How to help students revise for English


Exams take place throughout the school year, and in all subjects pupils face constant pressures around revision and techniques.

This is especially true with English revision, and while it is predominantly memory based, pupils need to understand how and why to apply the theory too.

And whether it’s for end of term, mock, set or government exams, starting early can help pupils to get ahead.

For those in English teaching jobs, we’ve got a selection of tips to help your students revise for English in a way that doesn’t feel like information is being thrown at them to go in one ear and out the other!

Turn to past papers

Past papers provide a unique insight for pupils, as they’ll see what to expect when they sit down in an exam hall to do the real thing.

Revision World has links to collections of past GCSE papers from the major exam bodies, including AQA, Edexcel, OCR and Pearson, which can be quickly accessed and used for revision and mock exam scenarios.

In addition, BBC Bitesize has further content from the exam boards which pupils can match to their areas of study.

Ensure pupils know where to get marks

In order to maximise their potential marks in an exam, pupils need to know what to include and how to structure their answers.

Much of this work can be addressed in lessons and revision sessions, but you may also want to provide your pupils with a checklist so that they are aware of what regularly features in a mark scheme.

If different forms of writing are required in the answers, a refresher session on the techniques and theory behind each should enable pupils to deepen their knowledge and understanding.

Encourage your pupils to think that writing less could mean more, as being able to express their ideas with greater clarity and accuracy should help them to improve their answers.

Structured revision

Using revision cards, games and quiz cards can help pupils to memorise the key information and English processes that will be needed in exams.

TeachIt has a range of revision resources covering the various key stages which are all designed to aid with exam preparation and which could also be used in the classroom environment.

You may also want to question your pupils on elements they are unsure on, as follow up sessions can then be structured to address those concerns.

Encourage pupils to teach each other

Peer-to-peer learning can be especially effective at helping pupils to retain key information, so look to set aside time to have them run through topics with each other.

Whether it’s splitting your students into small groups or leaving them to do it one-on-one, focus on certain topics or ideas as this should enable them to identify gaps in their learning.

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