My name is Elizabeth Omitogun. I am 16 years old. I am currently doing my International Baccalaureate at Dartford Grammar School For Boys. At GCSE I achieved 3A*s in Religious Studies, Maths and English Literature, 5As in English Language, Psychology, History, Additional and Core Science, 2Bs in German and Media Studies and a distinction in ICT. In the future I hope to pursue a career as a paediatric psychiatrist.
What is life like now in 6th form?
Life in 6th form is quite different from secondary school. There is a lot more responsibility reposed in you as an older student of the school. You are meant to set a good example for the younger years. Also, you are expected to be more independent in terms of your learning. For example, if you miss school for whatever reason, you are responsible for catching up on lost lessons. However, there is more freedom, as I have free periods instead of lessons during the week and I am allowed to leave school for lunch.
How did you avoid being stressed by your pending exams?
I avoided being stressed by pending exams by praying and reading the Bible more often in the week, as well as taking time out to just listen to music. I also thoroughly planned how I was going to revise and rest for the upcoming exams, so I know I’m not wasting any time.
How did you manage your time?
I managed my time by identifying which subjects I struggled with so I could devote more hours to these subjects in my revision timetable. I also scheduled in 30-minute rest breaks after revising for 1-2 hours, meal times and events like church meetings. The website Getrevising creates a study planner which is very useful and was what I used during my exam period.
How did you practise for your exams and when did you start?
I started revising for my exams at the beginning of the year, in January. I tried to alternate the ways in which I revised. I mainly created flash cards and PowerPoints, summarised key points and topics in subjects, based off information from various websites and revision guides. I also watched YouTube videos on some subjects and went through past papers and mark schemes.
What is the benefit of practising for exams?
Practising for exams is beneficial as it familiarises one on how to craft answers to the questions, as by doing this one becomes more comfortable with the format of answers that will be accredited. Also, exam boards use similar questions so practising can also show one what kind of questions to expect. Furthermore, by practising the exam situation is being replicated so one can have an idea of how they’d do in the actual exam. Many people can write a good answer but not fast enough which leads to not answering questions, henceforth missing marks. Practising can illustrate what information can be excluded and the amount of time that should be spent on each mark or question. Overall, practising prepares one for the exam, thoroughly purely revising knowledge, one will not know the best way to apply this knowledge to a question, at a suitable speed and in a way that will exclude waffle.
Did you revise with a group or alone?
I revised both alone and in a group during the build up to exams but only alone once exam period started. Revising in a group can be more motivating than being alone, as forever revising alone can make one feel isolated; this can lead to one wanting to go on their phone or doing another activity. Despite this, group revision can also be distracting, as you can be tempted to talk to one of your friends and stop revising. When revising in a group, it’s important to be around people you know will be focused and will not be a major distraction. When revising in a group you can ask people I the group about a topic, and chances are they’ll be able to explain in a way that’ll make more sense to you and will be more understandable than information straight from the internet. I stopped revising for exams in groups when the exams started as at that time I need 100% focus and I, personally, am more likely to achieve this by myself.
What did you do if you were feeling tired or stressed?
If I’m feeling stressed or tired I would give myself an hour to either go on a walk to get fresh air and listen to music, sleep or watch a tv programme or video that would lift my spirits.
What is your learning style and what revision techniques did you use to match your style?
My learning style is visual and verbal. To match this style, I mainly watched YouTube videos and made notes in various colours that linked to the topic, for example I allocated blue to a certain topic in a subject.
How did you add variety to your revision?
I added variety to my revision by using revision apps like Gojimo and Duolingo, watched YouTube videos, listened to podcasts, read revision guides and class notes to create more visual notes.
Did you use any memory tools such as mind maps?
I used memory tools like mind maps to briefly outline topics and flash cards that were coloured coordinated for each subject, for example blue cards were for German and green cards for biology.
What do you do on the day of your exams?
On the day of my exams I ate a proper breakfast and lunch, used the toilet right before the exam, prayed before leaving the house and starting the exam and found a quiet spot to go over topics last minute.
How did you change your revision technique for each subject?
I changed my revision techniques for each subject, depending on what I found worked best for each topic. For maths I found that watching videos on how to answer past paper questions, whereas for history I listen to podcasts and created plans for exam questions.
List your favourite top 5 revision aid, apps or videos.
My top 5 favourite revision aids, apps and videos are Gojimo, Duolingo, the Getrevising website, Paige Dawson’s YouTube channel for psychology and Ryansecondarysciene’s YouTube channel for OCR 21st century science.
Is there anything else that you else that you would like to discuss?
Believe in yourself and your ability to succeed. Above all, trust in God and you will achieve your goals in spite of obstacles along the way.