The step up from GCSEs to A levels is a considerable challenge for many students. Critical analysis, problem solving and research skills are skills which will develop your young learners into all round thinkers who can methodically apply appropriate and well-structured reasoning. The implementation of effective study strategies will give your students the foundation to achieve and succeed in their chosen subjects.
The chances are that they are a range of types, or a mixture of more than one. Within your study techniques, you should make sure there is a choice so that each student gains the most from your effective strategies. Visual learners will do best working from and with diagrams, mind maps, flashcards, mnemonic devices or charts – ways to show relationships by using colours, graphics and designs for logical understanding. Reading and Writing learners prefer to study by reading previous papers, looking at revision notes, searching out the highest grade written work and memorising, condensing and rewriting information from books and other sources. Auditory learners may prefer to hear themselves with recorded notes, watch TedX talks or videos, revision set to music or simply discuss their studies to make retaining information easier. Repetition of information embeds their learning style. Kinaesthetic learners have a more tactile approach to learning using all their senses. They may move around more, need additional breaks and can get tired quicker. Using a physical approach to learning by using practical solutions or learning via activities, or doing something that may look like they are not concentrating (ie throwing a ball) actually helps them to recall their learning.
Students everywhere need to understand the key concepts of studying for successful A Levels. They should make sure they have looked at a wide range of previous papers so they fully understand the questions asked and have an answer for everything even if unsure – that way students could gain precious extra marks. Whatever their preferred style of learning, they need to give themselves plenty of time to revise and revisit the syllabus including past work; ideally with regular quizzes and student support and a manageable study schedule. Do not underestimate the value of sharing previous excellent submissions, this is a proven tactic that inspires and teaches students what can be done and how a little extra work at this stage pays dividends.
Exams are a very stressful time for many students and it is vital they take care of their wellbeing alongside their studies. Give them time to relax and recharge, talk about how they can wind down with healthy activities such as physical exercise and encourage discussion on how they have found the experience. By offering a variety of learning options, understanding how to improve their studies and making sure they are coping with the extra pressure successfully, your young learners will feel more confident that they can go into their exams with a positive outlook and a knowledge of how to achieve highly.
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