The blissfully long summer holidays are over and September has come around once again meaning it’s time to go back to school. This year, however, is a lot more different. You’re starting the last year of secondary school, one that ends with your all-important GCSE exams. Your parents and teachers are pestering you to do your homework and revise consistently. Of course, it’s easier said than done, but we’ve tried our best to compile a list of things you should do to start afresh in year eleven!
Revision can be incredibly overwhelming, it’s difficult to identify where to begin: do you start revising your work from year ten, or do you go over the new topics your teacher is going through now? Do you revise for the subjects you enjoy, or focus on the subjects you enjoy least? To tackle these questions, and to put your mind at ease, start by making a list of all the things you need to revise under sub-headings for each subject. This could be topics, like Trigonometry or Circle Theorems for Maths, or texts for English like Macbeth or Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Then rank the topics from easiest to hardest so you know what areas you need to spend more time on. You should know that identifying your weaknesses is not a bad thing; you shouldn’t feel bad about getting a lower mark on a test or not getting a question right whilst all your peers whiz through the same work. Knowing what your struggling with will help to focus on these areas when revising – spend more time going over these topics and ask a teacher or tutor if you need help.
You should revise for at least 3 hours on weekdays and 5 to 6 hours on weekends. Decide on when you want to revise: do you feel more focused early in the morning or are you more productive after school? Set your revision time accordingly giving yourself breaks often; some people like to revise for three hours then have an hour break, others prefer to study for 45 minutes then take a 5-minute break. It’s totally up to you and how you work but ensure that you are never too lenient on yourself. If something comes up and you can’t revise, add it onto another date, if you accidentally sleep in, do your revision in the evening. This type of discipline will put you into a familiar routine and ensure that you are able to focus on your revision. You should also remember that while revision timetables are helpful, they are only a guide – don’t give up just because you missed an hour of Maths or skipped a day because you were ill. Try your best to stick to it, but don’t lose motivation if you can’t.
Being successful in your exams isn’t just about regular revision, you need to make sure you’re improving your lifestyle. To be able to stick to a revision routine, you need to ensure you get enough sleep. Scientists recommend that you should have at least eight hours of sleep per night so try to regulate your sleep pattern – don’t stay awake until 3am, and don’t wake up late either, keep your sleeping schedule balanced. Also, try to maintain a balanced diet; avoid eating junk food and drinking fizzy drinks and replace them with healthier alternatives. As well as this, make sure that you don’t skip breakfast; it’s the most important meal of the day as it fuels you throughout the morning helping you concentrate at school – no breakfast equals less productivity, and you can’t afford for that to happen year eleven. Finally, exercise can also really help with your concentration. According to a study at Harvard Medical School, regular exercise can help improve your memory and thinking skills. Whether it’s a quick jog or a game of football, try to do a little bit of exercise every day to get into the right mind-set.
Finding the Right Tutor
If you do decide to get a tutor, you need to make the right choice for you. But what does a good tutor do? A good tutor should be able to identify your strengths and weaknesses and set targets accordingly. Also, they should mark your work regularly and review it with you, talking through what you did well and what you can improve on. Ensure that your tutor will not be teaching a large group as this will mean that the teacher will not be able to give you enough attention and focus on what you need to improve on. At Ruby’s Tuition, we’re proud to say that we do all the above and more! We work with a teacher-student ratio of 1:6 meaning that all students get the attention that they deserve. Also, we always give detailed feedback to students and review work with them one-to-one making sure that they understand what they need to work on.
If this isn’t enough to convince you, have a look at some previous testimonials: