School & Career

Tips For Exam Success

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How to tackle exam stress and emerge still smiling…

Whether it’s SATs, school entrance exams or simply a test of your knowledge at the end of a topic – exams can be scary. They don’t have to be. English teacher and tutor Allana has witnessed firsthand the effects of exam stress on very capable students – even those who KNOW the answers can get rattled on the big day. 

 

 

It is natural to be a little bit nervous when you have an exam. Being nervous is a sign that you care and want to do well. That’s no bad thing! The trick is, keeping those nerves in check so that they spur you on, rather than leaving you so anxious that you can’t perform at your best. Here are some tips that might help you in the run up to an exam.

 

 

Prepare, Prepare, Prepare

 

 

 

If you know that you have gone through all your revision notes and learned them thoroughly, you’ll feel a lot better about doing the exam. Sounds obvious doesn’t it! What if you’re not sure how to revise? Well that takes us nicely on to tip number two…

 

 

Be Creative In Revision

 

 

 

Staring blankly at your notes in the home that they’ll somehow transport themselves into your brain is no good for anyone. Try writing bullet points of the key ideas on to revision cards. Use different coloured highlighters to pick out different themes or ideas. Get a friend to test you (but don’t be tempted to just chat instead!). Some people find that drawing pictures or creating flow charts of information can be helpful.

Think of clever ways of learning spellings you know that you struggle with. I will never forget how to spell necessary again since I was taught that it spells out ‘Never Eat Cake Eat Salad Sandwiches And Remain Young.’ You’ll never forget it again now either! If you are learning for a spelling test – use fridge magnets to practice.

 

 

Take Regular Breaks

 

 

It’s not all work, work, work you know. You won’t take anything in if you’re tired, so every hour or so – take a five to ten minute break from revision. Go climb a tree in the garden, or run up and down the stairs. Eat something energy giving and nutritious, like a banana. Then get straight back to work…my orders.

 

 

Eat a Filling Breakfast

 

 

You need plenty of energy to sustain you. You don’t want to be distracted by those tummy rumbles. Take some fruit or light snacks for after the exam – if you are too nervous to eat much beforehand, you will be ravenous when you finish. 

 

 

Read the question carefully

 

 

 

Read the instructions on the front of the paper and listen to any instructions your teacher gives you. It’s not rocket science, but people often forget the simplest things when they’re nervous. That’s when you can make mistakes.You’d be surprised how many people don’t and then get half way through and realise that they’ve answered it incorrectly. Make sure you highlight or underline the key words.

 

 

Keep an Eye on Your Timing

 

 

You don’t want to spend too long on one question and find out you haven’t got enough time to finish the paper. Check out how many marks each question is worth and make sure you spend the most times on those questions which are worth the most marks.

 

 

Finally – Stay Calm and Good Luck! 

 

 

You can do it. As long as you prepare well, you have nothing to fear. The fact that you’re nervous will motivate you to revise thoroughly and try your hardest in the exam. If you’re finding it all a bit much – take a few big deep breaths and think happy thoughts. Don’t be afraid to chat to your parents, teachers and friends in the run up to the exam about how you’re feeling.

 

 

I studied English Literature and Language at Oxford University and I have been an English teacher and tutor for ten years. I have worked with many students facing exam pressures, both confident and nervous. I also work as a GCSE Examiner for the OCR Examination board. Currently, I’m in the process of setting up a tutoring centre for students in the North Manchester area.

Allana Davenport (Facebook Page

 

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School & Career

Women You Should Know – Conductor Alice Farnham

Lynn Schreiber

Founder and Editor at Jump! Mag
A freelance writer, who lives and works in Scotland with her family and fluffy white dog.

Likes: Writing, reading, twitter and chocolate
Dislikes: Negative and angry people
The musician and conductor Alice Farnham spoke to us about being a conductor, and the new courses for young women that she is giving at Morley College in Great Britain.
The courses are designed to get more girls and women interested in conducting.

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School & Career

So You Want to be a … Diplomat?

Guest

Would you like to write for Jump! Mag? Find out more about how you can contribute here www.jumpmag.co.uk/contribute

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When you think of a diplomat, what do you imagine? For some, it will be posh frocks and parties. Others will think of exciting spying missions in exotic countries – Our Man in Havana, or perhaps Our Woman in Harare? If you want to be a diplomat, we have some great advice for you today. This was written from the viewpoint of UK Foreign Office applicant, but much of this will apply to citizens of other countries too.

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School & Career

Movie Making Camp for Girls – Camp Reel

Have you ever thought about the people who make movies? Did you know that less that 20% of the main decision making positions in the media are held by women? This obviously affects the way that women and girls are portrayed on screen.

 

 

With media platforms like YouTube or Vimeo,  its easier to get friends together and write, direct, edit your own shows and distribute them for the world to see, but where do you start? How can you make a movie? One way is to take part in a Apple Camp – check the link to see if there is one in your area.

