Background: Since questioning the use of text books by my pupils, and making the decision not to purchase books for the GCSE or new A'level courses I have been thinking about how pupils prepare for their exams and how I might help them to do this more effectively.

So far: I have carried out a number of surveys of pupils revision strategies over the past 3 years and have recently been developing materials and lesson plans that aim to help pupils to revise more effectively.

Our exam results have improved dramatically over the past 4-5 years - so we must be doing something right. The thing is I am not sure what that is.

This summer we have seen a pupil achieve 600/600 in his A2 chemistry A'level, a pupil achieve 300/300 in her AS chemistry and 7 pupils score 400/400 in their GCSE science exams.

I am now planning to ask these highly successful students about the strategies they have use to prepare for exams and see if there are any patterns or trends (other than that these are obviously highly intelligent pupils)

I also intend to attempt to evaluate the resources I have prepared, that my pupils have trialled to try to identify which they find useful / helpful / effective and why.

Resources: What is active revision? What strategies have I used?

I will shortly post some of the ideas I have had and some of the resources I have developed here, but I would be very interested in other people's ideas.

Penny Robotham September 2009