Why subject specific tutoring isn’t necessarily enough to guarantee exam success. 

Subject specific tutoring is clearly valuable and helps many learners. It is however designed to do a specific job – to help a student to understand and master areas of the curriculum in a certain subject which they have found tricky and need to re-visit with an expert. When done well, this is gold dust and should definitely be explored for your child if you feel they need it.

What we offer in the Radical Revision programme is, arguably, even more important.  Even with all the subject tutoring in the world, if you haven’t harnessed the secret skill-sets of effective revision and exam technique a lot of that time and money will be wasted. I like to use the analogy of a sports car – there is no point in investing in an expensive, dream car if you haven’t learnt how to drive it… Similarly, your teen has a head full of knowledge, imparted to them by their schooling, yet if they do not know how to harness that knowledge and use it when needed, it is, like the car, simply ‘sitting on the driveway’.

Pupils need to learn how to organise their revision – come up with a workable timetable and then cultivate the habit of building several short revision ‘bursts’ into their day. They also need to know how to break down their revision into manageable chunks and then ‘interleave’ the topics so that they revisit each one several times with sufficient gaps between each session. They need to know how to summarise successfully and which revision techniques work best for them, according to the type of learner that they are. And finally, they need to have honed their ‘exam technique’, making sure they understand exam question wording, what to do in the first and last three minutes of an exam and how to keep calm throughout. Only then can they truly achieve their true potential.

All schools acknowledge the importance of revision and will be trying to support and encourage their pupils to revise, however, the curriculum is very full. Subject teachers will understandably prioritise their own subject content and skills, meaning that revision skills are often squeezed into short tutor time sessions or even offered as one stand-alone session. Here at Radical Revision we are passionate about the need to make revision both effective and fun and we teach a wide range of cutting-edge, varied revision methods which pupils won’t have learned in school. With activities ranging from tatooing a banana to KWLP grids, there is something in the programme for every kind of learner.

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