Struggling to motivate your Year 11’s?  Want to get your D’s to C’s?

Try looking at our top tips for revision.

It is that time of year again when many of our year 11 students have lost the will to carry on.  They know they will be leaving soon.  On the other hand you are trying to be enthusiastic and get them to engage in some decent revision.  What can you do?

For revision on key terms there are many strategies out there to help you think of creative ideas.  The key here is repetition.


  1. Cards:  On one side of a card you have the key word, on the other you have the definition.  Students have a selection of cards.  In pairs they can sit and ask each other for the definition of the key term or visa versa.


This can be done in a number of ways.  You could give them all some cards (it doesn’t matter if students have the same cards as each other, because we are after repetition).   Students stand on their own somewhere in the classroom.  They put up their hands and then pair up.   Student one will show their key term to student two.   Student two then has to state the definition.  If they are struggling student one will give them some hints, but not the answer.  Once student two has the correct definition they will ask student one for the definition of the key term that they have, and again hint if the answer is incorrect.  Once they have done this they swop cards, put up their hand to show they are free and pair up with another student to repeat the process.

At some point you will hear students say that they have the same word again.  This doesn’t matter, as they will begin to recall the definition from memory.

2.     Yes or no game:  A student will write a key word on a post it note and stick it on the forehead of the other student, without that student seeing the key word.  They must guess what the key word is by only asking questions that can be answered with a yes or no.  The best way to do this is to pick a topic for all students to focus on, rather than the whole 2 year content.

For example: Female reproductive system.

3.     Quiz time  In all my years of teaching I find that a quiz is really helpful in learning the answers to basic questions.  I tend to let them be in pairs or three’s.  The idea is to do a short 10 minute quiz and answer, each lesson.  Again repetition is key.  It gets to the point where the students can nearly predict the question and the answer!.

4.     Board games.  Get students to work in small groups (normally 4) and create a board game on a key area.  The game should include questions that a student should answer in order to win money, move forwards etc.  One they have made the games and tried them out so they work they move around the room trying out each other’s games.  This works best if you give each group a particular topic.

5.      Team quiz:  Ask your music department for a few instruments: drum, triangle, tambourine etc.  Split the class into teams.  Ask them questions and the groups use their instrument to ‘buzz in’ with the correct answer.  Give prizes for the top two teams.

6.      ‘What am I’.  This could be done as statements, clues as to what you are describing or a Pictionary type game.  Again this could be done with instruments to use as buzzers.



The key is to repeat questions each lesson so that students become use to the correct terminology that they would need to use on the exam paper.   This is not intended for the essay style questions on the papers.  St the essay style questions as homework.  Once the student returns to you, the next lesson, go through the answers with the marking specification.  Get students to mark each others and their own.  Let them see the marking specification so they know where they have gone wrong.  Again repeat these questions for homework, or redo as a test in your lesson.


Good Luck!