Once you have been making films for a while, you may want to learn more about how movies are made, and how to put them together. A new venture in California aims to help girls do this – on a one week camp.

Our contributor Annie May had a chat with Esther from Camp Reel to find out more.

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School & Career

What is The Point in Learning … History

Have you ever sat in a Maths class wondering if you will ever have to do long division without a calculator once you leave school? Or silently cursed your Geography teacher while learning about the formation of oxbow lakes?
And History? That’s all in the past and irrelevant, isn’t it? In this series of articles, we will look at some of the subjects we learn at school, and try and answer the question: What’s the point in learning this?

Last time we looked at uses of Physics, both in day to day life, and in careers. Today we will focus on History – the study of the past and how our society came to be as it is. Here are some ways in which studying History is useful to us:

 

Critical Thinking

Thinking by Elisabeth Haslam

Thinking by Elisabeth Haslam

When we study history we don’t just learn lists of facts and dates off by heart. We read lots of opinions about what happened and why, and come to our own conclusion. We base these opinions on two types of material, primary sources which are texts and drawings created at the time of the history we are studying, and secondary sources which were written after the event. Did you know that historians are still arguing over what Henry VIII and his six wives did almost 500 years ago? And that all of them have solid reasons for thinking the way they do? Was he mad? Was he evil? Was he misunderstood? Was he a devout, religious man? Why did he do the things he did?

Well if you read about this time in history, you can come to your own conclusions. Reading in this way is part of the skill called Critical Thinking, which means that you don’t accept everything you see at face value. This is a skill which you will need throughout your life.

 

Hobbies

 

Photo by Timberland Library

Photo by Timberland Library

What do you like to do in your spare time? A sport? Cooking? Playing a musical instrument? Painting? Whatever your hobby it will have started at some point in history. Yes, even computer games. And looking at the history of what you like doing, right from the beginning, can help you understand your hobby even more than you do. Do you like reading books? Do you know who printed the first books? And what about the history of banned books?

 

The Present

Photo by Liz Jones

Photo by Liz Jones

History has made us what we are. The decisions and actions of our ancestors have shaped the world we live in today. The origins of conflict all over the world can be explained by history. The way our streets have been laid out, why our homes look like they do, why we have the laws we live by, even how our bodies developed in the way they develop. Whatever you look at it has roots in history. Have you ever wondered why we eat with knives and forks but some other cultures use chopsticks? History will tell you. Everything about us is a product of our history.

 

Concentration Skills

Photo by Edmund Chung

Photo by Edmund Chung

I’m not going to lie to you. History isn’t an easy subject, and depending on what you find interesting some sections may even be quite boring. There is a lot of reading, especially towards the end of secondary school, of sometimes quite long and difficult texts. However, it is important in this time of working with several screens at once, and reading the news in bite-sized pieces, to be able to concentrate. Imagine if one day you want to be a surgeon or an air traffic controller? Or even if you just want to drive a car. Learning how to concentrate for long periods is a good skill.

 

Reasoning and Writing Skills

History will teach you how to write. How to work out an opinion and give it, but, more than that, support it. You will learn to put an argument forward and back it up with reasons you think this way. You’ll be able to write complex texts showing the reader that you understand what you are talking about. Easier said than done. Your ability to debate will help you in everyday relationships as well. There are countless times in our lives when we need to be able to give an opinion and back it up. Being able to  give a reasoned argument is a key skill that history will teach you.

 

So, a better knowledge of who we are and how we came to be, the ability to read and to argue our point of view are all parts of why History is not only interesting but useful. But what careers will use the skills we learn at school?

 

Jobs that Use History

 

TV and Film

Photo by Howard

Photo by Howard

Apart from the whole channels dedicated to historical documentaries, which obviously are made by people interested in history, many films and TV shows are based in a past time.

Costumes, lighting, use of language and household implements among many other things need to be realistic, believable, if not always strictly accurate (look up historical inaccuracies in films if you want a laugh).

TV and Cinema are tough fields to break into, but a solid knowledge of history and the ability to research, learned during History lessons at school, are a good foundation.

 

Politics

There are lots of jobs suitable for people with good history skills in politics. Firstly it is useful for politicians and their advisers to know about the past, what has shaped society, and what has made the people they represent who they are.

Secondly, the writing skills learned during History – the ability to write a persuasive argument – is key to writing a political speech or drafting other documents.

 

Librarian

Photo by Rachel Vacek

Photo by Rachel Vacek

Your local library is the best place to start if you are interested in the history of your area. And the person who can help you with your project is your librarian.

Apart from being a skilled organizer, analyst and data manager (skills learned in History class) your librarian will be able to advise on where to find information, where to look and will also have access to archives of newspapers and other local records.

 

 

 

 

 

You can see that History can teach you lots of skills as well as knowledge, and can be used in very different careers. Here are some more careers which use historians’ skills: lawyer, archaeologist, researcher, archivist, teacher, journalist.

 

 

The featured image is the Natural History Museum in London

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