Top tips for GCSE and A-Level students as schools open

A survey by University College London (UCL) has revealed that one in five students have completed less than one hour’s worth of school work a day during lockdown, which equates to around 2.3 million pupils across the UK. This information comes as secondary schools this week opened their doors to GCSE and A-Level students as they begin to prepare for their exams in 2021.

But with exams still up in the air, are GCSE and A-Level students the worst affected by the Coronavirus crisis? Students are still receiving minimal contact time with teachers, even as schools reopen, as around 90% of individual pupils are only attending for one day each week. The impact that the lockdown period will have on university attendance is still unclear, with many planning to defer their entry as institutions – such as Cambridge University – plan on implementing online classes for the next academic year.

Until schools can fully reopen to all students, online services will continue to play a vital role in the education world. For those students in Years 10 and 12 starting to begin preparations for exams, MyTutor – the UK’s leading online tutoring service – provides top tips for doing so:

1. Don’t panic

Leave yourself plenty of time to start revision – cramming before an exam is not an effective way to prepare. Create a flexible timetable and don’t panic if you don’t strictly stick to it – some topics will be harder than others and you may need to spend a little extra time than you originally thought. Equally, some might be easier. As long as you allow yourself ample time these elements will balance out.

2. Test yourself

One of the best ways to make sure that you have fully absorbed information is to test yourself. Before each block of revision, write out a few key questions on the topics you plan on revising, and make sure you can answer these questions without your notes by the end of the session. Or enlist help from a friend! If you can both identify key topics you want to cover, test each other – you’ll benefit from being able to explain answers out loud and on the spot, and from having someone else explain ideas back to you.

3. Don’t over-do it

While revising at home, it can be helpful to think about the day in blocks of time so that you do not burn yourself out. Try revising for two hours in the morning, two hours in the afternoon and two in the evening across three different subjects. That way, you achieve a really robust amount of work but with plenty  of time for breaks and enjoyment in between.

4. Get creative with your notes

From flashcards to mind maps, find which techniques work best for you. Displaying information in a concise manner is really important for revision notes to help with memorisation. Experiment with different colours too!

5. Find help from an expert

For any curriculum-focused learning, online tuition is a great way to get help. With MyTutor, all our tutors sat their GCSEs and A Levels in the past few years, so they know the courses back-to-front and they can explain things in a way teens can understand. MyTutor also have a free Online School to help GCSE students.

About the Online School
MyTutor – in a bid to support those working diligently on their studies at home – also launched a free Online School last month, which is packed with help for GCSE students. The platform offers daily live group tutorials with the platform’s top tutors on key GCSE topics and new resources are added every day. Pre-recorded videos focussing on popular topics are also uploaded to MyTutor’s YouTube channel regularly, across a wide range of subjects, but are currently centred around the core subjects: Maths, the three Sciences and English. A-Level modules will also soon be added.

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