Thursday, 9 May 2013

Getting ready for your exams


Not long now until GCSE and A level exams get under way for 2013. Students everywhere will be revising and preparing for their exams. This year, we expect more NEC students than ever to be sitting exams either at one of our partnership centres, a local school or college or even on board ship if they’re serving in the Royal Navy!


With 50 years experience and hundreds of thousands of successful students, we wanted to share with you some of our best exam tips.


Liz Shiner, NEC tutor, says “ It's well worth finding out your own Learning Style.  This will help you to decide how  to commit information to memory by 'helping' your brain to deal with material in the most effective way.Try the questionnaire on this site:  http://sunburst.usd.edu/~bwjames/tut/learning-style/




Another NEC tutor, Josie Briggs, agrees and says “there are different ways and it is a case of finding the best ones for you. One is to write down the main points of a topic, then do that again without looking, check if you have it right and do it yet again if you haven't. This is also useful for diagrams and flow-charts. Writing things down several times is an active process which helps you to remember.”


“Get your timing right so you finish all questions,” says Steve Waugh - NEC tutor “practice timed answers before you do the exam”


Maths is one of the most popular subjects at NEC, we asked NEC maths tutor Alan Stancombe what advice he would give to anyone sitting a maths exam this summer “Maths is a practical subject which requires the use of a pen. Don't just sit and read it in books. Do questions, questions, questions. First of all make sure you can do all the assignment questions correctly”


Of course as well as making sure you know the subject well and that you’re prepared for any questions that you might be asked, you need to think about other ways to prepare yourself for the big day. Some things to consider are:

  • Check your exam arrangements - make sure you know the time, date and venue
  • Familiarise yourself with your journey - make sure you know where you are going and how long the journey will take
  • Get a good night’s sleep - this might be easier said than done, but an early night rather that last minute revision should help
  • Pack the night before - make sure you have everything you need ready the night before, don’t forget

So, you are now confident in your subject, well rested and ready to go - time to sit the exam!

Colin Pagent, another of NEC’s expert tutors, says “Don't automatically go for a question because it has a word, phrase or topic that you think is easy; you may run out of things to say or finish it too quickly. Appraise each choice and then make a cool-headed decision, bearing in mind that the question which seems hardest at first glance may actually give you more to get your teeth into.”

“When you are in the exam,” General Education co-ordinator at NEC, Sarah Barrett says, “ read all the questions and instructions thoroughly, think about how you’re presenting your answers and check your answers before you hand in your paper. Don’t forget to check the back page for any more questions!”

If you are sitting exams this summer, good luck from all the staff and tutors here at NEC. We’ve passed on our best advice and hope it helps you to achieve the grade you want, the rest is up to you!


Have a look at our wide range of A Level and GCSE courses and you could be sitting and exam next summer.

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