Hard work for exams will pay off, promise celebrities

As students across the capital prepare for their exams, celebrities are sharing their very best tips for getting through the stressful revision period with the Learning and Skills Council (LSC). Leading names from the worlds of entertainment and sport, i

As students across the capital prepare for their exams, celebrities are sharing their very best tips for getting through the stressful revision period with the Learning and Skills Council (LSC).

Leading names from the worlds of entertainment and sport, including London supermodel and actress Lily Cole, T4 presenter Rick Edwards, and England rugby star Jonny Wilkinson, are encouraging teenagers to work hard for their exams in order to safeguard their future by achieving the minimum set of qualifications needed to get on in life - five GCSEs grades A*-C or a vocational qualification at Level 2. Although people might think that celebrities don't know what hard work is, these stars and others like them have all been through exams and studying, just like the rest of us. They recognise the importance of hard work in getting them where they are today, and are now exclusively sharing their secrets of exam success.

Despite her successful modelling and acting career, London-raised and -educated Lily Cole maintains a commitment to her education and plans to go King's College, Cambridge this year to study Social and Political Sciences. Often the star of the catwalk and the cover girl of the world's most exclusive magazines, Cole, still understands the importance of a good education. Her top revision tip is: "Basically I took ten minutes out to dance every few hours! Kept my spirits up!"

Rick Edwards, co-host of T4's Freshly Squeezed, is no stranger to revision; he studied natural sciences at the University of Cambridge, as well as tutoring A-level and GCSE maths, physics, chemistry, biology and art. Rick says: "Planning my revision time really helped, but I wish I hadn't spent so much time creating such an elaborate, colour-co-ordinated revision timetable. Not only did it take me about two days of valuable revision time to devise, it also freaked me out whenever I looked at it!" Instead Rick recommends visual prompts as a simpler and less scary way to help: "Post-it notes! Write facts on them; stick them all round your room. Somehow, the stuff seeps into your mind. Amazing!"


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England's Rugby World Cup hero Jonny Wilkinson says: "My way of getting down to revision was to run off all my energy, have a good meal and then relax and focus for three or so hours before bed with files, books and the essential background music. I also found making notes on the most salient points helped me to remember important facts."

He continues: "I considered revision a great challenge on the basis that the correct preparation would reap the satisfaction of good results."

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These celebrities now boast successful careers in their chosen fields, but achieving the minimum set of qualifications is the groundwork needed for all young people to improve their future career opportunities and ensure they always have something to fall back on. This is all the more achievable for today's teenagers with so many alternative routes to success and the possibility of financial support of up to £30 a week, thanks to the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA).

Arthur Bolton, Arts Entertainment Manager at the BRIT School of performing arts in Croydon, which has nurtured home-grown talents such as Islington-born chart-topper Leona Lewis, and London singer-songwriter Kate Nash, says: "We are not a 'Fame' school; students need qualifications to succeed. Even if a student is successful in the entertainment business, it may not last for their whole life - Leona, Kate Nash, Adele, and Luke Pritchard all obtained their qualifications."

Arthur adds: "We advise students to have an action plan. Time management is important, so that you feel in control. Plan ahead and draw up a list of what you need to revise, with the most important at the top. Then, work out a realistic timetable and when you have achieved each one, cross it off your list. The night before an examination you should relax."

Ruth Bullen, Director of Young People's Learning at the Learning and Skills Council, comments: "Revision time can be tough and stressful, but it is essential to give it your best shot. Everyone has their own revision systems and methods, and it's great that these celebrities have shared theirs. Find the way that works for you and stay positive - the important thing to remember is that channelling your efforts into revision now can reap huge rewards, better career prospects and will positively impact the rest of your life."

Young people who are looking at what courses they can take to achieve a Level 2 qualification can visit http://dcsf.gov.uk/prospectus to find out more. EMA is also available to support young people from households with an income of up to £30,810. For more information on EMA visit www.direct.gov.uk/ema or call the helpline on 0800 121 8989

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