strategy.
During self-directed study periods students have been introduced to a wide range of revision techniques and they have also been provided with the national examinations schedule. This has allowed them to create revision timetables so that they can prioritise each subject to gain maximum benefit from the process.
Each subject area has created a range of revision strategies suitable for revising specific topics and this can be found below under the relevant subject tab. Please also find below under the student support tab a range of documents to help students to select the best type of strategy to suit the kind of revision being undertaken. There are also some useful web links to help support students with their revision.
Finally, as a parent, you can help your child to make the best use of their time at home by reviewing the materials available below, selecting the most appropriate revision method for revising specific subjects and using the web links to pick up tips on time management, factual recall and study habits.