Preparing For Exams

Advice for parents and guardians

Examination Timetable

Summer 2018 exam season for GCSE and A Level Exams run from the 14th May 2018 to 25th June 2018.
Taking a little time off over the Easter and Spring Bank breaks is a good idea, but all students will need to do quite a bit of revision during these periods. Please make sure they have plenty of time for it and that you have not planned to be on holiday the full time. Students who do their best in the GCSE exams work hard all through Years 10 and 11 rather than relying on last minute revision.


During the spring term

Get them to check that they have all the notes and texts they need for revision. Get them to talk to their teacher if they are missing any. All students have been given a skeleton timetable which they have been given guidance from their form tutors as to how to “build” it to create their own personal revision timetable. The skeleton timetable and the “how to” sheet are available in this area.

  • Initial revision sessions for each subject should be used for planning – making sure they have all the resources they need and know exactly what they should be revising
  • Sessions the day before an exam should be used for refreshing the memory – full revision should not be left for this period
  • The timetable should be used to plan revision sessions. These should be spread out evenly so that students are not planning to do too much all at once.
  • The timetable is intended as an aid to revision – we are not saying this is the only revision that should be completed or that it has to be completed on the days allocated.

Having the timetable displayed in their room is a good idea; this helps them stick to the plan.

Check how they are doing by asking them to explain something they have just learned. It’s a good rule of thumb that if you can follow their explanation then they will be able to produce a good answer to an exam question on that topic.
Encourage them to ask for help at school on any parts of their work they do not understand and to persevere and work hard in the run up to the exams.

Most subjects run revision classes after school – please encourage your child to attend.


Useful revision tips

All students should:

  • Plan to take breaks after thirty or forty-five minutes at most. Any longer and it is likely that nothing more will sink in. Take a short break in between sessions and have a glass of water or something similar to drink. Get up and walk around.
  • Plan revision in the evenings after school to allow for relaxation time
  • Plan to revise specific topics in each subject, not everything at once – planning time provided
  • Ensure that each session starts by tackling the most difficult bits.
  • Plan to cover each subject several times and revisit each one near to the exams.
  • Revising with the TV or radio on or with loud music is not a good idea.
  • Reading is not generally enough. Making brief notes in either words or pictures helps them to remember. They should by now, know which way works best for them.
  • Have all the books they need to hand so they don’t have to go off looking for information.


During the exam period

Try to ensure that:

  • They get a good night’s sleep before exams.
  • They have all the equipment they need.
  • They know the start times of every exam that day.
  • You wish them well; tell them they have worked hard enough and that they can only do their best.

You can help by:

  • Recognising how important these exams are and how much time they will need if they are to do as well as they can.
  • Not asking them to do too many chores or look after younger brothers and sisters.
  • Encouraging the rest of the family to help by not disturbing revision.
  • Securing a quiet place for study, where their work can be safely kept.
  • Encouraging relaxation time (the continuous study is not helpful.)
  • Praising hard work.
  • Emphasising the need for plenty of sleep.
  • Helping them to forget about each exam as it is finished.
  • Reminding them that it will be worth it and will soon be over!