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IGCSE exams
Understanding the IGCSE, GCSE, and New Examination Reforms

April 26, 2016

Background

GCSE’s were first introduced in 1986 by combining the ‘O’ Level and CSE exams together and making coursework a part of the overall assessment. The International GCSE or rather IGCSE first came about in 1988 and has since been internationally recognised, available in over 120 countries around the world, with over 70 subjects on offer for study, including many languages. It has been permitted in state schools since 2010 as an alternative to the traditional GCSE examination.

Initially, it was introduced to give greater access to overseas pupils whose first language was not necessarily English. However, when re-introduced in 2010 the move was seen as a positive step to close the gap between state and independent schools by giving state schools the opportunity to offer the IGCSE too.

At the time, Schools Minister Nick Gibb said

“Schools must be given greater freedom to offer the qualifications employers and universities demand, and that properly prepare pupils for life, work, and further study.”

“For too long, children in state maintained schools have been unfairly denied the right to study for qualifications like the IGCSE, which has only served to widen the already vast divide between state and independent schools in this country.

“By removing the red tape, state school pupils will have the opportunity to leave school with the same set of qualifications as their peers from the top private schools – allowing them to better compete for university places and for the best jobs.”

(BBC News, 7 June 2010)

The assessment for the GCSE examination had previously faced criticism from education bodies up and down the country, with teachers concerned that the lack of clarity and unification across England, Scotland and Wales meant there was no ‘absolute standard.’

Higher grades, therefore, became more readily available to less able students, reflected in the increasing number of students achieving A and A* grades across the board. The suspected reason being that the assessment was becoming less challenging for more gifted pupils due to the large amount of coursework required which was not marked in a uniform way.

The coursework element also gave poor performing students the opportunity to go back and revise it before submitting for final assessment, therefore making the qualification easier for all students across the board.

The IGCSE was thought to be a positive alternative to the unfairly assessed GCSE, and, with the GCSE considered to be no longer academically challenging or rigorous enough, many schools turned to the IGCSE as a way to address this. Though similar to the GCSE in terms of content, the IGCSE includes little or no coursework, and students and teachers are offered greater flexibility in terms of chosen reading around the subject.

However, the notion that the IGCSE is indeed more challenging has been widely debated. The move away from the modular structure of the GCSE and the formulaic approach to answering questions has left some teachers commenting that the IGCSE is far easier to teach and learn, and with consistent pressure to optimise students’ examination results, despite the qualifications lack of ‘educational bite’, have chosen to opt for this simply to achieve their targets and get their desired results.

The number of candidates opting for this qualification over GCSE’s has steadily increased, with schools that have traditionally struggled to achieve consistently high standards in GCSE exams turning to the IGCSE to boost their rankings, pass Ofsted inspections, and fulfill government targets.

The increasing number of pupils taking the IGCSE could, however, be due to the increased number of foreign language students coming from abroad to study in the UK, the freedom for teachers to choose from a wider, more diverse range of reading material, and the belief that it allows increased scope for the most promising students to undertake more challenging and interesting work.

Some schools also encourage students to take both the GCSE and IGCSE qualifications – giving them a better chance of achieving their desired grade in one or the other. This is a move that the government has criticised.

GCSE changes.

Since 2013, there has been a move to reduce the amount of coursework required in the GCSE examination to the absolute minimum, and the emphasis on the final exam, after two years of study, is far greater.

In fact, most GCSE subjects now require no coursework at all, and therefore the lines between the GCSE and IGCSE qualifications are becoming increasingly blurred. While many teachers prefer this more linear approach, some voiced concerns that the removal of coursework will not benefit all pupils, and the pressure of 2 years worth of learning, resting on one final exam could damage some pupils chances of getting the grade they actually deserve.

GCSE’s will also be graded differently from 2017 with students receiving a 1-9 grading rather than the former A-G. The changes are being implemented over time with English and Maths being the first subjects affected.

The changes also expect to make the examinations harder, and any coursework element more rigorous, with students expected to cover more challenging topics in a more in-depth way.  Greater attention to grammar, punctuation and spelling is expected and will also affect the students’ final grade.

These changes are only being implemented in England, with Wales making its own changes and Northern Ireland with no current plans to change anything, once again creating barriers and divides across the country. How to create an absolute standard for GCSE examination assessment and grading has proven to be a great challenge.

IGCSE’s are also to be removed from the league tables for English and Maths in 2017 as part of the government’s shake-up, with further subjects expected to be removed by 2018.

The government has stated that new GCSE’s are not comparable to the IGCSE, therefore, will not ‘count’ in the league tables once implemented. This could naturally affect schools that currently focus and promote the IGCSE, and it is possible this may mean a decline in schools offering the qualification in the future.

