Exams

Information for students and parents/carers:

Examinations can be a stressful time for all of the family, not just the student actually taking the examination. In this section, you’ll find revision tips, frequently asked questions (FAQs) and all of the information relating to Aldridge School’s exam cycles for 2017.

Internal Exams 2017 are calendared for the dates shown below. These exams form an important part of the assessments we use to monitor progress as well as giving students the opportunity to experience sitting papers in full examination conditions. The results of these internal exams will inform staff of any interventions required to ensure further progress is made. It is critical that students prepare well for these exams so they can perform to their very best standard.

Useful Links

How to … How to help your teenagers revise for exams

GCSE Pod

Exam Boards

WJEC

OCR

AQA

 

 

Getting Ready for Exams…

Get Organised Start your revision early and make sure you know all the dates of your internal and external exams. Check for support sessions being held by your teachers – you can be sure there’ll be at least one for each department every week. Make sure you’ve got everything you need – textbooks, notes, past papers, pens etc – and log-on to the exam board website for even more information.

Go Public Make a revision timetable on a large piece of paper and post it up somewhere at home that everyone can see it. That way, everyone knows what you are meant to be studying and when. Strangely enough, letting other people know your plans actually lightens the load, because then it’s not just down to you to motivate yourself and you’ll have better chance of sticking to it.

Turn off Technology! You should unplug your computer or laptop, as it can be too tempting to go off roaming the wide, open spaces of Web-fordshire, instead of ploughing through Pythagorus’ Theorem. It is also important to turn off your mobile phone (one distraction too many). Of course, a ten minute ‘surfing’ break every now and then will help but be strict with yourself and go back to your revision.

Come up with mnemonics The word stands for Make Names Easily Memorable by Organising Nominated Initial Characters. The website Student UK suggests My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas as a way of remembering the nine planets in order of distance from the sun (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto). Try and come up with names or phrases that will help you – or ask your teacher to help you.

Eat well Take a leaf out of the top tennis players’ book and make use of this potassium-rich performance-enhancer to raise your energy levels. When Federer and Nadal need a lift, they don’t reach for a courtside cup of black coffee or can of energy drink, they dip into their kitbags and unzip a banana.

Quality time Ask friends over for a revision session. With things like dates and vocabulary, it’s always better if someone else is testing you, rather than you testing yourself (and peeking at the answers) – but make sure you stick to the subject!

Watch TV Of course, you shouldn’t try to learn the periodic table of chemical elements while watching a TOWIE special. But that doesn’t mean you can’t record a favourite programme and watch it as a treat, between your revision sessions.

Keep Healthy You can do all the revision in the world but if you fall asleep in the exam because your revision runs into the early hours, it’ll count for nothing! Eat well, exercise regularly and make sure you get enough sleep in the run up to your exams to give yourself the best possible chances to achieve your potential.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What do I do if I think I have the wrong paper?
• Staff will ask you to check before the exam starts. If you think something is wrong put your hand up and tell them immediately. If in doubt always check.

Q. What do I do if I forget my Candidate Number?
• Candidate numbers can be found on your timetables; it is important that you bring this to every exam.

Q. What do I do if I forget the school Centre Number?
• The Centre Number is 20806. It will be clearly displayed in every exam room.

Q. What do I do if I have an accident or I am ill before the exam?
• Inform the school at the earliest possible point so we can help or advise you. In extreme circumstances that may result in you being unable to write, it may be possible to provide you with a scribe/laptop but we will need as much prior notice as possible. You may need to obtain medical evidence (from your GP or hospital).

Q. What do I do if I feel ill during the exam?
• Put your hand up and a member of staff will assist you. You should inform a member of staff if you feel ill before or during an exam.

Q. If I am late for my exam, can I still sit the exam?
• Yes. It MAY still be possible for you to sit the exam. You should get to school as quickly as possible.

Q. Do I have to wear school uniform?
• Yes. Normal school rules apply to uniform, hair, jewellery, make-up etc. S

Q. What equipment should I bring for my exams?
• You should bring:

At least 2 pens (black ink only) At least 2 pencils A ruler An eraser A calculator (calculator lids must be removed before you enter the exam room) All your equipment can be brought in a transparent pencil case or a clear bag. You are responsible for providing your own equipment for all exams. You must not attempt to borrow equipment from another candidate during the exam.

Q. What items are not allowed into the exam room?
• Mobile telephones, wristwatches and digital devices including iPods must not be brought into any exam venue, even if they are turned off.
• No food is allowed in the exam venue.
• Drinks are allowed in the exam venue, but the label must be removed from the bottle. No fizzy drinks are allowed.
• Bags and coats have to be placed where instructed; you must not take your bag or coat to your exam desk.

