Stamp out Ineffective Exam Study with these Simple Solutions

What is the secret to successful exam study? All too often, pupils think they have mastered the art of studying for examinations, leading to a false sense of security. There is always room for improvement. If they fail to organise their study time properly, they will probably not do themselves justice in the exam.

Students use different coping strategies to prepare for exams. As their teacher, you are no doubt supporting them through this stressful period by giving them advice, guidance, and sensible tips to help them reach their true potential. We’ve gathered together some helpful tips which you might like to pass on. Please share any of your top tips with us.

Quit reading for the sake of reading

How many times have you read a page of a book then had to go back over the same page again because you didn’t digest any of the information contained within the text? This happens frequently during revision periods. The mind wanders, you lose focus and concentration, you are reading a passage but your brain isn’t taking anything in. Simply reading a text book is an act of passive study. Encourage pupils to engage with the information they are reading by writing, drawing and analysing the information they are being provided with. Get your brain busy with the material to fully understand what is written on the page.

Be proactive with your time

Organise a careful sturdy plan that ensures you allocate enough time to each individual topic. If you know you are stronger at some subjects than others, work the study time around this so you can spare more time to study the areas you have difficulty with. A wall chart can be useful when you are planning for exams. Jot down each individual exam date and have a structure of revision in place that helps you to revise for each topic in plenty of time.

Don’t rely on single cramming sessions

Putting all your eggs into one basket by carrying out single cramming sessions can be a risky exam strategy. It’s much better to revise for individual exams a week or so before the date, then have smaller cramming sessions for each subject a little closer to the date.

Rest your brain

Your brain will only be able to absorb so much information during one cramming session and it is bound to forget some of the most important details. Revisit individual subjects as much as you can to really achieve the grades you want.

Remove all distractions

Be strict when you are revising. Having your mobile next to you or your laptop open on your favourite social networking site is a recipe for disaster if you are trying to concentrate on studies.  Leave anything that might distract you out of the room, whether this is your tablet, smartphone, or your pals! Revising with other people might seem like a great idea at the time but unless you are extremely disciplined, which is very unlikely, you really are better off working on your own.

Ask for help if this is required

ASk for help

No matter how confident you feel about certain subjects, or how adept you are at studying for exams, there will always be topics you struggle with or parts of the syllabus you simply don’t understand.  Don’t ignore this if you are struggling to revise key topics at home. Seek help from your friends or ask the teacher for assistance and get them to explain it to you. As a teacher, you can encourage this by making it very clear that nobody understands everything straight away. Sometimes, all a pupil need is some very basic pointers to make everything nice and clear.

Take brilliant notes

Note taking is a bit of an art. Students either take too many notes or don’t take enough, failing to get the balance right. This only becomes apparent when the pupil is back at home trying to revise and they realise the notes they have taken are woefully inadequate. Effective note taking is a vital part of revision study.  For starters, take down anything that is written on a whiteboard or projected onto a screen. If your teacher has written it down it has to be important. Next, listen for audible clues during lectures such as, “Here are a few key points” or something similar. If the teacher is stressing a point it should be notated for use afterward.  Listen out for verbal clues to become an amazing note taker!

Don’t leave it too late!

late night study

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when revising for exams is to leave studying until the very last minute. As already mentioned, you have to be proactive with your study time and have a structured plan in place to effectively cope with exam stress. Plan your time efficiently and never stay up late studying for a test you have the next day.  Sure, you might think this last minute cramming session will keep everything fresh in your mind but you couldn’t be further from the truth. In reality, you will simply go to sleep with your mind buzzing and your sleep pattern will suffer as a result. You’ll be tired the next day, your brain will feel frazzled, and this is going to affect your performance.  Do some revision the night before but get to sleep at a decent time so you feel fighting fit and fully refreshed in readiness for your exam.

Pass this advice to your pupils and you will actively encourage them to adopt effective study methods.

If you have any other tips for effective exam preparation, please let us know by mailing Corinne at We will try to incorporate them in future blog posts.

Whatever level you teach, if you are looking for London teaching jobs we are sure to have the perfect fit for you here at World Class Teachers.  Simply submit your CV to us today, contact us online or call +44 (0)208 579 4501 to embark on your next teaching challenge.

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Children and teenagers deserve to be treated with the same dignity and respect that we expect to be given as adults. We’re much more likely to go the extra mile for the boss who praises us when we do a good job; who gives us slack during personal emergencies and takes an interest in our lives, and your pupils are the same.

There are various small tips and tricks you can employ as a teacher to develop a strong, positive relationship with your pupils, maintain an ordered classroom and see attainment improvements.

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Most Common Mistakes Teachers Make In Interviews and how to Avoid them

Most Common Mistakes People Make In Job Interviews

If you’re a teacher living in London you’ll appreciate what an important time of year this is. Interviews and trial days are at a peak as schools are still looking to confirm their staff for the new academic year.

Here are some common mistakes that are can be easily avoided to ensure that you always put your best self forward.

  1. Arriving early OR late

Arriving late is an obvious no-no. Perhaps not so obvious is arriving early. Five minutes is acceptable, but any more than 10 minutes may prove to be just as much of  an imposition as running late.

Give students time

Flickr Creative Commons / Robin Maber

  1. Saying what you think they want to hear

Whilst it may be tempting to make sure your employer knows all your good points, remember that an interview is an exchange. It is a chance for both parties to speak and discover if you can have a viable working relationship. Allow them to speak and respond to what they say – not just with what you think they want to hear.

  1.  Having attitude

While your CV and qualifications are important, employers want to know that they can work with you. This means being engaging, warm, cooperative and sociable.

  1. Talking negatively about your last job and or colleagues

What you say about others says a lot more about you than it does about them. Keep your conversation professional and positive.


  1. Checking your watch and/or phone 

In an interview you only get a small amount of time to make a big impression. Make sure your phone is off (unless you are expecting a very important call – make this clear from the outset and apologise in advance) and don’t check your watch. Give your potential employer your undivided attention and focus on the task at hand.

  1. Drinking and eating

You want your potential employer to see you as professional and enthusiastic; sipping on your Costa coffee or chewing gum can appear causal and potentially flippant. Leave all food and drinks at the door.

  1. Not doing your research

Nothing says ‘hire me’ more than a candidate who has done their research and is genuinely interested in the role they are applying for. If you are a teacher being interviewed for a vacancy, ask yourself if you know exactly what the school is looking for – what is their ethos? What makes them unique? What do they pride themselves on? Knowing this will give you a good indication of what you can contribute and how you can position yourself as an invaluable member of the team.


0610 List (by Paleotic)

  1. Being unprepared

There are some aspects of an interview that may catch you off guard and require you to think on your feet. However, by and large an interview is simply an opportunity for a school to find out more about you and determine if you are a good match. You can expect them to ask you about yourself – your work history, your goals, your strengths and your weaknesses. Give some thought to these questions so that you can answer confidently and give a true reflection of yourself.

  1. Not paying attention

Giving someone your time and attention is the utmost form of respect. It will also provide you with the best chance to respond in a considered and genuine fashion.

  1. Dressing down 

I believe it was Tom Ford who coined the phrase ‘dressing well is a form of good manners’. It absolutely is. Dressing appropriately is a highly effective non-verbal way of communicating that the job you are applying for matters to you. Give some time to your attire and make sure you’re dressed to impress.

Male Teacher Dress Code

Flickr Creative Commons / Bark

Did we miss anything? Do you have any other advice for acing your next interview? We’d love to hear from you- comment below or find us on Facebook or Twitter.