All Higher English pupils have an RfUAE and a Critical Essay assessment next week. Our N5 pupils will also do both of these assessments in the week beginning the 14th December. If you would like to support your child with revision the following strategies will be useful.

Reading for Understanding, Analysis and Evaluation (Close Reading or Comprehension in ‘old money’)
• Work on remembering the approaches to answering different question types (e.g. word choice questions should have denotation, connotation and reference to the question, link questions should quote and explain back then quote and explain forward, etc.)
• Read high quality opinion based journalism e.g. the Guardian Opinion section and try to identify and analyse key features e.g imagery, word choice, tone, etc
• Using the articles you found above and summarise sections in your own words
• Past papers on SQA
• Bitesize
• Looking at the Understanding Standards website

Critical Essay:
• Re-read the text (‘Yellow Wallpaper’ for Higher and ‘Red Door’ for N5)
• Learn quotations
• Revise PEAR structure of analysis paragraphs (Point, Evidence, Analysis, Refer to question/ reader response)
• Make mind maps about character, themes, setting key parts of the texts (e.g. opening and closing, turning point, climax, etc)
• Write timed critical essays
• Create a bank of topic sentences
• Create a bank of plans for different questions
• Write mini essays (intro, one analysis paragraph and a conclusion)
• Past papers on SQA
• Bitesize
• Looking at the Understanding Standards website

Some general revision tips:
Don’t rely on inspiration for motivation
Top athletes don’t wait for the right moment to train. They train in regular and focused bursts and you should approach your study in the same way.

Use the right tools
Experimenting with mind maps, flash cards, graphic organisers, etc will help you find the best methods for you to use.

Keeping organised notes will be a life saver!
The more organised you are throughout the year the easier it is to revise. If you are not an organised person naturally you should pop reminders in your phone to periodically organise your notes. You may want to get some help from someone you know who is organised. Maybe you can repay them by sharing one of your skills.
Overlearning Material Enhances Memory
Psychologists tell us that the secret to learning for future reference is overlearning. Experts suggest that after you can say, “I know this material,” that you should continue to study that material for an additional one-fourth of the original study time. The alphabet is an example of overlearning. How did you learn it? Probably through recitation which is the best way to etch material into the memory trace. Manipulate the material as many different ways as possible by writing, reading, touching, hearing, and saying it. In an experimental study, students who overlearned material retained four times as much after a month than students who didn’t overlearn.
Reviewing Material Frequently
A student who does not review material can forget 80% of what has been learned in only two weeks! The first review should come very shortly after the material was first presented and studied. Reviewing early acts as a safeguard against forgetting and helps you remember far longer. Frequent reviews throughout the course will bring rewards at test time and will alleviate pre-test anxiety.
The Leitner System is a great tool to help with this. This video explains how to do it.

Good luck and happy revising!

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