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Successful revision is somewhat different depending upon the level of your examination.  I use three groupings.

11+ and Common Entrance12 year old boy studying

For students at this stage the important skill is familiarity with the styles of questions they might encounter in the examination.  Some questions may be entirely novel.  What should they do then?

Revision for these students is accompanied exploration of a wide range of materials with explanation of the approach required.

GCSE,  A Level and International Baccalaureate

These examinations are somewhat formulaic.  The approach often adopted is to do lots of past papers.  However, this is not sufficient.  To score well the student has to minimise their error count – just like tennis and unforced errors.

Revision for these students allows them to identify clear, quick answers to the points they have identified that the question requires.  This is a performance skill and they learn to think of the examination as their moment in the spotlight.

University Entrance examinatios e.g STEP, UKCAT

The examinations are like aptitutde tests set by universities.  So many students can score highly at standard examinations that a further examination to demonstrate aptitude, perhaps even the ability to think, is required.

Revision for these students is all about handling questions that you do not know the answer to.  They definitely will not know the answers.  But they do have the tools to answer them.  Tool selection, tool application and coping with failure to achieve success are all part of this revision process.

Sixth Form Entry

New Sixth Formers can usefully begin to develop the skills of note taking and organisation that will stand them in good stead for their further studies.  In a technological era it is appealing to use technology to support learning and revision.  However, the evidence is still that paper has a key role in success.

This series of sessions allows a student to develop their individual balance between old and new approaches in a way that can continue into an effective professional life.

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