School exams are to return in 2021 – the Education Secretary in Scotland, John Swinney, has said.

There was significant changes to original grading in the results of 2020 GCSEs and A-Levels, after exams this summer had been cancelled.

Mr Swinney was speaking at the National Parent Forum of Scotland. This blog post is about being prepared for exams.

Exams to return in 2021

Speaking on Thursday night, Mr Swinney, said:

Our objective is to run a full 2021 exam diet.

SQA have consulted on what steps they could take to reduce the burden of assessments before the exam diet – what elements could be removed.

We’ve also looked at the timetable of exams. Do they need to start in late April? Could they start at the end of May, giving them an extra month for learning and teaching.

How to prepare for exams

Here are top tips to ensure you are prepared for exams:

Give yourself enough time: Most of us need time to prepare for exams. Time manager is an essential skill and a timetable to help us study can help. Some exams may be more important to you than others, ensure you have a balance you feel comfortable with.

Organise your study space: Make sure you have enough space for all your notes. The key to ideal exam revision is removing any distractions. This could involve working in complete silence in order to fully concentrate.

Use flow charts and diagrams: Images and infographics can be really helpful when revising. If you brainstorm what you know about the topic as your first task you can quickly identify where gaps exist in your knowledge. If you condense notes into one-page diagrams you can quickly recall everything you need to know during the exam.

Past papers: One of the most effectively ways to prepare for exams is by taking past versions. This helps you to get used to the format of the questions and get used to the timing.

Talk through your answers: Use the people around you to your advantage. By explaining things aloud it will make you aware of in how much detail you understand the topic.

Regular breaks: Studying for as many hours as possible can be counterproductive. For long-term retention taking regular breaks really helps. 

Manage your diet: Food that you eat can impact on your energy level or focus. Your body and brain should be well-fueled by choosing nutritious foods to aid concentration and memory. On exam day, eat a good meal before the test, based on foods that will provide a slow release of energy throughout.

Plan your exam day: Make sure you know the location of the exam, the rules and your route. If you work out how long it takes to get there it is one less thing to worry about.

Read more: when is the best time to revise

Use EDClass to prepare for exams

EDClass can help students prepare for exams.

A skills gap analysis can help students identify gaps in knowledge in the run up to exams. A tailored learning pathway means that lessons can be targeted to individuals and teachers can log-in to the sophisticated tracking system to track progress. More than 11,000 lessons are available for students to access.

The system is ideal for learning in classrooms, break times or as homework. It has a proven record of improving engagement in education and attainment. Read more in our testimonials.

Alert mechanisms, questionnaires, access to teachers and eyes-on learning mean students are safeguarded at home while using the system, protecting the most vulnerable students.

You can read our Ofsted report here.

For a free demonstration click here.

For more information call 01909 568338.

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