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Nothing, they say, is certain except death and taxes, but the prospect of public exams for the first summer for a while is looking fairly likely, and Year 13 students are facing A level exams without the experience of GCSEs and AS exams behind them. Revision could be an issue for these students as they prepare for exams that will shape their future. So it’s never too early to start, especially if mocks are coming up.

Of course, the best advice about revision is “Do some revision!” I remember people saying to me that you can’t revise maths and it’s a glorious half-truth – there’s certainly less value in preparing revision notes and colouring in revision timetables in our subject, so my second, third and fourth best pieces of revision advice are “do the sums”, “do the sums” and “do the sums”! There are now plenty of past papers available for students to practise with. The cancelled summer exams were taken by candidates in the autumn and the papers are coming into the public domain for your use.

Some students are great planners of their revision and much has been written to help these students. Hodder Education have recently published a free online guide to revision in all subjects with generic advice and subject specific help for a range of subjects including maths.

Other students aren’t really planners at all, and I have another suggestion for them. Break up revision into very few areas and create a tally chart to record your work. Find a 25-minute slot to revise a topic you feel like doing and record a tally mark as you go. Try to balance the work between subject areas. You can squeeze in another slot when you only have a bit of time and you might not otherwise get started. The website is an online timer and recording system that some of my students have found really useful. It’s free to register, and you can “do a tomato” of revision when it suits you and it all adds up! You could set a target of “tomatoes” for the week/month/term.

Good luck to staff and students for the mock exam season and the preparation for the summer series!

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