What does this mean for the future of the IGCSE exam?

IGCSE’s are still offered in over 300 schools all over the UK and are widely recognised by higher education institutions as part of their entry requirements.

While many students in schools are not necessarily given a choice about which qualification they will be entered for, if a student has a particular university they want to get into, it is important to check their preferences before deciding which qualification to take.

Though now widely accepted, the IGCSE is not universally so, therefore researching entry requirements is essential.

IGCSE is now widely offered in schools all over the UK. However, it can also be a practical choice of qualification for homeschooled children as well.

Assessment can be taken at a number of test centres throughout the world so this can be a useful and preferred choice for homeschooled children, and for those who live abroad.

If your child could benefit from private tutoring for their GCSE or IGCSE examinations then Tutor House can help.

We work with talented, passionate tutors who are experts in their subjects, and will come up with a tailored programme of learning to suit your child’s needs.

Homeschooling and the creative arts
Homeschooling & the Creative Arts

April 18, 2016

The benefits of studying arts-related subjects at home

There are a huge number of benefits in choosing creative subjects to study for GCSE and A-Level. 

Creative industries are in fact now one of the fastest growing sectors in the UK and are responsible for over 5% of all jobs. 

Unfortunately, however, arts subjects in school are often viewed as hobbies or additions to the core curriculum, where, in fact, they should not only be celebrated but also given serious weight and encouraged as valid, useful choices for both A-Level and GCSE.

Creative subjects are excluded from the five core subject areas of the Ebacc. This means that children may feel pressured into avoiding them when picking additional GCSE’s, either choosing only one arts subject, or none, due to the general feeling that greater academic credit will be given to more ‘traditional’ subjects. 

With George Osborne announcing plans to extend school hours to allow more time for “high quality” extra-curricular activities, the fear is that arts subjects will be given even less worth, seen as simply hobbies, and this move will potentially create pressure for schools to remove arts subjects from the curriculum altogether. 

With a huge drop in the number of students taking creative GCSE’s since 2000, and a similar decline in those choosing a craft-related subject at A-Level, is it time to re-think how schools support the creative subjects, and indeed creativity in general?

Topic choices in the creative arts have massively expanded in the past decade, and now students can chose from a huge range of options, concentrating on what interests and excites them the most. 

Take GCSE Art and Design, for example, students can now study anything from photojournalism to soft furnishings under this header. 

Music can be taken to study anything from original composition to popular music. Drama now sees students focusing on set design, lighting, costume design and all aspects of production. 

Employers now actively seek students who have achieved qualifications in arts-related subjects.

Why? Because research has shown arts students are better self-starters, have a higher EI and are more well- equipped to accept and act on constructive criticism. 

Those who study arts subjects are required to work individually as well as in a team, to make decisions about their own learning, to problem solve, to use their initiative, be brave and innovative, develop excellent communication skills, be self-critical and use all of these to develop their skills and master their craft. 

Mastering the arts requires dedication, self- motivation and hard work. 

A subject that requires practical skills such as organisation, for example, when putting on a play or concert, are highly sought after, and being able to demonstrate these when applying for jobs is both valuable and attractive to potential employers. 

There is also merit in encouraging creativity in students in terms of their overall well-being and emotional development. 

Arts subjects allow students to express themselves in ways that more academic subjects cannot, and, in fact, some research shows that allowing time for the more creative subjects actually improves students’ performance in more traditionally ‘academic’ subjects as well.

Arts subjects rather than being superfluous can actually help students develop better self-awareness, reduce stress and anxiety and give them a deeper sense of fulfilment too.

Teaching the creative arts at home

One of the problems with learning creative subjects at school is that there is not enough weight placed on the importance of these subjects or time dedicated to pursuing them. 

Creative homeschooled children with an aptitude for the creative arts can realise their full potential easier and more thoroughly in a homeschooled environment. 

Those responsible for homeschooling children can encourage them to continue with their creative pursuits and set aside time in the day to ensure that children are able to focus on them and do what they love. 

There are plenty of ways to include creative subjects into a homeschooled child’s curriculum, as well as ensuring they spend time advancing in the core academic subjects alongside this. Hiring a private tutor to help with homeschooling can also help your child get the most out of pursuing these subjects.

Art

There are plenty of online resources, which can help homeschoolers to follow a fantastic and varied arts programme. From lesson plans to ideas and activities, parents and educators will be able to easily find a programme that works for them – all they need to do is provide the materials! 

Photography courses are also available all over the country and with a huge number or galleries and exhibitions there are plenty of opportunities to develop a students understanding of the history of art too.

