Tips & Tricks blog
EXAM BOARDS HAVE PUBLISHED YOUR EXAM QUESTIONS! HOW TO SYSTEMATICALLY LEARN THE ANSWERS
In an unprecedented move, all the exam boards have published a list of questions that schools can use to build your final exams. They have done this for both GCSE & A-Level exams. Where can you find these published questions? They are usually titled as ‘2021 Assessment Materials’ in the past paper areas on the AQA, Edexcel and OCR website.
Sounds almost too good to be true, right? Here’s the catch. Your school doesn’t have to use any of the questions offered by the exam boards. As a result, the way in which you prepare for your final exams will depend on which of these 4 camps you fall into. Your school…
- Will be using all the questions from the 2021 question banks and your exam will consist entirely of these question
- Will be using some of the questions from the 2021 question banks
- Will be using none of these questions from the 2021 question banks
- Hasn’t told you if they will or won’t be using the 2021 question banks
Your school will be using all or some of the questions, how should you revise?
First, get yourself organised by creating a table in excel or a Google sheet with all the available question sets online.
Then, to achieve top grades in your exams, you quite simply need to…
Step 1 – Answer all the questions without looking at your textbooks
Step 2 – Check your answers with a teacher, tutor or your mark scheme
Step 3 – Create your own mark scheme by noting down all the correct answers
Step 4 – Go back to step 1
Follow the above 4 step approach for each of your subjects and your chances of achieving all 9s will significantly improve. By the time exams roll around, you should have a mark scheme for each question set that you can keep learning over and over again.
If your school’s only using some of the questions, follow the 4 step process above and also do additional past papers on top.
Your school will be using none of the questions or haven't told you, how should you revise?
Nothing has really changed for you apart from the fact you have more practice questions to complete. As exams are weeks away, you should take a ‘question lead’ approach to revision. Attempt each past paper, mark it, identify the topics you found tricky, use the Scribble Technique to learn those specific topics from a textbook and then re-attempt the paper.
Do this for each and every past paper for each and every subject, and you will achieve top grades.
Where can you find the answers
Some of the questions in these question banks have come from existing past papers. So, you can find the answers by looking at the mark schemes that are also published on each exam board’s website.
However, the exam boards have made life harder by not telling you which past papers they nabbed the question from. So, if your school hasn’t given you the answers, you may need to build the mark scheme yourself by finding which past papers the questions have come from. Alternatively, ask a teacher or tutor to mark your answers.
You're in year 10 or 12. Does this have anything to do with me?
There is a reasonable chance that your teachers may use some of the questions from the 2021 assessment packs in your mock exams. So, it’s worth attempting these questions to cover all bases.
Despite having been handed grade 9s and A*s on a plate, many students will still fail to remember all the required information because they’ll use the wrong memorisation technique. Passively glazing over the mark scheme/textbooks, highlighting or copying out of the textbook won’t get you top grades. To retain all the required information for your exam, you need to continuously pull that information out of your brain multiple times.
If any of the information provided was unclear, come join us on our webinar this Sunday to ask all your burning questions!
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This is a truly helpful and informative article. Thank you so much for your efforts guys!