Learning Light Bulb – Revision Advice for Parents: How to Support your Teenager’s Revision

With GCSE and A-Level exams approaching successful revision techniques become even more paramount. Huge proportions of students have not been taught how to revise effectively and are unaware of the strategies that will help them to succeed. Action points that will support your teenager include the following:

Establishing your Teenager’s Learning Style
Learning styles are something that not all people are aware of. Every individual has the ability to learn visually, kinaesthetically (movement) and through hearing (auditory). Generally every person has different percentages for each learning style; however there is usually one main one. For example, students who learn more effectively visually will benefit from writing their topics down in their own words or writing their notes again but in more bite size chunks; with bullet points and sub-headings. Those who learn well through hearing can sound record their notes and go for walks listening to them or in their bedroom. Kinaesthetic learning is difficult when it comes to revision, but they could make their notes into a performance or find associations for their topics. The key point to be aware of is that very few people are able to just read and remember everything. By establishing your teenager’s main learning style (through exercises or online quizzes) you can help them to revise effectively and enhance their concentration.

Setting Goals and Organising Time
It is important for your teenager to make a list of topics they need to learn and set deadlines for each area. This can be done via a revision timetable. These goals need to be realistic and organised effectively, in order to ensure that each one can be met. A key factor is to be organised and not last minute. It is recommended that your teenager focuses on one subject at a time. Generally this is planned in order of the exams to ensure everything is covered and then booster days before the exam.

Timeslots and Breaks
Within the timetable there need to be frequent breaks. It will help your teenager to plan this according to their concentration span. Two hour work slots would enable your student to work effectively and cover a lot of ground. If your teenager has a smaller concentration span then one or one and a half hour work timeslots are recommended. Break timeslots should be planned according to the time of day. Morning and afternoon breaks should be approximately fifteen minutes and lunch should be half an hour to an hour.

Food and Hydration
During the breaks it is recommended that your teenager leaves the room where they are revising and have something healthy to eat. This will not only clear their mind and help them organise their thoughts better, but also enables them to have a rest. Fruit and nuts are ideal for morning and afternoon snacks. A healthy and well-balanced lunch is best, for example a sandwich and salad or meat, rice and salad. Throughout the day it is very important that your teenager is constantly hydrated and drinks a lot of water. This will make sure that their brain is hydrated and able to concentrate well.

It is very important that your teenager has had an early night the night before revision and gets at least eight hours sleep. They will not be able to focus on their revision if they are too tired and this will not help them to use their time effectively. If your teenager is complaining about being tired, encourage them to rest for a short time and perhaps go for a short walk. Fresh air effectively clears the head and helps one to focus.

Support and Understanding
Ultimately your role is paramount in helping your teenager to revise effectively. Exams can be stressful for anyone; even adults. By being patient, encouraging, supporting and understanding you can help your teenager be positive and calm about their revision. Giving them regular food and water will help them have the energy to work, without them having to leave their work area to get something. It would also help if you gave them something to look forward to after their exams, such as a day out somewhere or perhaps a pizza delivery. If the exams are approached calmly and positively then they are more likely to be a success, enabling them to reach their full potential.
I wish your teenagers all the best of luck in their coming exams!

Below is a link to a quiz that students may find useful.

Alexandra Lee