How to Practise Past Papers Effectively

How to Practise Past Papers Effectively

Practice past papers- they’re the one thing students may wail at when they see another one: “Why am I doing another one, again?!”

Whilst in your teen’s eyes, they feel it’s the same thing again and again, it’s vital that they use these sample papers to truly ‘push’ themselves. It’s then that they’ll start to see progress. But how should they go about this?

For starters, a common mistake that students make (when on their own) is that they don’t go into enough depth with longer written questions. Sometimes, this is because they aren’t sure of what to write but, usually, it’s because depth and detail require real challenge and effort!

If your teen is striving for top grades, it’s important they stand up to the challenge and use some of our strategies to maximise progress:


Seek Exemplars

Your teen could ask their teacher for exemplar papers: your child should be able to access answers written by students who have sat the exam before. This helps to see what makes a ‘top grade’ response and seeing good answers ‘modelled’ is one of the most effective ways to understand the question requirements. Class teachers will often model answers for your teen, too.

Revision Provision

Alongside classroom input, your child can also acquire a depth of knowledge by attending our revision classes this is an excellent way of helping your teen to excel their answers and maximise depth of knowledge. Our courses are led by subject specialists, who know their subjects inside out! We deliver SQA National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher in a variety of subjects and timings throughout the year, to give your teen some brilliant revision opportunities across the board!

I attended the course to get some extra revision and improve my skills. I feel it’s been the best revision I’ve done and have a better idea of what I’ll have to do to achieve the results I want.

James – National 5 Chemistry – Prelim Revision 2018

Keep the Pace Appropriate

Also, students don’t always need to complete practice papers under timed conditions (although this will become crucial closer to exam time!) Sometimes, by eliminating the time pressure- and spending as much time as your child needs to produce their best answer- can be an effective way to revise.

For example, during a driving lesson, you might spend ages going back and forth learning a three-point-turn! However, over time, you’d expect to be able to multitask the precision of the manoeuvre within a much swifter time frame. And this is the same of practice papers!

At first, there’ll be hurdles and halting points. Your teen might not know what to write. Your teen may take a while to process the questions. Your teen may struggle with the tactics. However, it is the aim of practice papers that- with rehearsal and rehearsal – your teen will be much more skilled to apply their knowledge to the page, and in a good time. But don’t be afraid for them to start at their own pace.

So, when it comes to making the most of practice exam papers, your teen should try and see this as a process. It is a combination of rehearsal, subject knowledge and focussed input over time.

Blog Headline: How to Practise Past Papers Effectively Blog Description: Watching your teen empty their school bag, another practice exam paper falls out. You might watch them later scribble down some answers at home and, as a parent, you wonder if your child is working effectively? Are these sample papers working? And how should your teen make the most of them? Published Date: 17/06/2019 Modified Date: 17/06/2019 Image URL: Image Width: 750 px Image Height: 469 px Publisher Name: Grade Booster Tutoring Logo URL: Logo Width: 375 px Logo Height: 375 px