Teachers say start GCSE and A-level revision over Easter holidays to avoid stress

According to experienced teachers and education experts, students preparing for the GCSE and A-level exams should begin to earnestly revise to avoid greater stress during the Easter holidays.

As nearly 2 million teenagers across the UK prepare for their exams, students in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will sit their first paperwork on 16 May, five weeks away.

Barnaby Lennon, a former headmaster at Harrow School, said students taking the test this year were concerned about legitimate reasons and said the secret to reducing stress was good preparation.

“If stress is something that worries you, you will have more stress if you don’t make some corrections at Easter. To avoid ‘super-stress’ in May, you may have to pay a little more for the Easter holidays, “Lennon said.

Although this year’s candidates have suffered tremendous disruptions in their studies, experts who have spoken to the Guardian have said that students should avoid panicked cramming. Instead, they urge students to mobilize themselves and come up with better correction strategies.

“Students in the current exams have lost their learning rate for several months and may never have taken the public exam. Given the time they’ve lost and their unfamiliarity with rethinking, it’s even more important that they correct using effective proven strategies, “said Daisy Cristodoulou, a former teacher and No More Marking, an online assessment education director. Organization.

Many students equate reviewing with note highlighting and re-reading the textbook. But Cristodoulou said these methods were largely ineffective: “It leads to the ‘illusion of skill’ – students are familiar with the material they are re-reading but they don’t really understand it.”

Instead, self-examination and the use of quizzes lead to much more effective rethinking, as recalling something from memory – known as “recovery practice” – helps to integrate understanding of a subject.

Adam Boxer, head of science at the Totary’s Academy in north London, said: “The best way to practice recovery is quizzing – asking questions in written or oral form. You are reminded of the content of your note reading, the answer to a question is retrieving your knowledge of that content from your long-term memory. “

But Boxer warned that students need to be realistic: “When they self-assess, they will be humble and say something like, ‘Oh, I mean,’ or ‘It was just a silly mistake,’ freeing them from the need to do so.” By Meaningful follow-up.

“Instead, students should not lie to themselves. They should speak or write each answer and be honest and firm in their self-assessment.”

Cristodoulou said that using a technique called “spaced retrieval” can also improve revision: “If you have two hours to correct an issue, it is better to divide it into four half-hour sessions on four separate days than two hours at a time.”

To help, Boxer and Christdoulou suggest that students use free apps and online tools such as Flash cards as an effective way to learn things like foreign language vocabulary, historical dates or math formulas. Cristodoulou recommends the flash card app Unki, while Boxer Carousel is the director of education at Learning, a free online quizzing tool.

But how much time should be corrected at Easter? Lennon said it was difficult this year to give clear advice on how many hours each student should work.

“Different students will have different abilities to correct, which reflects the fact that students are different and students have had different experiences during the epidemic,” Lennon said.

“Do as much as you can but don’t tire yourself out because it would be crazy. Always get a good night’s sleep, never fix it after dusk, because a good night’s sleep helps your brain retain information in long-term memory, which is what we’re trying to achieve.

“Don’t stress too much on the Easter holidays, don’t think you have a sore throat.”

David Didau, a senior English lead at the Ormiston Academy Trust, said his advice to students this year was no different.

“Basically, if you want to do well in a subject, sit down in a past paper – there’s a commercially available mock-up – three times a week from now until the exam,” Didau said.

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