Blog: March 2017

Friday, 31 March 2017

Taking your exams this summer? Follow our top 10 revision tips

A student lounging on a red sofa and revising from a book of study notes

With Easter fast approaching it’s the time of year when students across the country are preparing for their upcoming exams.

If you are sitting exams this summer and worried about the amount of revision you’ve done so far don’t panic! It’s never too late to start revising, but the more time you can give yourself the better your preparation will be and the more confident you’ll feel in your exam.

These tips from our Student Support Team on the actions you can take will help you to make the most of your revision time.

  1. Looking at your subject syllabus and working your way through the content is a good starting point. It will give you a good overview of the course content and the topics required for your exams.
     
  2. Drawing up a revision timetable will make sure that you are fully prepared for your exams. Remember to include extra time for anything unexpected that might come up and avoid last-minute cramming the night before your exam.
     
  3. Actively engaging with your learning materials and using different ways to study will make it easier to remember content. You could try:
    • reading material out loud;
    • learning using flash cards;
    • discussing the course content with family and friends and getting them to ask you questions about it;
    • drawing colourful maps and sheets - using colours and images will help you to memorise facts.
       
  4. Looking at your materials and revision notes will help you to remember, so make sure you include time to revisit them more than once.
     
  5. Finding somewhere quiet to study where you will be uninterrupted will help you revise. The library or your room are the best places.
     
  6. Exercising increases your productivity by reducing tiredness and stress. By increasing your heart rate your brain gets more oxygen, so go for a bike ride, a run or to the gym, or even just take the dog for a walk!
     
  7. Familiarising yourself with exam questions and exam techniques is really helpful. Make sure that you do plenty of past papers, check out revision guides, and understand the key terminology you will need to use in your exam.
     
  8. Making summary notes will help you learn and remember.
     
  9. Rewriting notes from memory helps to memorise the information and highlights where more work and revision is needed before your exam.
     
  10. Rewarding yourself is important. It’s not all about studying. Set yourself study goals, give yourself breaks between study times, and when you’ve met some of your goals spend time with friends and family.
     

If you have any questions or need guidance to help with your revision and plan for your exams, remember that your tutor and the Student Support Team are here to help you so do get in touch.

We could arrange for your tutor to mark a past paper for you, or for a tutorial to discuss a particular area you need to focus on with your tutor. To find out more about purchasing these services, and to discuss what’s on offer please get in touch on 0800 389 2839.

We have worked with UCAS to prepare a series of study skills guides which you may find helpful with your revision and your exams. You can find these on the UCAS website.

From everyone at NEC, good luck with your revision and with your exams!
 

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Thursday, 02 March 2017

The books behind A level English Literature

A stack of hardback novels

Today is the 20th annual World Book Day. A day to celebrate all things reading, including the authors, illustrators and of course books. Children across the country are dressing up as their favourite book characters for school: we’ve had reports of the NEC team spotting Willy Wonka, Oliver Twist and Horrid Henry on their way into the office this morning.

This year, we thought we’d celebrate by talking about the wonderful works of literature featured in our A level English Literature course.

Othello, William Shakespeare
If you study English Literature at A level, you expect to come across Shakespeare. Othello is one of the great tragedies, a story of love, hate, jealousy, deception and revenge. The varying and enduring themes keep this classic story relevant, even 400 years after it was first written.

The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald
Written in 1925, this story is about love in Jazz-age New York. A classic tale made popular again recently by the film adaptation starring Leonardo DiCaprio, it explores themes such as decadence, social upheaval and excess and has been described as a cautionary tale for the American dream.

Skirrid Hill, Owen Sheers
This collection of poems can be described as haunting, wise, and tender. They are grounded in sharply but delicately observed detail and deal with separation, loss, division, conflict, the anguish associated with growing up and relationships with the past, along with celebrations of love, sensuality, tenderness, constancy, the beauty of the natural world and the connections which people make with it.

Spies, Michael Frayn
Uncovering secrets in their innocent game-playing, there are plots within plots in this modern psychological thriller. An elderly man reminisces about his life during the Second World War as he wanders down the now modernised London cul-de-sac that he once called home.

All My Sons, Arthur Miller
A modern play set just after World War II sees a man accused of knowingly shipping damaged airplane parts that led to the deaths of 21 servicemen. While only his business partner was convicted of the crime, he was guilty as well. When the truth comes out, it damages even further the psyches of both families' children, who were left scarred by their own experiences during the war.

The Yellow Wallpaper, Charlotte Gilman-Perkins
This short story depicts a descent into madness in the mid-nineteenth century. The story of a woman suffering from postnatal depression who becomes obsessed with the yellow wallpaper in the room she has been confined to by her husband.

A View From The Bridge, Arthur Miller
Set in an Italian-American neighborhood in Brooklyn, the central themes in this 1950s play are love, justice and the law, and codes of honour. A gripping and tragic tale of a family living in poverty after immigrating to make a better life for themselves.

All of the above are studied in-depth as part of our A level English Literature as well as a selection of poems from the AQA Anthology. Would you like to learn more about these literary classics? You can find more information about NEC’s A level English Literature on our course page, or by getting in touch with our Course Advice Team on 0800 389 2839.
 

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