Friday, 18 January 2013

Ten Things to do While Stuck at Home Because of Snow.

  1. Review notes from last term: memory is enhanced by repetition – going over notes and (even better) writing revision notes will refresh memory, and help to get material into long term memory.
  2. Take the file used for a subject, and order it, creating a contents page at the beginning of every section, listing all the handouts and pieces of work within the section, and syllabus headings and subheadings – knowing which part of a topic any question is referring to, and where it falls in the grand scheme of things, is a very valuable skill in an exam when under time pressure.
  3. Turn linear notes on a topic into a mind-map – using different colours, and if possible images printed off the internet, and cut and pasted onto the mind-map.
  4. Write down questions to address to teachers: so that one to one time can be used wisely when the opportunity arises. It is good to aim for five questions in each subject.
  5. Find 5 pieces (words or phrases) of technical vocabulary in each subject that are not perfectly understood. (Any term that cannot be instantly and fluently defined orally is not perfectly understood).
  6. Try to set a short test for peers on the theme: ‘...what is the difference between...?’ picking two very similar or related ideas for each question. (eg ‘What is the difference between an excuse and a reason?’ ‘what is the difference between velocity and speed?’ ‘What is the difference between fixed and variable costs?’)
  7. Trawl through all written feedback given by teachers in their marking (or school reports). Note themes of similar comments and allocating one action for the next week to assist in reducing or eliminating this weakness. If unsure, take all written feedback and turn it into a wordle and see what jumps out.
  8. Take a question recently attempted, and seek to write a mark-scheme for the examiner to use – what knowledge is necessary to get 40% of the marks, and 60% and 80%? What would the A* candidate include/attempt that others might not?
  9. Download the specification for a course studied from the exam board website. Note the skills examiners are rewarding in the exams, contained in the specification preamble: evaluate own skills against these, and consider which areas currently present the strongest challenge.
  10. Download a past paper from the exam board website, and complete it. Having done this, download the markscheme and attempt to mark the work completed.
And finally.... don’t ever say again that you didn’t do any work because you didn’t have any to do! 

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