Tip Number 2: Offer some more materials
In a recent piece for parents, we outlined ten great ways that parents can be supportive and productive in helping their kids to achieve higher on their GCSE and A-Level exams. I covered my advice on sharing multiple-choice questions that will help your kids master the foundation of the knowledge they need. They cover a lot of ground quickly and be able to identify critical gaps in their education so that they can better allocate study time.
In this piece, we are looking at the second piece of advice from our list of tips “Offer More Materials: Knowledge Checklists.” These useful tools may not connect directly to the act of revising GCSE or A-Level content, but they are an invaluable resource nonetheless. A knowledge checklist is essentially a list of all the topics and specific knowledge points that students should be covering in their revision. Giving one of these to your son or daughter to help with revision may seem like a small token, but you mustn’t underestimate the value of one of these checklists. You can download knowledge checklists I’ve written by signing up to my mailing list.
What good will this checklist bring to my son or daughter?
Benefit 1: A checklist helps them to make plans and realistic goals
When they can see all the knowledge that they need to know in one place, it makes it easier for students to visualise and plan how much they need to complete each day and exactly how much material there is to cover. Without the checklist, many students can go through periods of panic and feeling overwhelmed because for them, in their heads at least, they have a cloud-topped peak to climb and no idea how long it’s going to take. When despair takes over, productivity plummets. Help them plan and make realistic daily/weekly study goals using the knowledge checklist as a guide
Once students can visualise where they need to go, they can more easily build a road map to get there. If students start early enough, they can link together different concepts to build pathways that connect related topics and allow them to establish those connections in their mind. When students are better able to see how subjects relate to one another, they are also better able to retain the information they learn about them. Connected knowledge is secure knowledge.
Benefit 2: They provide a logical pathway to cover all the materials
Benefit 3: They give stressed-out students more peace of mind
One of the many pitfalls that students preparing for GCSE and A-Level fall into is that of struggling to move on from one topic area to another. As they progress through the material in one topic, they can’t help but get a niggling sensation somewhere at the back of their mind that they’ve missed something or overlooked some essential detail. The checklist will offer peace of mind to students as it clearly states all the material to be covered. This means that as students tick off the boxes, they can rest assured that they have indeed finished what they need to finish, and can now safely and efficiently move on to the next topic.
When used in conjunction with the multiple-choice questions that we discussed in the Tip 1 article, students can better identify which areas of each topic they know well already and which areas need more attention. On their knowledge checklist, they can then put asterisks or other markings next to those topics which they know they should dedicate more time to. This makes planning the revision timetable and organising study time much more relaxed and makes executing study time more productive.
Benefit 4: It helps students to balance and prioritise their revision
Don’t forget that you can download knowledge checklists free when you sign up to my mailing list. Try them out with your son or daughter and see the difference quickly. We strongly recommend that you give materials like multiple-choice questions and knowledge checklists as early as possible. This is because they are extremely valuable in the revision planning and preparation stages as well as during the long process of revision itself. Download today and share these great resources with your kids.