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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 195

Date:- 10 April 2005

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WITH over 5 million students due to start their summer exams on May 24, the next 7 weeks will not be a relaxing time for them. They have to get down to some serious revision. Edexcel knows this, and to help minimise the stresses has suggested some tips and advice for students and their parents in the run up to exams.

Past students and examiners have suggested the tips for students, and also parents for other parents on how to handle the exam process. This is part of Edexcel's drive to ensure that students are given as much information and assistance as possible to succeed.

Paul Sokoloff, Edexcel's Policy Director, said:- "It is amazing how many students put off their revision until the last minute. Better planning and staggered revision will give students the best chance at doing well on the day. Exams are a stressful time for parents and siblings as well as the students themselves. Whilst much of the advice is common sense, some of the advice may be welcomed. For the students themselves, much of the advice is about organisation and planning, but also about relaxing and ensuring they take time to relax between revision and exams. I hope that parents and students find them useful."


YOU... should have created a revision timetable with sensible work slots and breaks and then show and get your parents agreement. Keep to this! Then when your parent finds you 'not working', provided you are following your agreed timetable no one is going to hassle you - parents only hassle and worry when they are not sure what you are doing, or if you do not seem to have a plan. Organise yourself well and it will help you to fulfil your potential. If you have not prepared one, then it is not too late to start. Incorporate all your exam dates into it

Know where your exams are and when they start, how long they are and what equipment you are allowed to take in (calculators etc) and what you are not allowed to take in (mobiles, text messagers etc)

Put a list on the front door or on the fridge - somewhere you will see it - of the items you'll need for the following day. Also remember what you cannot take in to the exam (mobile phones, pagers text messagers etc). Your exam invigilator should remind you of this before the exam starts. Taking unauthorised equipment in can get you disqualified from the exam

Make sure you have one weekend day when you don't do revision or think about exams - you'll come back to it refreshed

Tell your family about your revision time - and ask them for help if you need it - it may help make them feel useful to you!

Keep bullet points on crib cards highlighting main subject theories. Use these for quick revision and for reading during "dead" times ie. waiting for a bus and use Mnemonics - using initials of a word to help memory 

Some people revise well by listening, so 'talk' their revision on to cassette tapes and then listen to these while lying in bed, while travelling in a car, or walking to the shops (on a personal stereo). 

This also takes the 'guilt' out of being out and about instead of in front of the books.

Ensure you eat and sleep properly. Now is not the time to diet or stay up all night. Have an early night before exam

Look after yourself during the exam period (good routine and healthy eating!). Be sure to cut down on the weekend/evening job; most employers know that you need to commit time to the exams and revision but often try to get you to do extra hours anyway

On the morning of the exam, have a good breakfast, stay calm and allow plenty of time to get to the exam 

and remember that you can only do your best and even if you don't do as well as you hope, your parents still love you just as much!


A dedicated quiet space with good natural light or lighting is best for studying, with no distractions. If you have other children, tell them that revision time is important and should not be disturbed…

Know your child's revision timetable. Encourage them to tell you about what they are studying. If you know that they are not at their best first thing in the morning, encourage them to rest then and work when they are more lively. They should choose their weakest / sleepiest time of day to be sociable and go out, or watch TV at those times

Ensure that your child has one evening a week away from studies and regular breaks during the study periods

Be around as a 'feeding station' - lots of healthy food and proper meals - not too many sugary snacks and junk food

Offer to help with testing or ask if there is something that you can do for them - tell them you are concerned about their welfare more than the results

Know exactly the date time and location for each exam and incorporate this into the revision plan and that they have the correct equipment they need for exam (calculators, rulers etc). Have a list on the front door or fridge and also know what they are not allowed to take in to the exam (mobile phones, pagers text messagers etc)

If your son /daughter has a medical condition eg diabetes, hay fever etc, make sure that the school knows. There can be special considerations for some conditions 

If there is a family crisis, for example divorce or bereavement, again ensure that your child's teacher knows as the additional stress can affect exam performance

Make sure that they are using the internet to study and not as an excellent resource to give the appearance of study.

Tell them that they can only try your best and even if they don't do as well as you hope, you still love them just as much.

This summer, Edexcel expects to:-

Have over 2.5 million entries and registrations
Set over 1,000 different exam papers 
Collect over 9.6m marks (up from 8m in 2003)
Process 5.3m scripts (up from 4.6m in 2003)
Mark 3m scripts online using the best technology in education
Issue over 1.5m certificates to students

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