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Exam revision is a partnership between home and school

by Andrew Lancaster, Head of Secondary, BISS Puxi of  The British International School Shanghai, Puxi

Tips from the head as teenagers across Shanghai prepare for exams

Exam revision is a partnership between home and school

Exams are not the words that students at the school always want to hear and the pressures that it brings on our children are challenging. However, for our Year 11 and 13 students, this week represents the opportunity for them to now demonstrate the skills, knowledge and understanding that they have harvested from their courses over the last two years.  

For all of them, the last few months in particular have been extremely busy with lessons, homework, revision and coursework, with many subjects demanding their attention.  With the formal ending of scheduled lessons, students now have the freedom to really focus their revision on chosen topics and subjects in the final preparation for written examinations.  The philosophy to ‘Be Ambitious’ is never truer for these students than at this present time.

In school, we continue to offer revision sessions by subject teachers, as well as a quiet place to study in the LRC on Saturdays.  Similarly, I ask that you continue to support your son or daughter through ensuring that they have a suitable space at home to revise in: one that is quiet, with plenty of space to set out folders, flashcards, past exam papers and mark schemes.  Checking in on them in terms of discussing progress and learning, testing key terms or meanings can be very helpful too as it gives them the opportunity to demonstrate that they are remembering revision topics.   Music is not recommended when trying to revise.

Regular breaks or switching to another task (such as making your dinner!), can also help to provide balance and structure revision, it is difficult to concentrate for long periods of time and the law of diminishing returns can apply after a while, so taking a walk, a sporting activity or meeting friends can provide just the required balance to help pupils stay fresh, organised and stop tension over exams building up.  Revision with friends, when properly done, can also be very effective.  Students should continue to follow their revision timetables, use the tips for effective revision and ensure that they have a proper night’s sleep during the exam season.  Parental support in helping all of these happen will really make a difference, so many thanks in advance.

I wish all of the students success as they continue on their journey of learning and I thank all of you for your continuing support in partnership with the school.