Music

Again the web offers a wealth of resources, which are fantastic if your child wishes to pursue music at home. 

Not only can you find lessons on how to play almost every instrument ever made, there are also helpful tutorials on how to read music, its history, how to compose music and much more.  For ideas and inspiration take a look at musiclessons.com.

Theatre

If your child is interested in theatre there are plenty of opportunities for them to learn in a homeschooled environment. 

Finding an amateur dramatics group for them to join in their local area should be easy. If you can’t find one, why not start one yourself?

You may be surprised to find many other enthusiastic homeschooled students who are looking to join up, and with online scripts available, you simply need to source a suitable venue for rehearsals – a town hall, local sports centre or even your own living room! 

Putting on a production in your town and city is something that students and other parents of homeschooled children can all get involved with.

The organisation and communication skills required to realise this are hugely valuable and will provide students with great insight into all the elements needed to create this type of event.

If students are hoping to gain qualification in the subject, the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art enables individual candidates to take examinations at one of their UK public centres and offers a huge range of topics to study.

P.E.

Physical Education is an important part of any child’s development, and homeschooled parents should try to include this as part of their child’s learning. 

Finding organised sports teams for your child to participate in should be easy. However, all exercise counts and is beneficial, so if you child prefers swimming, hiking, gymnastics, or dancing you can find classes for them to sign up to as well. 

Homeschoolers can even put together their own PE- style lesson plans involving running, swimming, cycling or cardio workout programmes to encourage exercise and give children a refreshing break from academic learning too. 

Some useful resources include Games Kids Play and some tips for cardio exercises.

Architecture

Architecture has recently been introduced to the school curriculum and if your child is interested in the subject you can successfully teach them at home. 

Architecture is a fascinating subject and requires students to gain knowledge in a range of topics including maths, engineering, history, social studies, geography, art, and even writing. 

There are some fantastic resources available online to help structure and plan your lessons and allow your child to develop their skills. You can even organise ‘school trips’ to visit beautiful buildings and structures in nearby towns and cities to allow them to appreciate architecture and inspire their passion further. 

Homeschooling a creative child has a huge number of benefits, the flexible scheduling tends to work well for creative minds and you can devise a timetable that can be adapted to help creative children develop and nurture their ideas. 

You can give children the freedom to have more control and influence over how their lessons are devised, give them more free time for creating, come up with unique and effective ways to encourage children to demonstrate their learning and test their knowledge and skills, and allow them to specialise in subjects they are most passionate about, therefore nurturing their creative spirit. 

Tutor House provides a huge range of highly qualified, knowledgeable and experienced Tutors across all subjects. If you are hoping to find a tutor to enhance your child’s learning in the creative arts we can provide tutors in Music, Architecture, Drama, Art, P.E and Theatre Studies.

Find out more about how our tutors can help homeschool your child here!

Best revision apps
5 Brilliant Educational Apps To Help You Learn Anything

April 5, 2016

Fantastic Apps Which Can Help Your Child Study

Most young people are tough to tear away from their devices, and it can be tricky getting them to put down their tablet, phone or laptop, especially when it comes to revision time. The good news is that there are now many brilliant educational apps out there can enhance learning, help children revise, and can even teach adults a thing or two as well!

Naturally there are tens of thousands of apps on the market that claim to offer a fantastic learning and user experience, so finding ones that work for us and deliver information in an engaging and helpful way can be tricky. 

However, it’s a good idea to make the most of these handy educational apps, which can be used all year round to help children learn. 

Here we have selected our favourite tried and tested apps that work well for children across a range of ages. Most of these are for iOS and Android devices only, though if you do have a Windows device you’ll be pleased to know that they are catching up with the trend.

Educreations 

Educreations is a handy little app that works for students and pupils alike. Educreations works like an interactive whiteboard where bite-size instructional videos and presentations can be uploaded. It is also a great communication tool where students and teachers can interact. Educreations captures ideas, and is easy and fun to use.  

The Khan Academy

While this is not technically an app, we felt it should be included as the Khan Academy is one of the most popular and impressive online education tools around.

Launched in 2006, this powerful site’s motto is ‘you can learn anything’and with its help, this certainly seems possible. The Khan Academy breaks down subjects into easily digestible bite- size lectures, which you can find on YouTube. 

Virtually any subject or topic that your child may be having trouble with can be found on here and explained in a refreshing, interesting and engaging way to help them not only understand, but want to find out more.  

Flashcard apps and Quizzlet

This is a particularly handy app come revision time, which saves your child time and effort having to write out flashcards to test themselves. 

