Exam Preparation – Top Tips for Parents | Surbiton High School
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Exam Preparation – Top Tips for Parents

Posted: 23rd March 2018

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The exam season is nearly upon us and we have pulled together some helpful tips to get you and your daughter through the exams, feeling as confident and well-prepared as possible.


  1. Ensure your daughter has a specific place to study that is cleared of  clutter and distractions. Finding the right environment will enhance her revision
  2. Don’t let your daughter put off revising until the last minute
  3. Do not allow phones where she is studying. Revision time needs to be focused
  4. Break subjects and revision into bite-sized chunks
  5. Ensure she takes regular breaks to move around and has a short change of scenery
  6. Use the Easter break as an opportunity to purchase all books and materials: Flash cards, post-it-notes, highlighters, note books, past papers etc
  7. Encourage your daughter to try different revision techniques to suit her subject and style of learning – mind maps, post it notes, highlighting text etc
  8. Make sure your daughter does not waste revision time on making notes look immaculate – they are purely functional
  9. Ensure there are lots of healthy snacks and drinks in the house.
  10. Ensure she eats a good breakfast on the day of exams
  11. Quizlet is a great app on the Surbiton High School iPad for your daughter to set their own tests
  12. Learn your daughter’s exam timetable. This has been sent via MIS to parents if you would like to refer to it
  13. Build in rewards for her revision
  14. Most importantly, concentrate on your own child, and don’t worry what other girls are doing

YEAR 7 – 9

  1. Enjoy the Easter holidays and ensure your daughter takes a break, coming back ready for a busy summer term
  2. Revision does not need to start until two weeks prior to the exams. These are consolidation weeks for homework
  3. Pupils should ideally be looking at approximately 1 hour of study per day
  4. Ensure your daughter has revision material to take to school for the allocated revision sessions in her timetable each day

GCSE (YEAR 10-11) & A-LEVEL (YEAR 12 – 13)

  1. Try and encourage your daughter to get up and get dressed to revise – it will put her in the right frame of mind
  2. Subject revision guides are available to purchase for all subjects. These are really useful if you would like to help your daughter. Ensure you purchase the correct guides – some exam boards offer two types of papers and please note Modern Foreign Languages and Maths are IGCSEs
  3. Time your daughter doing past papers (available from the exam board GCSE’s or A-Levels). NB She may have only completed part of a paper previously whilst they were still covering curriculum areas, so she needs to pay attention to the full time allowed for the exam
  4. Your daughter must know her candidate number off by heart – this can no longer be added afterwards by the School. The centre number will be on the wall in each exam room
  5. Your daughter must write her full name on the exam papers – not abbreviations
  6. It is a good idea to familiarise your daughter with the style of the papers she will be sitting
  7. Encourage her to ensure she knows what is being assessed for each question/paper and how to structure her answers in order to meet the assessment objectives.
  8. Ensure your daughter familiarises herself with the instructions on the paper. For example, answering three sections when only two are needed will result in fewer marks
  9. Your daughter will need to work out approximate timing for each question based on the allocated marks – a question worth 20% of the mark should be allocated 20% of the time


  1. The School encourages all pupils to do a revision timetable together. Doing it together can make it easier to guarantee she is working when she is timetabled to be working. The timetable planner, prepared by our very own Rebecca Handley, can be downloaded here 
  2. Break the day into three sessions. Two of the three sessions should be study periods. One session should be allocated to free time.
  3. Ensure she works the day to suit her habits – is she an early bird or late night owl?
  4. Try not to harass her too much to study or make too many demands on her. she will be feeling the pressure herself.

If you have any further queries or require more guidance, please contact your daughter’s form tutor or subject teacher.

Kate Sharp

Head of Examinations

Categories: Exams Senior School