During the early years of primary school, I always did my homework on time and to the best of my ability. I would always listen carefully in class and make sure I asked any questions if I was stuck on a question or didn’t understand something.
Later, I began preparing for the Heckmondwike Grammar Test. I completed book after book and did lots of practice until I became better at answering questions correctly. When I started, I could hardly answer any question but with practice and time, this because much easier. Just remember to focus, try your best and ask for help! Also redo questions you got wrong/harder questions again and again until you can do them. They will probably come up!
During GCSE’s and A level:
At first, I would complete my homework and classwork as requested by the teachers. A couple of weeks before exams I would start revising. I revised by making notes in my own words in notebooks . Writing facts out really helps you to remember them! I also have a whiteboard in which I would write out the notes over and over again until I knew them from memory. At the end I would do the practice questions in the textbooks and any past papers! Most of these questions will come up again!
As you get more content to revise and the work gets harder, it is important to revise as you go along, i.e. don’t leave all your revision to examtime. For example during A level, every 2 weeks I would make neat notes (using headings, coloured pens, sticky notes etc) in notepads making sure I understood everything I was writing down. Of course, don’t copy the text book, stick to key points! If I got stuck, I would try to understand the concept myself. I looked in textbooks and on the internet for the answers/simple explanations. If you work something out for yourself you are more likely to remember it! If this did not work then I would ask a teacher.
It is important to learn as you go along which makes revision later so much quicker and easier! For other subjects you may need to practice techniques the whole year, e.g. do lots of practice questions for maths and write essays for English/history etc. I would use my frees at school wisely and complete revision in these sessions too. I would work/revise for about 3/4 hours every day after school and a few hours at the weekend too.
Of course, don’t work all the time. I used to take part in my House competitions such as Spelling Bee, Debates and was part of the hockey team. During A level, I also volunteered weekly.
During my GCSE’s all my friends were very clever and so I think there was a bit of competition in who would get the highest marks in exams. But at the end of the day, I worked hard for me, because I wanted to do the best I could. During A levels, I decided I wanted to study medicine at university and would need A’s in order to do so. This definitely motivated me through these years! So, I think I have been successful in my studies because I wanted to revise, learning wasn’t always a chore- I did enjoy it and I wanted to receive high grades at school.
It is also important to manage your time well. I would make lists stating what work I had to do/topics to revise that day and would cross off each item I’d completed. I would put my phone away, work somewhere quiet and revise solidly for about 45 minutes before taking a break and starting again.
Khadija Iqbal had private tuition in Bradford and was kind enough to offer her experiences as an Improve tutor pupil in Bradford.