With less than one month to go before the majority of main exams and interviews take place (I know there have been a few already- well done to those who have had some tricky pre-tests), I thought that this post really needed to focus on what could be done last minute!
The first, and most important, piece of advice I can offer is that you don’t try to have your child learn something new. Students are feeling the pressure at the moment and new material is not the solution. Many students will pick up a few extra marks if they concentrate on timings and completing tasks within time limits. This will be far more valuable than tackling a new module or subject area.
What else can we focus on?
Go back through those lists, logs and comprehensions and ensure that your child can still remember the meanings of tricky words (avoid adding new words to the lists!)
Students are often aware of the words that they still struggle to spell (my own stumbling block is pharaoh, after all these years…) Pick up an old verbal reasoning paper and see if your child can spell twenty of the trickier words that they covered in the paper.
3. Current affairs
That’s right- students are often asked about interesting things they’ve seen or read, in their interviews. A good understanding of current national and international issues will pay dividends!
4. A manageable revision schedule
This shouldn’t be hours every day- the children are stressed and tired. 30 minutes is immeasurably better than nothing and 3 hours a day will inevitably have a detrimental impact on your child’s grades. Try to find 30-90 minutes a day, depending on your child’s after-school timetable and their need for down-time.
Relax a little and enjoy the Christmas holidays. Your child has spent months (and even a couple of years) preparing for these assessments. They’ve studied at home, they’ve studied at school and they do know what to do. Yes, a few things can probably be tweaked (see above!) but all that can be learnt should already have been learnt.
I hope that you are all enjoying the excitement of the last few weeks of term (and have some school plays/ fairs/ carol services lined up).