Via Flashcard apps your child can create their own flash cards virtually, which will then be saved and ready to use whenever you want. Alternatively why not import sets that have already been created through Quizlet? A fantastic site allowing students to exchange notes and help each other learn. 

BBC Brain Smart

While studying and revision are extremely important, it is also good to make sure you take a break from it every now and again.

If you want to keep your brain in tip-top condition, then why not play one of the range of interesting games it has on offer? It also has tips and advice on how to manage stress and keep your memory sharp too.

Of course choosing the right app does depend on what you are hoping to get from it. However these great little additions can help your child focus, engage with their subject matter and have a more productive and enjoyable learning experience, so they are certainly worth a try. 

If you are looking for an experienced and knowledgeable tutor to help your child study, revise, or simply get a better understanding of a particular subject or topic they are struggling with why not give our friendly team a call on (+44) 020 773 435 55 | (+44) 0776 690 4632 or email us on INFO@TUTORHOUSE.CO.UK.

Inspiring TED talks to help your revise
5 Must See Inspirational TED Talks To Keep You Motivated

5 Must See Inspirational TED Talks To Keep You Motivated

These 5 TED talks are perfect help inspire you when you need to get revising!

Exams are fast approaching and both students and parents will realise that time is right for pupils to set up and stick to a strict revision timetable. 

For those gearing up for GCSE and A-Level examinations, the approach of the exam season can be daunting. Students may feel overwhelmed with how much they need to learn, and often it is hard to know where to start.

The exam period is a hugely significant time and one that can have a massive impact on a young person’s future. Getting the grades you desire and deserve can change the course of your life. They can ensure you are accepted into your first choice of university or college, or help secure that job you had always dreamt of. 

There are plenty of ways to ensure students use this time effectively. Setting up a useful and manageable revision timetable is a start, and organising group study sessions with friends can also be productive. Hiring a private tutor to help with subjects or topics that are presenting more of a challenge, or simply to prepare thoroughly for the exams overall is another useful way of effectively studying and feeling confident and ready come exam time.

Of course, sometimes it is simply difficult to get motivated! With this in mind, we have put together a list of creative, insightful and inspirational TED talks that are fantastic to listen to if you lack a little ‘get up and go.’

These five talks are well worth watching, not only teaching valuable life lessons but also telling us all that when the going gets tough, we simply need to keep on going. 

Everyone can achieve their goals if they put their minds to it, and this applies to exam grades too. So next time you are feeling a little lacklustre why not watch one of these fascinating talks to refocus and inspire yourself?

Angela Lee Duckworth: The Key to Success? Grit

This brilliant talk is perfect if you are feeling a little apathetic. Here Duckworth explains that the research she has conducted confirms it is in fact hard work, passion and determination that are far more significant ingredients for success, more so than natural intelligence, or being able to grasp concepts and ideas quickly. 

Conclusively, it doesn’t matter if you are brainy or not, if you are willing to work and persevere, you can do whatever you want to do, achieve whatever you want to achieve and be whoever you want to be.

Shukla Bose: Teaching one child at a time

If you ever want to feel seriously lucky then watching this inspirational and powerful speech by Shukla Bose is the right place to go.

Shukla Bose’s Parikrma Humanity Foundation reaches Indian children who live in some of the most poverty-stricken areas in the country and provides them with the educational opportunities that every child should have. 

The seemingly impossible task of meeting the needs of 200 million children does not shake Bose’s determined attitude, refusing to participate in the ‘numbers game.’ Her strategy, one that insists individual attention and care is paid to each and every child, making sure they are educated right through until college, is admirable.

It is often easy to forget that so many children and young people have no access to education at all, and because of this, their prospects are very limited. 

So next time you feel a bout of revision-related blues coming on, perhaps watch this video and remember that having an excellent education is something to be very thankful for. 

 Andy Puddicombe: All it Takes Is 10 Mindful Minutes

When revising, it is important to take regular breaks. Whether you want to get outside and get some fresh air, grab a snack or simply relax in front of the TV, how you spend your break time is up to you. 

However, it might be worth considering looking into taking a little time of out your hectic day to practice Mindfulness. In this short video we learn that our mind is out most ‘valuable and precious resource’and it sometimes deserves a rest!

Truly emptying your mind of the day-to-day stresses and worries, particularly if feeling the pressure in the lead up to exams can help you clear your head, relax, and feel far less distracted when you go back to studying.

 Adora Svitak: What adults can learn from kids

Now is a very good time to check in with your child-like self and think about what you hoped for when you were younger. 

It is all too easy when growing up to let go of our “childish”thinking. However, Svitak tells us that it is important to dream big, to be positive about our future and never to let go of our dreams. 

