Examinations can be a stressful time for all of the family, not just the student actually taking the examination. In this section, you’ll find revision tips, frequently asked questions (FAQs) and all of the official information from JCQ that is given to students every year.
Start your revision early and make sure you know all the dates of your exams. Check for revision sessions being held by your teachers – you can be sure there’ll be at least one for each department every week. Make sure you’ve got everything you need – textbooks, notes, past papers, pens etc – and log-on to the exam board website for even more information.
2 – Go Public
Make a revision timetable on a large piece of paper and post it up somewhere at home that everyone can see it. That way, everyone knows what you are meant to be studying and when. Strangely enough, letting other people know your plans actually lightens the load, because then it’s not just down to you to motivate yourself and you’ll have better chance of sticking to it.
3 – De-digitalise
You should unplug your computer or laptop, as it can be too tempting to go off roaming the wide, open spaces of Web-fordshire, instead of ploughing through Pythagoras’ Theorem. It is also important to turn off your mobile phone (one distraction too many). Of course, a ten minute ‘surfing’ break every now and then will help but be strict with yourself and go back to your revision.
4 – Come up with mnemonics
The word stands for Make Names Easily Memorable by Organising Nominated Initial Characters. The website Student UK suggests My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas as a way of remembering the nine planets in order of distance from the sun (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto). Try and come up with names or phrases that will help you – or ask your teacher to help you.
5 – Believe in bananas
Take a leaf out of the top tennis players’ book and make use of this potassium-rich performance-enhancer to raise your energy levels. When Federer and Nadal need a lift, they don’t reach for a courtside cup of black coffee or can of energy drink, they dip into their kitbags and unzip a banana.
6 – Quality time
Ask friends over for a revision session. With things like dates and vocabulary, it’s always better if someone else is testing you, rather than you testing yourself (and peeking at the answers) – but make sure you stick to the subject!
7 – Watch television
Of course you shouldn’t try to learn the periodic table of chemical elements while watching Friends reruns or a TOWIE special. But that doesn’t mean you can’t record a favourite programme and watch it as a treat, between your revision sessions.
8 – Keep Healthy
You can do all the revision in the world but if you fall asleep in the exam because your revision runs into the early hours, it’ll count for nothing! Eat well, exercise regularly and make sure you get enough sleep in the run up to your exams to give yourself the best possible chances to achieve your potential.
My timetable is wrong – how do I change it?
If you think an exam is missing or if you’ve been entered for the wrong one, you will need to speak to your teacher or the Head of Department for that subject. The exams office can only change a student’s exam timetable on instruction from a member of the teaching staff.
Where will I be sitting and what time do I have to be there?
For every exam, the seating plans will be on display in the afternoon prior to each exam on the outside window of the learning managers’ office. It will also be displayed in the main hall on the morning of registration for the exam. Your timetable will show you the start time of the exam but you must be at the exam room AT LEAST 15 minutes before the start time.
I’ve got more than one exam at the same time – what happens?
You will usually be able to take one exam straight after the other but if this is not possible, the exams office will speak to you and arrange for one of your exams to be moved to earlier or later in the day – you will also be supervised between the exams to make sure the security of the exam is maintained.
What do I do if I’m late for my exam?
Firstly, don’t panic! If you arrive less than half an hour late, go straight to your exam room – the invigilators will make sure you can start your exam as soon as you arrive. If you arrive more than 30 minutes late, go to the Attendance Office and a member of staff will bring you to the exam room.
What if I am ill?
If you are ill before the exam, or after the exam has started, speak to Mrs Harper or one of the invigilators. If you are too ill to come in for your exam, please let the exam office know before the exam or as soon as possible afterwards – if you are absent from an exam without valid reason, your parent/guardian may be charged for the cost of the exam entry..