Top Tips for Exams

Amber LOOK Mentor

Be persistent. Don’t take no for an answer if you think something should be done. 

If you think it’s too early, it’s probably not as things take a while so get a heads start

Get in practice like the real thing as near as possible. Readers, in own room, large print papers etc.

Azeem LOOK Mentor

Use exams as an opportunity to share/ showcase all that you have learnt on that subject over the time you have studied it. Try and think they are not trying to catch me out. I need to share all the knowledge I have gained. 

Revision

Compress the information into small chunks then memorise the small chunks. Turn paragraphs into sentences then sentences into letters for the key words. This is a good memory technique.

Speak aloud the information you are trying to revise and keep trying to speak it whatever you are doing. It helps to keep it in your memory.

Don’t sit down for too long, give yourself breaks.

Use the people around you- your family members to check if you are remembering the key information.

Maintain hobbies for stress relief, it keeps you sane, active and helps you to keep going.

Hydrate, rest and sleep, it all aids brain recovery. All night cramming sessions do not help.

LOOK forward to exams rather than dreading it. If you can be excited and look at it as an opportunity it can help you get through them in a reasonable way. 

Reasonable Adjustments

I had a separate room, a note taker so I could dictate exams. Access to a laptop lap and enough rest breaks. I was given 100 percent extra time.  A reader and dictation with adaptations on the computer when needed.

Lara LOOK Mentor

Exam revision

It’s important to do it your own way. I was never a big note maker and would instead reread lots of content with fast speech. 

Exam stress

Make time for yourself. Paths aren’t linear and if you don’t do as well as you like there are opportunities later. Make time for fun and I always found crunchie snacks like carrot sticks and popcorn helped me relax. 

Things going wrong

It won’t feel like it at the time but some of my best stories have been connected to things going wrong. Take a big breath, do your best and speak to the exams officer afterwards. 

Advice from Parent Carers to Parent Carers

  • Do your research and work with the QTVI so the school are getting the same messages.
  • Your job is to stay calm and reassure your children that everything is in hand, (even if it isn’t).
  • Try and keep your worry and stress around inequitable exam provision away from your child. Share them in an appropriate setting /group.
  • Give yourself time out and have opportunities for exercise, fun, and escape.
  • Reassure them that even if things change on the day and go wrong there will be a way to make it right.
  • Contact charities such as RNIB, Guide Dogs and Thomas Pocklington Trust for support and further information.
  • Remember that the path to success is not always linear.
  • Be on hand for cups of tea, chocolate biscuits and a chance to offload. 
  • Your children will know you did a good job on their behalf, and they will get through this time. 

VIEW and RNIB

When choosing exam courses, check with the QTVI and head of department in the school/college that all the assessment objectives for that course are achievable within the access arrangements allowed.

Before, or at the start of an exam course, check with the QTVI and subject teacher that the student’s normal way of working for a class test is compatible with the access arrangements allowed for an external exam. If not, check that they are exploring other strategies to find what works.

At the start of an exam course find out which revision guides the subject teacher recommends and check that the school/college is liaising with the QTVI on getting these reformatted into the student’s preferred format.

Around half-way through the first year of a two-year course, check with school that they are working with the QTVI to source a suitable number of past papers for use the following year.

Ensure all necessary provision related to exams is specified in the EHC plan, IDP, Statement, or Child’s Plan, including provision of past papers and revision materials in appropriate formats. This clarifies to the wider team around the learner what needs to be in place for them to have equitable access to exams.

Top Tips from the Event

  • Contact cypf@rnib.org.uk for advice and support around exam provision and access needs. The team can take up your case.
  • You don’t have to feel alone in your frustration.
  • VI forum is a good resource for schools and QTVIs.
  • Nothing can be done during the exam if an error is found in modification. It can be reported afterwards and considerations will be made to account for the error and its potential effect on the mark.
  • Adjustments can be made if exam days are too heavy. The school needs to look at rest breaks and extra time. If the exams on one day go over 5 1/2 hours (GCSE) or 6 hours (A levels) one can be sat the following day.
  • EHCP does not have to be in place in order for modification, it should be enough to provide evidence of need. 
  • Be aware of strain. Having mechanisms in place to relax is very important, as well as teachers and QTVIs around who understand you and your needs. 
  • BTECs follow the same access arrangements regulations as GCSEs and A levels so schools and colleges will be using the same JCQ guidance.
  • Reasonable adjustment plan at university gets put in place as part of student finance. Make sure this is in place right from the start.
  • It’s easy to feel isolated during exam times with having to be in a different room. Important to prepare for what the exam environment will be like.
  • Don’t panic when things go wrong. Things may go wrong with modification, but there are always solutions and second chances.
  • Work with your QTVIs. Use the team around you to make sure everything is in place in advance.
  • Please remember it’s not the be all and end all. Exam results will not define your child. They will find their way with your support and guidance plus their own strength and resilience. 
  • Exams are tiring for everyone, allow for this. One of the best things parent carers can do is provide the snacks and cups of tea needed.
  • Change the mentality around exams. Exams don’t have to be scary; they are an opportunity to prove yourself on your terms.

Top Tips on Dealing with Exam Stress

Preparation

  • If you think it’s too early, it’s probably not as things take a while so get a head start
  • Get in practice like the real thing as near as possible. Readers, in own room, large print papers etc.

Revision

  • Compress the information into small chunks then memorise the small chunks. Turn paragraphs into sentences then sentences into letters for the key words. This is a good memory technique.
  • Speak aloud the information you are trying to revise and keep trying to speak it whatever you are doing. It helps to keep it in your memory.
  • Don’t sit down for too long, give yourself breaks.
  • Use the people around you- your family members to check if you are remembering the key information.
  • It’s important to do it your own way. I was never a big note maker and would instead reread lots of content with fast speech. 

Things That Can Help

  • Maintain hobbies for stress relief, it keeps you sane, active and helps you to keep going.
  • Hydrate, rest and sleep, it all aids brain recovery. All night cramming sessions do not help.
  • LOOK forward to exams rather than dreading it. If you can be excited and look at it as an opportunity it can help you get through them in a reasonable way. 
  • Make time for yourself. Paths aren’t linear and if you don’t do as well as you like there are opportunities later. Make time for fun. I always found crunchy snacks like carrot sticks and popcorn helped me relax. 
  • It won’t feel like it at the time but some of my best stories have been connected to things going wrong. Take a big breath, do your best and speak to the exams officer afterwards. 
  • Be aware of strain. Having mechanisms in place to relax is very important, as well as teachers and QTVIs around who understand you and your needs.
  • Try not to panic when things go wrong. Things may go wrong with modification, but there are always solutions and second chances.
  • It’s easy to feel isolated during exam times with having to be in a different room. Important to prepare for what the exam environment will be like.
  • Please remember it’s not the be all and end all. Exam results will not define you. You will find your way with support and guidance plus your own strength and resilience. 
  • Exams are tiring for everyone, allow for this. One of the best things your parents or carers can do is provide the snacks and cups of tea needed.