This talk will help you to put things in perspective, and feel assured that you have a great future ahead of you. Perhaps most importantly, it leaves you certain that you have the potential to realise your creative aspirations and career goals, providing you remain confident, and brave enough to stick to them.

 Philip Zimbardo prescribes a healthy take on time

Renowned psychologist Philip Zimbardo’s lecture on time is definitely one to watch. 

As the exams approach many students may be thinking about time, whether that’s time that has already passed or the future times ahead.  His advice helps us to perceive the past, present, and future in a way that can help to put things in perspective, and live healthier and more productive lives.

We can all use a little motivation from time to time, particularly in the run-up to exams. 

Staying focused, working hard, and asking for help when you need it be it from your teachers, parents or tutor will give you the best chance to succeed. 

These inspirational TED talks are the perfect way to take a step back from your studies, and take ten minutes to feel empowered, excited and ready to take on the world!

Group Revision - The Best Ways To Revise
How to Make the Most of Revising in Groups

Why revising with others can be beneficial

There are many benefits of working with your peers when revising for your exams. For some, it is in fact the best way to revise.

Whether you are with just one other person or a larger group, having the opportunity to openly discuss topics from a different perspective and approach while bouncing thoughts and ideas off one another to help each other with problematic material can really work.

Even online study groups or working together over the phone can be beneficial and more effective than working alone. By working through material out loud and picking up tips from one another you will realise the benefit of this study technique. It will help you to memorise difficult topics and important points will become better understood.

Tutor House runs regular group revision workshop courses in London specialising in Pre-U, iGCSE, GCSE & A-Level subjects to help students prepare for exams.

Alternatively, if you are looking for a tutor to manage a student revision group, get in touch with our expert team on (+44) 020 773 435 55, and we will be more than happy to help.

The Benefits of Group Revision

Revision groups are particularly effective as they encourage students taking part to discuss different methods in which they can approach their revision or even share useful resources like revision plans and timetables. 

Every student is different. Therefore, each brings individual ideas to the table about the best way to learn. This is useful, as seeing things from a fresh perspective, or explaining a problem or difficult material in a new way can really help students who are struggling. 

Study groups are also great places to share revision notes or to collectively come up with brilliant answers to potential exam questions too. 

All students in a study group are working towards a common goal and that is to be successful and achieve good grades in their exams. This means students are not in competition with one another, and study groups certainly are not about students trying to outdo one another. 

Rather, these groups facilitate students coming together to learn collectively, and should be spaces where there are no ‘stupid questions’and where everyone is willing to help one another.

While study groups can be very effective, one thing parents may be concerned with is whether students will become distracted, particularly if the study group is a group of friends. 

The best way to overcome this is to have the study group facilitated by a tutor who can manage the students, help to keep the momentum going and for the participants to stay focused, while still maintaining a casual and welcoming atmosphere to keep students feeling relaxed and enjoying their learning time. 

Running Group Revision Sessions

Running an effective study group requires planning and organisation. 

To use the time productively, everyone should arrive having already agreed and planned out what will be covered in the session.  Any prior reading and questions should also be looked at beforehand so everyone comes prepared with the knowledge they need to revise effectively. 

It is also a good idea for individuals to prepare a topic for discussion, or their own questions about the material which they can then share with the group. Sharing notes is a good idea, but only if they are accurate, so it is a good idea to go through these first and check all the information is useful, relevant and correct. You can ask a tutor to go through these notes before they are distributed to the rest of the class.

Some subjects require memorising facts and information. Testing using memory cards is a good idea to help with this, and students can help each other either in pairs or as a group. 

Games such as ‘just a minute’are also fun where students have to talk for as long as they can on a certain subject without repetition, distraction, or hesitation!

When done properly, revising in groups can increase productivity as the work load is distributed equally, allowing you to spend more time on exam technique rather than learning and revising, help students become more confident with difficult subjects, and improve academic performance. 

Discussing subjects out loud and gaining new perspectives can help students obtain a more thorough understanding of the subject matter, while simultaneously helping participants to learn valuable skills such as teamwork and interpersonal skills too.

If you are looking for an experienced, reliable tutor to help facilitate group revision, or are interested in our in-house group revision courses why not give our friendly team a call on 020 7734 3555?

Revision tips for a study/life balance
Useful Revision Tips to Maintain a Healthy Study/ Life Balance

It is so important, when studying, to ensure that you make time for yourself. Particularly in the lead up to your exams. Revision tips to help you balance work and play. The pressure to spend all your time revising means juggling a social life while remembering to also put some time aside for yourself and all the extracurricular activities you enjoy can be challenging, and we tend to feel guilty for having ‘fun’!

