Like it or loath it, our school system is full of exams. It can feel like students are preparing for exams almost all of the time. Had you noticed that your child is never more than two years away from a major exam? SATs, GCSEs, A-Levels and of course the Eleven Plus all have a real impact on your child’s future. If you want to make sure that your son or daughter will succeed in their next set of exams, remember that it doesn’t happen by accident and it doesn’t happen overnight. Whichever year they’re in, don’t take your eye off the ball! Equip yourself and your child with the exam preparation skills they need.

How do I prepare my child?

The most important thing you can give your child is time. Don’t leave it too late – start preparing for exams at least a year in advance. Revising little and often is the best policy, so set up a timetable and help your child to stick to it. If you’re worried at any point that they’re falling behind, get a professional opinion. The Free Taster Session at Exeter Tuition Centre includes an assessment, and will either put your mind at rest or help you to identify the problem.

What does my child need to know?

It’s easy to say “you need to do more revision”, but what does it actually mean? What IS revision and how do you do it? Does your child:

  • get distracted easily?
  • work inefficiently?
  • struggle to organise themselves?
  • find it hard to take useful notes?
  • find it hard to remember information?
  • struggle to meet deadlines?

If so, they are lacking key Study Skills. Asking them to work harder is not going to solve the problem, but learning just a few techniques will make a world of difference. It really is never too early to learn study skills. A child who has good study techniques from day one will naturally develop those skills as they get older, and preparing for exams will be stress-free. But a child who lacks study skills in Year 11 will find it almost impossible to achieve a pass at GCSE.

What about Revision Bootcamps and Mock Exams?

It’s amazing how much work can be achieved in a short space of time, once key study skills are in place. A week of intensive revision, a one-day masterclass, or a mock exam followed by an analysis of the results using the mark scheme… all of these are effective ways of nudging your child’s grades up to the next level. But the real value of these learning opportunities is not just in what’s delivered during the course. Your son or daughter will need to know how to take what they’ve been shown and build on it independently at home – but again, that’s only possible if they have those key study skills. Our advice is always to enrol in a Study Skills course first.

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