Hello, so most teens in the U.K. are going back to school next week. I thought I’d try and give some advice for starting into year 11.

1. Find what works for you

Your teachers may have been talking to you about different learning styles for a while now. By now you should probably have some idea of how you learn best- so use these methods to do the most effective revision. You may prefer mindmaps, flash cards, quiz questions etc. Or maybe different styles for each subject. Personally- I love flash cards so used them for everything, but I preferred to use mindmaps for English. By knowing what works for you, revising can become more effective.

2. Make notes

Make sure that by April or May you’ve got all of your notes written out. Whether it be in notepads, mindmaps or flash cards- have them ready to revise from. Use them too help comprehend information, quiz yourself and get others to quiz you. 

3. Use your mock exams/ mini-tests to your advantage

Mock exams and tests can be a useful way of revision. You can use them to find weaknesses and improve in those areas, as well as for revising for the real thing. At my school- we always went over past papers with a different pen colour and corrected our mistakes- helping you to find patterns of the things you need to improve on-and use this to your advantage.

4. Past papers are you best friend 

Past papers are brilliant. Once you’ve made your notes, do as many past papers as possible. This will help you to apply the knowledge into exam style questions. It may be hard due to the changing spec, but use old papers, and specimen papers, as well as textbook questions to help you learn to master exams. They’ll help you to learn what the examiners want and the way in which you should give it to them- know the markscheme.

5. Don’t over work/ stress

I’m not going to deny that this won’t be, probably, the most stressful year in your life so far- however don’t work yourself far into the night, or do too much, it can become unhealthy if you over work- so learn to find your limit. I know that you can stress so much about exams- but  try to relax sometimes as it’s damaging to your mental and physical health to stress and overwork.

Make sure you enjoy your last year at high school and embrace it. Work hard but don’t overwork. Keep the work- life balance. I hope these are useful for you.

-Jenn

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