DoodleMaths was created by teachers who really understand how kids learn. Now that exam season is upon us, what are the best tips we can offer for revision?
1. Revise actively. Don’t stare at books trying to remember formulae and methods. You’ll remember them far better by using them and applying them to questions.
2. Don’t be tempted to revise what you already know. Learning is most effective when you are learning at your threshold, that is, marginally beyond what you are confident with. So if you are aiming for a ‘B’ at GCSE then work at this level first, and don’t get bogged down in all that ‘A’ grade stuff. If you’re doing SATs, stick at the work that’s been recommended for you.
3. Revise with a buddy. We’re social beasts, and a maths problem shared is often a problem solved. You’ll need to be a positive influence on each other, and be a similar level in maths – it won’t work if one is getting much more from it than the other. If you’re under 12, your study buddy is one of your parents.
4. Invest in appropriate resources. There are a lot of resources out there, both digital and paper-based. Much of it is poor quality and sometimes out-of-date. Check it applies to the exam board and current examination year, as well as being suitable for your level. It should be designed by or alongside experienced teachers. Use what your teacher has given you.
5. Short bursts are best. Try 20 minutes on, 10 minutes off.
6. Be conscious of the time of day you are at your best. I’m a morning person, but Nicola (my co-founder) is an evening person. We’re similar levels at maths, but we’d make hopeless revision buddies!
Stay fresh, stay happy, try your best and relish the opportunity to show them what you can do!