However, it is important to make sure that you do set aside time just for you, even during the revision period. As long as you remain focused and organised when you do sit down to work, there is no reason why you can

As long as you remain focused and organised when you do sit down to work, there is no reason why you cannot spare some time to relax and break away from studying as well. In fact, doing so will actually help you work more efficiently. You give yourself a break, have some time to relax and therefore remain stress-free while still feeling like you have your revision under control. 

So how do you maintain a healthy and happy study/ life balance? Here are some great  revision tips to help you achieve this:

1. Manage your time

Whether it is in the lead up to the exam period, or simply juggling your day- to-day study tasks, make sure you manage your time well. 

Take time to ensure you know what you have to get done each week and schedule in the right amount of time to achieve this. Having a diary will help – be it a paper diary, or one on your tablet or phone. Here you can log assignments, as well as any other commitments you have such as sports practice or arrangements with friends. This will enable you to easily see what you have on during the week, and any deadlines that are coming up so that you can manage your time accordingly. 

At the end of each week make sure your diary is up- to- date for the next one, then you can see exactly what you have on, and what free time you have, to set aside for enjoying extra-curricular activities. 

2. Give yourself goals

This is particularly helpful when it comes to revision. Make sure that you carefully plan your work. Firstly figure out your end goal, and then set targets for yourself each week to ensure that you meet them.

A well-thought out revision plan that you know you can stick to will save you worry, stress and any last minute cramming. You will also feel great every time you achieve one of your goals, or complete your work for the week, meaning you are allowed to do something fun to reward yourself! 

3. Go easy on yourself

It is very tempting to give yourself more work than you can realistically take on. 

Remember, you are only human, and while working efficiently and productively is important, if you give yourself an impossible amount of work to get through, not only will you have no free time to enjoy yourself but you will also end up feeling disappointed and deflated in the process. 

Be realistic about the amount of work you can and need to do in any given week. Remember if you give yourself too much you are more likely to rush through it to try and get it done, end up feeling stressed and frustrated, and the quality of your work or revision will be much lower too.

4. Prioritise

When you are studying and working towards your exams and deadlines you do have to make some sacrifices. Working hard to achieve your goals are important, and it may be that you cannot fit in all the extra-curricular activities that you used to be able to while still finding the time to study effectively

If you do have to give things up, think about what is most important to you and make sure you make time for that. Making little sacrifices here and there will free you up so you can make sure you have plenty of time to get all of your work done, and still have time to do the things you love. 

5. Get help

When trying to juggle your study and social life remember that there are people around you who will be happy to help and support you.

If you know you are struggling with a particular subject and feel it may take up too much of your time then you can talk to your teacher or parents to see how they can help.

Hiring a professional tutor to coach you through difficult subjects, or to assist with your revision or study in general can be a great help, and mean that you have more free time to take part in activities that you enjoy. 

By following these handy revision tips there is no reason why you can’t have a healthy, active social life as well as keeping up with your studies. 

Careful planning and organisation as well as remaining focused when you do work will make sure that you feel fully prepared and stress-free come exam time. 

We hope you like our Tutor House Tips!

Best Free Apps To Help Organise your Revision

March 2, 2016

We hunted down some of the best free educational apps out there to help keep you on top of your revision this term.

Revising has never been easy and for anyone trying to revise in this day and age with all the technological distractions floating around, we understand how hard it can be to rip away from procrastinating your study time away. However, you can in fact use technology to your advantage and rather have it as your ultimate study partner.

Stay on the right track: Stick to using relevant apps that will help you progress with your revision, hopefully by the end of this article, your phone will at least have one productive page, and will look less like the one on the left and more like the one on the right.

Untitled-2-01Untitled-2-02

 

Adobe Acrobat Reader

Save every PDF your lecturer sends you, directly into Adobe Acrobat Reader, allowing you to view them from the app anywhere even without Internet connection. Allowing you to brush up your revision slides anywhere from the bus to the bathroom.

Additionally the app allows users to annotate the PDF they are viewing as well as highlight sections for later. Finally with Adobe’s Acrobat Reader you can export a PDF to Word, PowerPoint or Excel.

Why we like it: Because of the offline functionality of the app as well as the flexibility with modifying existing PDF files.

Get it from: iTunes


Dropbox

There has probably been a time in every person’s life where the platform they have just completed their work on has failed to save the file. That, or the horrific scenario of accidentally deleting your work and discovering you don’t have a backup. Contrary to every teacher’s belief it does happen; Toy Story 2’s completely rendered file accidently got deleted and was luckily eventually recovered from the technical director’s personal computer.

