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Easter 2017 at OISC

Published on Thursday, March 23, 2017

The importance of carefully-planned revision during school holidays cannot be over-stated. A term’s worth of thorough work and diligently completed assignments can be undone with the wrong attitude to private study. However, a well-structured revision programme can be the difference between a mediocre grade and a strong one.


Exam revision is a deeply personal task: some students prefer to work for solid blocks of five hours at a time, leaving the evenings free; others choose to work for short, intensive periods with regular breaks. Some are reliant on colour-coded revision timetables, meticulously-planned sessions and immaculately-copied notes, whilst others inhabit a world of organised chaos during the exam period. So too does exam technique differ hugely from student to student: some will skim-read the question within seconds and immediately begin writing at break-neck speed, whilst others will sit and re-read the question for five minutes, construct a careful plan, and only then begin to write. There is no right or wrong way to approach exams, just as the most effective methods of revision can only be those that work for you. But the students who achieve the best grades when the summer exam period arrives will invariably be those who worked with focus and determination, asking for clarification when needed, and studying independently rather than relying solely on time spent in the classroom.


What a revision programme can do is to give you a weekly structure which helps you to make the most of what works for you. Students are given a chance to go over material that perhaps they struggled with initially, but found that the class had moved on before they had a chance to speak up. Working in small groups, or one-to-one, enables an intensive level of personal attention not often found in the classroom setting. Material can be covered at a student's individual pace, and assignments and tests can be reviewed in detail, allowing a student to see exactly where marks are being dropped, and how best to avoid these deductions. At Oxford International Study Centre, Easter revision courses include intensive tuition in two or three subjects, with experienced tutors, as well as supervised private study time, regular mock exams, and Study Skills seminars, where students are given advice on managing stress, essay-writing technique, memory aids and maximising productivity during independent study. Our tutors are not there to spoon-feed students, or to complete work for them: this is a worthless exercise which ultimately leads only to disappointment come August. Rather, they are on hand to help students to unlock their potential through careful guidance, enabling them to develop their own ideas and form their own techniques for learning and knowledge retention, in order that the lessons learnt will stay with them throughout the exam period, and beyond.


Revision courses cannot be seen as a quick-fix for years spent avoiding revision and neglecting academic work. They are not a miracle solution; two weeks of sitting through lessons with a guaranteed A* grade at the end of the tunnel. But with the skills students will acquire, and the extra time spent productively reviewing course content, they can certainly ensure that the holiday period is not wasted, allowing students to attack the summer term with vigour in the final run-up to exams.

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