Stress-busting workshop

Left to right: Bethany Brookes 16, Lilly Semmens, 15, and Sara Aljareh, 16, are more confident about exams
Left to right: Bethany Brookes 16, Lilly Semmens, 15, and Sara Aljareh, 16, are more confident about exams
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David Curwen, centre, hugs his mother with whom he wa sreunited. Completing the group is his brother Keith

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Students at a school in Portsmouth are beating exam stress thanks to some professional top tips designed to help them revise effectively – and not lose their nerve.

Almost 300 youngsters at City of Portsmouth Girls’ School who are sitting GCSEs this year say they are feeling the benefits of the Exam Busters workshop, which taught them how to prepare mentally and physically for exams.

The two-and-a-half hour course run by Positively MAD, one of the country’s leading providers of student workshops, took the Year 10 and 11 students through a range of invaluable revision techniques.

These included mind mapping with the use of colours, pictures, personal observations and key facts to give as much impact as possible – so that it is easier to recall in your mind.

Another good piece of advice was revising in half-hour slots before taking a five-minute break and then re-reading the previous information before moving on to something new.

Hermione Fountain, 15, says: ‘The mind maps were excellent because the points really stuck in your mind.

‘I was amazed at how an image could trigger a memory of so many facts after only a few minutes of practising.

‘I will definitely be using this technique and I just wish I had learnt to mind-map properly a long time ago.’

Meghann Foster, 15, says: ‘I thought it was a really good workshop. It has shown us a variety of ways to approach revision so we can choose which suits us best.’

Kayleigh Barraclough, 16, says: ‘I’ve been using mind maps since the Exam Busters session – it’s really nice not to dread revision any more.

‘I used to stare at the same page for ages and nothing would go in, but now that I have learnt the techniques I find revision is much easier.’

Judith Trewick, head of house, adds: ‘We were looking for a programme to better prepare our girls for their fast-approaching exams.

‘Positively MAD state that they stimulate a positive attitude towards revision and provide simple but effective techniques to improve exam preparation, which is exactly what we wanted.

‘They deliver exactly what they say they will and the girls were completely focused on learning techniques that will not only be useful now but also for the rest of their careers.’