Exam preparation: how your students can use AI for studying

Exam preparation: how your students can use AI for studying

In the last twelve months, there has been a lot of debate around AI and assessment. Lots of educators have expressed fears that student use of generative AI such as ChatGPT would make cheating widespread. But when it comes to exams done in a closed...

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In the last twelve months, there has been a lot of debate around AI and assessment. Lots of educators have expressed fears that student use of generative AI such as ChatGPT would make cheating widespread.

But when it comes to exams done in a closed room with unseen questions and no tools other than paper and pen, generative AI is less of a threat to assessment, whether at International GCSE or A level. In fact, when it comes to this type of exam, generative AI can be a powerful tool to help your students prepare for their exams.

How to use AI for studying

There are educational AI tools on the market for a variety of subjects, but ChatGPT, powered by OpenAI, is a versatile, innovative and – most importantly – accessible resource which students can use for their exam preparation. So, let’s explore five ways that your students can use AI for studying for their exams.

1. Create a detailed study plan

Your students will already be familiar with the importance of creating a well-structured study plan, but it can take time to put it all together and make sure that they haven’t missed out any key topics or revision. So, they can use AI for studying by asking ChatGPT to help them create a study plan:

  • Prompt: What should be included in an effective study plan for International GCSE Biology?

ChatGPT will quickly create a list of all the topics they need to cover. The tool can also suggest a study schedule with this information, so that they can pace themselves and have breaks:

  • Prompt: Create a two week study plan for International A level Maths

Your students will be able to get started much faster without spending valuable revision time on creating a study plan. What’s more, with a personalised plan, students can efficiently allocate their time, allowing them to focus on the areas where they need more revision.

2. Ask for study tips and strategies

There is an overwhelming number of study tips and strategies out there for students to wade through. When your students are trying to pinpoint the best strategy to prepare for an exam, ChatGPT can simplify the process by providing tailored advice and effective techniques. Let’s take a look:

  • Prompt: What are some effective study tips and strategies that can help me prepare for A level History?

ChatGPT will suggest using active learning techniques, practising past exam questions and other helpful tips. However, students can access advice that is tailored to their specific challenges if they add more detail:

  • Prompt: I find it difficult to connect historical events and remember specific details for my A level History exams. What strategies can I use to enhance my understanding of historical contexts and improve my essay-writing skills?

To this prompt, ChatGPT will respond suggesting that students create timelines and mind maps, use mnemonic devices, focus on key themes and concepts and engage with primary and secondary sources.

3. Ask for explanations and clarifications

There will be times when your students struggle with complex concepts. Of course you as their teacher are their first port of call, but if they need extra clarification or examples when you’re not available, ChatGPT can act like an on-demand digital tutor, providing them with the information they need. For example, students could ask:

  • Prompt: Can you explain the process of photosynthesis in biology?
  • Prompt: Can you explain how to calculate equilibrium constants?

ChatGPT can break down complex subjects into digestible explanations, offering clarity where textbooks might fall short. What’s more, through interactive dialogue, students can deepen their understanding, ask for further details and clarify misconceptions around challenging topics when they come up during students’ exam revision.

Learn more about helping your students to achieve learning autonomy

4. Receive essay feedback and suggestions for improvement

Topic knowledge is of course important, but strong essay-writing skills will really help your students to excel in their exams. However, with a lot of content to cover, it can be hard to find time to fit writing practice into the curriculum, and providing feedback on multiple practice essays is incredibly time-consuming for teachers.

Luckily, ChatGPT can do some heavy lifting here. Students simply input their essay into ChatGPT and receive detailed feedback on how to refine their writing abilities. Students can submit essay drafts or specific questions:

  • Prompt: Can you provide feedback on this GCSE English essay: (copy and paste)

ChatGPT can offer constructive feedback on structure, coherence, grammar, and content. Moreover, it can suggest improvements, recommend transitional phrases, and provide examples for better clarity and flow. If students have a particular block with an area of essay writing, they can also ask for more specific feedback:

  • Prompt: What are some ways to improve the introduction of my chemistry research paper: (copy and paste)

Students can use this feedback to refine their writing skills, enabling them to communicate their knowledge more clearly and perform well during the exam.

Read more about helping your students to improve their writing skills

5. Create study quizzes for active learning

Engaging in active learning through quizzes is an effective way to reinforce knowledge and test understanding. With ChatGPT, students can easily generate study quizzes tailored to their subjects and topics. Simply ask:

  • “Can you help me create a quiz on algebraic equations with varying difficulty levels?”
  • “What are some key questions I should include in a history quiz on World War II?”

ChatGPT can generate quiz questions, provide answers, and even suggest multiple-choice options. These quizzes can be shared with peers for collaborative learning or used for self-assessment. By regularly testing their knowledge, students can identify weak areas and focus their revision efforts effectively.

A smart companion for exam preparation

Thorough revision is essential for exam success, and there’s no getting around that. However, ChatGPT can help your students to cut out some of the time-consuming study planning, provide quick feedback when teachers aren’t available, and create instant quizzes to help students revise their knowledge. So, using AI for studying can free up more time for reading and revision.

Further reading

Learn more about how you can support your students during exam season: building frustration tolerance, helping them to cope with exam stress and teaching them to focus.

Don’t forget to also check out these resources to help students revise for their International GCSEs.

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