Revision aids for A Level students

I have a tutor group of year 13 students and this term we have begun to focus on revision in preparation for their final exams in June.  So far we have looked at what not to do, what worked well for them during their GCSE revision and what tips they would share about what they are doing now.  What we haven’t yet done is talk about how technology can help.  The market is full of apps and websites that claim to be the answer to every student’s revision worries, but how helpful are they?  If you visit the App Store and search under ‘revision’ the results are vast.  It is difficult to know whether they are useful to British students, as many appear to be linked to the US curriculum, whether they are aimed at the right level for year 13 students and whether you have to pay for in-app purchases. 

So, I thought I’d do my own research.  I started with the good old TES (Times Education Supplement), the teacher’s go-to, and found an interesting article from 2017 which identified ‘Gojimo’ as being one of the best around.  Gojimo is an award winning (winning, amongst other things, an award at BETT 2016) digital study aid that combines online and app revision materials (currently not available in the App Store for some unfathomable reason).  It was set up by George Burgess, who at the time was a University student struggling to find help online with revising for his exams.  Fast forward 9 years and the website and app has recently been bought by The Telegraph Media Group who are funding its development.  The content is mapped across to the main British awarding bodies.  A Level students will find over 160,000 free quizzes on the website, for subjects including Biology, Chemistry and Physics, German, French and Spanish, Computing, Drama, Geography and History, Psychology, Sociology, Economics, Film and Politics.  Noticeable by their absence, however, are both Maths and English (and my subject Media Studies……!).  The website interface is smart and very easy to navigate; students can just use the website if they don’t want to revise from a small screen, and can choose from hundreds of prepared quizzes that provide explanations for correct answer.  On the website there is also a section called ‘Gojilife’ which has some really interesting advice for students about coping with University, preparing for exams, coping with money worries, taking gap years and working life.  As I don’t have an Android phone I can’t review the available App, but I have read some reviews of it on The Student Room.  Reviews vary from subject to subject with some very positive feedback on the quality of material found whilst others found it difficult to distinguish between exam board content.  There are plans to release an app called Gojimo Tutor, which will offer instant message support and there are also plans for a teacher interface, allowing teachers to upload their own material. 

I have tested it myself.  I selected the materials for Film Studies, as this is the subject most closely aligned to mine.  This was a bit disappointing as I could only find materials for one topic on the old legacy AS Level which finished last year.  There wasn’t anything to be found for the new linear course which began in September 2017 or this final year of the A2 legacy specification.  Determined not to be put off by this I thought I would have a go at picking our most popular A Level in the Sixth Form, Psychology, instead.  On the surface, it would appear that there are several very detailed units loaded with different quizzes (thumbs up!).  However, on closer inspection it seems that this is still geared towards the legacy modular A Level which finished two years ago.  I know that a lot of the topic content is still relevant, but this is going to be confusing for students in my humble opinion. 

So, would I recommend it to my tutor group? I would, but with some reservations.  I would recommend it for testing general knowledge of topics but I would not recommend it for preparing for exam questions. 

Now, to have a look at Quizlet, The School Room and Get Revising…..

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