Thankfully you can avoid those situations with the help of Dropbox. Not only is it available offline, you also get 2 GB free with Dropbox’s standard account (this can be upgraded to more with a subscription fee). Dropbox also supports 55 different file formats, so you can backup everything.

Why we like it: Peace of mind of having your work backed up, and the convenience of always having access to your precious files, even if you forget your USB.

Get it from: iTunes


Google Drive

Google Drive does exactly what Dropbox does but works seamlessly well with Google Documents. Plus, you get 15 GB of free storage rather than 2 GB. However we recommend both apps, as having two backups never hurt anyone.

Why we like it: Peace of mind of having your work backed up, and the convenience of always having access to your precious files, even if you forget your USB and the large amount of free space provided with the standard account.

Get it from: iTunes


Google Docs

Available offline, and for a range of devices, Google Docs enables you to make any last minute changes needed to any assignment regardless of where you are. Alternatively you can use the offline feature to simply flip through notes.

Additionally you can chose from an array of templates when creating your document so you can effortlessly design anything from your CV to your dissertation cover to a project proposal. Finally, once done you are given the option of saving directly to Google Drive or sharing the file.

Why we like it: Works across all devices seamlessly, allowing you to efficiently work between  your mobile, desktop or tablet.

Get it from: iTunes


Google Slides

Similar to Google Docs, Google Slides is also available across most platforms and devices, for free. Google Slides also has a variation of templates to choose from. Alternatively however, you can design and create your own slides.

Again, once done you are given the option of saving directly to Google Drive or sharing.

Why we like it: Works across all devices seamlessly, allowing you to efficiently work between  your mobile, desktop or tablet. As well as having a large variation in pre set themes to choose from.

Get it from: iTunes


Google Sheets

Google Sheet’s set templates are possibly the most useful of them all, with templates allowing you to create anything from a 2016 calendar to a to do list.

Finally, once done you are given the option of saving directly to Google Drive or sharing.

Why we like it: Works across all devices seamlessly, allowing you to efficiently work between  your mobile, desktop or tablet. As well as having a large variation in pre set themes to choose from.

Get it from: iTunes


Eidetic

Is an app that uses ‘Spaced Repetition’ to help you remember anything. You enter what exactly you need to remember then set how often you would like the app to test you.

Instead of trying to force yourself into memorizing something immediately, the app will help you remember over a set period of time. This is a relatively stress free technique of remembering something so you are more inclined to remember it in the long run.

Why we like it: A unique approach to aiding in recalling information.

Get it from: iTunes

Gero Time Management Companion

The app that will end the hour-long study sessions that in reality is ten minutes and put an end to the two-minute study breaks that are actually half an hour. You can choose your ‘sprint’ length as well as your break length and the app will notify you exactly when you are due a break.

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Why we like it: An effective time management app 

Get it from: iTunes


Spotify

For those who find revising with music on in the background Spotify has a wide range of ‘Revision Playlists’ so you don’t end up procrastinating while creating the ‘perfect’ playlist.

Why we like it: The perfect app for those who find listening to music helpful when revising. Plus with plenty of ‘Revision Playlists’ already available you won’t end up spending hours creating the ‘perfect’ playlist.

Get it from: iTunes


LinkedIn

A good social platform to establish yourself on before you graduate.

Why we like it: The app to give you an understanding of what industry professionals are doing and how they got there.

Get it from: iTunes

If you are interested, book a private tutor in London .

best jobs of the future
What are the Best Jobs of the Future?

February 3, 2016

Which are the best jobs that we should be encouraging our children to get ready for now?

The employment landscape is constantly evolving. And with new technology and advances across many business sectors, what were once considered the best jobs may now not offer the opportunities they once did.

Of course there are many different factors to think about when thinking as parents or teachers about the kind of careers advice we should be giving our children. Obviously, earning a good wage is crucial, but job satisfaction and aptitude and passion in your position in an organisation are also extremely important and needs to be considered further.

Research has indicated that jobs considered both reasonable ‘safe’ and lucrative such as banking, law or stockbroking may not remain so in the future. Think about it, 10 years ago who had heard of a Social Media Consultant? Now, opportunities in all kinds of social media are becoming some of the most popular, highly paid and most sought after roles.

By the year 2030, the entire job market may well have changed. Experts who predict what the most sought after jobs will be have suggested that we may see a demand for increased farming as food will become more scarce, and thus coming up with ways to produce a greater volume of crops more quickly and to save space while doing so will be important. Evidence of an aging population in the UK also suggests that jobs in the healthcare sector may become more popular, particularly those focused on improving the health and well-being of the elderly.