Q. What if I bring my mobile telephone into the exam room?
• Being in possession of a mobile telephone (or any other electronic communication device e.g. iPod, MP4 player, headphones) is regarded as cheating and is subject to severe penalty.  If a mobile phone is detected either in your pocket or bag (even if it is switched off), it is still a breach of exam regulations and will be reported.

Q. How do I know how long the exam is?
• The length of the exam in shown in minutes on your individual timetable. Staff will tell you when to start and finish the exam. They will write the finish time of the exam on the board at the front of the exam room. There will be a clock in all exam rooms.

Q. Can I leave the exam early?
• No. It is a requirement that you stay for the full duration of the exam. It is not the school’s policy to allow candidates to leave the exam room early.

Q. What do I do if the fire alarm goes off?
• The invidulators will tell you what to do. If you have to evacuate the room, leave everything on your desk and leave the room in silence. You MUST NOT attempt to communicate with other candidates during the evacuation. You will still be under exam conditions during the evacuation.

Q. Can I go to the toilet during the exam?
​​​​​​​• If it is absolutely necessary you will be escorted by a member of staff and will not be allowed any extra time.

How to Revise

Draw up a revision timetable

Research shows that shorter 20-30 minute spells work best, because your concentration is much higher. We therefore recommend taking short, frequent breaks. We also advise to mix the order order of the subjects. Take a look at the proposed timetable:

9.00-9.30 Subject 1

Break 5 mins

9.35-10.05 Subject 1

Break 5 mins

10.10-10.40 Subject 2

Break 5 mins1

0.45-11.15 Subject 2

Break 30 mins

11.45-12.15 Subject 3

Break 5 mins

12.20-12.50 Subject 3

Break 1 hour

13.50-14.20 Subject 1

Break 5 mins

14.25-14.55 Subject 2

Break 5 mins

15.00-15.30 Subject 3

Break 5 mins

15.35-16.05 Subject 1

Exercise

Physical activity is very important, in particular during intense study time. Even going for a small 30-minute jog after a day of revision will make a huge difference to your wellbeing. Physical activity increases heart rate which makes the blood circulate faster. This in turn ensures that brain gets more oxygen which increases productivity whilst reducing tiredness and stress.

Find a quiet space

This is a pretty straightforward one: you desperately need a place where you can be uninterrupted for a few hours. Your room, local or your school/university library will do. Be careful with revising in a coffee shop such as Starbucks. It is a popular option, however it does not work for everybody and people often get distracted!

Get down to it in the morning

You have to make a start at some point and doing it sooner rather than later is a very good idea. Try to stick to our draft revision schedule and start revising in the morning – research shows that you are more likely to do all the planned work if you start early, because as it gets closer to the evening, there is bigger tendency to get outside.

Spice up your revision

Use a bit of colour! Drawing colourful learning maps will help you to memorise facts. What is even more interesting is the fact that colourful notes are easier to memorise than plain black and white ones. Give it a go!

Do plenty of past papers

Ask your teacher for some past papers or google them yourself. Most exam boards nowadays put a lot of emphasis on exam technique and simply familiarising yourself with it before the exam can often save you time and help to earn marks at the exam. A lot of examiners do not bother with inventing terribly innovative questions once you have done three or four past papers chances are that some of questions that come on the day will look familiar.

Make summary notes

Making notes is by far the best way to memorise lots of information. We all have been there, sat down reading a textbook and lying to ourselves that the time is being used productively – it is not! The best way to memorise information is by making notes over and over again. It may be incredibly tedious but the thing is that the most successful candidates often make as many as three sets of the same notes in a run up to the exams which help them to memorise the required information.

Reward yourself

It is not all about the work; you need good breaks too. People who manage to find the right balance between study and leisure are the ones who get the top marks. For instance go to a cinema with friends after a productive day of revision or treat yourself to something sweet. Work hard, play not-quite-as-hard is the motto here.

Use your family and friends

Ask people around you to test you and give you feedback. You should already have made handy revision notes (see point #7). Why not give these notes of key dates covering Henry VIII’s reign to your mum and ask her to test you? This is not only a good way to revise but also a good way to have a break from the hard work.

Think positive!

At the end of the day, it’s not all about studying. There are plenty of people who did well in life without 100 per cent in every single exam, or who were actually pretty useless at school and university. Your life isn’t over if you don’t ace the exams, so take the pressure off yourself..

Following these tips you will get loads of work done, feel great about yourself and still have plenty of time to relax with your friends and family. Good luck, now get down to those notes!