Exam Skills

Exam Tips 4 – Anti-panic strategy – by Nicola Morgan

The stress chemicals that propel our body and brain into a brilliant, fizzing state of readiness for action sometimes over-react. It’s not clear why some people tip into panic while others stay outwardly calm and perform perfectly under pressure, but there’s likely a combination of factors, such as: Personality… Read More

Staying positive – Revision Tips – Part 1

Contributions from winning entries to the Revision Tips competition. Awarding yourself treats for completing revision sessions is a great way of motivating yourself and staying positive. Revision is also more enjoyable if you get into the habit of revising the subjects you find more difficult earlier in the day –… Read More

Secondary English – Dealing with A02 English Literature

As an examiner for English Literature, it’s fair to say that one of the most prevalent phrases used by students in response to poetry is: ‘the enjambment helps the poem flow’. This is closely followed in over-use by ‘the poet / writer does this to create an effect.’ Full stop. Read More

Secondary English – Obeying the Command Words

The phrasing of exam questions can mystify teachers, let alone panicking year 11s in the exam hall, and to add to it all the command words used often seem to mean different things in different subjects. As part of my research into improving extended writing in my school, I sifted… Read More

A ‘Never Too Late’ Approach to the Summer Exams

With the countdown to the summer exams well under way I take the view that while there is time there is hope and it is always very helpful to keep a positive mind about the exams that lie ahead; in the final analysis, all we can do is to do… Read More

Secondary English – Non-fiction Exam Preparation

Acronyms seem to have become a vital part of preparing students for GCSE exams. There are loads of them: PALSS (Purpose, Audience, Language, Style, Structure) is a popular one, but fill in the gaps yourselves, I’m sure you know them all. There is a place for acronyms, of course. In… Read More

All A Level – AS to A2 essays

AS to A2… Making the leap Around this time of year I am marking the first couple of A2 essays from my Year 13 students who have negotiated the first hurdle of AS level successfully. It is rare to find a student who produces an A2 mark on a par… Read More

New GCSE Science – Assessment

Any teacher will be all too familiar with that horrible question, “will this be on the exam?”. Who can blame students for asking it when everything’s about getting the marks in the exam?   One of the key features of the new science GCSEs is the assessment, which is designed to… Read More