Doctors, nurses, physical therapists, home health aids, and pharmacists are also likely to be in greater demand. Of course this demand will be for a mixture of highly skilled and lower skilled workers with those who are higher skilled enjoying greater financial rewards. Maths and the sciences (particularly biology) are important to get onto appropriate courses in medical care.

Information technology is another career choice that is only likely to become ever more popular and exciting as time goes on. Huge leaps have been made in this field over the last decade and with plenty of IT businesses thriving as well as the continual investment into improving information technology, this sector will continue to grow and grow.

Renewable energy is another sector that is gaining more momentum. While our oil and gas resources are not exhausted yet, there has been an increased urgency to find alternative and reliable energy sources before this happens, making specialising in alternative energy a wise career choice. Mechanics and plant managers as well as scientists and engineers will all be required and not only will they become a desirable and lucrative jobs in the future, dedicating ones time to help save the planet is also likely to give great job satisfaction too!

Marketing, advertising, content creation and roles relating to social media are all also careers for the future that are likely to be in high demand. There has been a greater need to encourage creativity in the classroom in recent years, and certainly if a student has a creative streak, encouraging the development of this is constructive. Businesses are always looking for new ways to market their products and services and the ability to write or to come up with and realise exciting and unusual ways to do this is, and always will continue to be profitable.

Of course, it’s commonplace for a person to have several careers throughout their working life. As opposed to 20 years ago where people would remain in the same position or company until retirement, the current trend is now to move jobs every few years. Businesses offering good career progression and new and interesting opportunities for their employees are likely to see a lower turnover whereas those that don’t will find employees are more than happy to jump ship in favour of a better offer.

Equipping children with the right skills for their chosen career is important. However, while having specialised knowledge has its advantages, those with a good overall education and the ability to learn and adapt to new situations and climates are likely to be in the best position to attain the most desirable jobs overall.

help overcome procrastination
Top Apps & Browser Extensions to Help Overcome Procrastination

January 22, 2016

Staying organised and managing time is easily one of the trickiest things to master in life and technology can either help with this or completely destroy your time management abilities. So, to help avoid the latter we have compiled some of the most useful (and free) browser extensions, apps and mobile apps to help you stay on top of things and stay flawlessly organised. 

Chrome Apps to Overcome Procrastination

It’s probably happened to everyone, needing to read an email but not having a functioning Internet connection to do so. Never find yourself in or avoid ever ending up in that predicament ever again with Gmail Offline available for Google Chrome.

Another ingenious Chrome App from Google, take note visually with Google Drawings.

Work entirely from your browser and do away with having to continuously having to hide and reopen programs on your computer with; PowerPoint Online, Excel Online and Word Online.

Never, ever lose your work again and back it up on an online drive. OneDrive, Google Drive and Dropbox are all great platforms that support virtually every file type and offer a substantial amount of free storage.

Chrome ‘New Tab’ Extensions

You would never think that your ‘New Tab’ could serve as a distraction, but those frequently visited sites are just innocently sitting there and you’re not at all tempted to click on and reopen Facebook, no not at all. So refresh your ‘New Tab’ page with a ‘New Tab’ Extension to ensure you avoid all possible temptations.

Momentum has a very personalized feeling to it, not only does it show you the time and weather in your local area, it also allows you to create a custom to do list. The backdrop image for the extension changes throughout the day, showing very tranquil looking places throughout the world along with a motivational quote at the bottom of the screen.

WunderlistWunderlist developed by Microsoft, allows you to turn your ‘New Tab’ page into one giant to-do list. It features a text field to allow you to create your to-do list as well as a quick link to your Google Chrome Apps.

Currently is very clean and simple  app thats shows you the current weather, a five-day forecast and time in your local area. Although it does not feature a custom to-do list function it still takes away from the distraction of your current ‘New Tab’ page. It is also fairly customizable and allows you to set the text and background colour.

Chrome Buttons

The time you spend browsing Facebook is directly comparable to that last five minutes before getting out of bed. It will not feel like five minutes, it will feel more like one. The Toggl button for Google Chrome allows you to track your time spent online. You can view all your tracking in your profile as well as set an economic value to projects you are currently working on, so you can see exactly how much time and money you have wasted. Toggl is also available for iOS and Android.

IOS and Android Apps to Stop Procrastination

Gero Time Management Companion set the amount of time you want to spend on a task and when you want a quick two minute break, it will continually notify you when you are due a break and when you need to get back to the task at hand. Ultimately it is the perfect tool to help you manage your revision breaks.

Eidetic is an app that’ uses a technique called spaced repetition to help you memorise anything’. So in reality it’s one of the best apps to get addicted to.

Now, go forth into the world and stay (relatively) procrastination free.