TTCS Preparation for Success
A few weeks ago, I set my Year 9 class revision for their homework as they had an end of unit test the following week. When the sighs and groans had subsided, I asked them why they felt so negatively about ‘revision’. The responses were as you would expect: “it’s boring” being the most common thread. I then asked them how they revised, most said that they read through their notes and some said they never bother. This was perhaps more concerning, especially as in a little over two years they would be preparing for their GCSE exams and, as has been mentioned previously, GCSEs are getting harder with a greater need to retain knowledge.
Preparation for exams is key to success. The dictionary definition of ‘revise’ is: reread work done previously to improve one's knowledge of a subject, typically to prepare for an examination. Which is odd as reading notes is arguably the least effective way of acquiring knowledge, it has been suggested that you remember only 20% of what you read. So what can our children do better to prepare for success in exams?
The following acronym may help: TTCS
Teach - Teaching someone about a topic will typically help you remember up to 90% of what has been taught.
Test - Testing each other helps to improve knowledge and identifies areas for further study.
Connect - Connecting sometimes boring facts to vivid imagery, songs, mnemonics, tastes or even smells can be very effective.
Summarise - Condensing notes into revision cards, mind maps is also effective at building knowledge.
We all learn in different ways so what works for one child, may not work for another. It is therefore essential that our children are encouraged to experiment with techniques from the start of Year 7 so that by the time they reach Year 11, they can prepare effectively for success in their exams.
Mr D Woodcock
Head of Thorpe Campus