M2: EDUCATION: Win the Exams War of Nerves!; It Is That Time of Year Again When Children, Teenagers and Higher Education Students Have to Tackle Exams. Revision Is Often Dull, Repetitive Work - but There Are Few Short Cuts, Reports DIANE PARKES

Article excerpt

Byline: DIANE PARKES

WHEN

IDEALLY students will have been doing revision as they go along. Occasional tests, homework, essays and projects should mean a certain amount of information has been absorbed throughout the year. But there is a lot more to do.

Experts recommend starting formal revision six to eight weeks before sitting exams.

But there are no golden rules - take into account how much free time you have.

Plan ahead and construct a realistic timetable. Setting unachievable goals will just leave you discouraged and anxious. Keep the timetable as flexible as possible in case something happens to set you back or a subject takes more time than anticipated.

Try to create a routine. If possible, set aside a few hours each night at a regular time.

Don't be tempted to skip classes towards exam time. New teaching could be covering topics in exams, revision work and hints on how to study.

Try not to begin learning whole new topics. Stick to what you know as lots of new reading could confuse what you have already learnt.

TOP TIPS

See if any of these revision ideas work for you:

RHYMES - Divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived, is the way some people remember the fates of Henry VIII's wives.

MNEMONICS - Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain is how many remember the colours of the rainbow.

REPEAT - lists or quotes aloud until you can recite them from memory.

LINK - historical figures to current happenings or with pictures and names.

Silence is golden

WHERE

Study time is as important as exam time and you can only revise in a space free of distractions and interruptions.

Close yourself off from the television, radio, computer, friends and family to ensure you can concentrate. If there is no quiet place in your home look elsewhere.

You need to be comfortable with everything at hand to minimise distractions. Ensure you have space, the seat is comfortable and there is plenty of light and fresh air.

Try to revise at a time when you are most alert.

Each person knows their peak and trough times, so hit the most demanding tasks when you are at your most able to learn.

Many experts recommend getting up earlier and avoiding the temptation to work through the night. Each person knows their best revision times but be wary of burning the midnight oil as being tired will not help.

Find time to relax. No-one can work all of the time and tempting though it is to get on with the next task, it is important to find time for friends and for yourself.

Try not to worry. Easier said than done, but anxiety and stress will hinder not help revision.

SUPPORTING YOUR CHILD

Exam stress will affect the entire family and many parents are uncertain of the best ways to deal with it. …