Above: Mark Cameron (left), Dr Deborah Lambie, Ryan Allen and Dave Cameron of LearnCoach, an online study guide for NCEA students.

Thousands of school students are ditching paper and pens and taking their revision online.

Teenagers across the country are preparing to sit the first of their National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) exams this week. Scholarship drama kicks off the exam season tomorrow.

But the face of revision has changed: Gone are the days of highlighting textbooks and scribbling notes on paper. Now students are heading online to study.

A number of revision and study websites are available for students studying NCEA, including the Ministry of Education’s Studyit site. It provides advice about study, exam preparation, and points to useful revision material.

The New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) also provides past papers and examples of good answers, as well as specifications for what to expect in an exam.

Former physics teacher Dave Cameron, and doctor and former Miss World New Zealand Deborah Lambie, launched LearnCoach four years ago.

The site provides video tutorials explaining the key skills to reach achievement standards and provides worked examples for each skill.

“I think the reason it’s worked so well is it’s very specific for NCEA exams,” Lambie said. “And also I think people find it really helpful having something that’s free, because tutoring is very expensive, and lots of parents can’t necessarily afford to send their kids to a one-on-one tutor.”

Website numbers hit 30,000 in term 3, with 14,000 students logging in last week alone in the run-up to exams. The team were “very excited” by the interest, Lambie said, and were now “getting a little bit inundated with questions” from stressed-out students emailing in questions and worries.

The site was fun and engaging, she said.

“Lots of kids email through and say thank you, or we’ve saved their life.”

Lambie said while online revision tools were “not necessarily better” than one-on-one tutoring, they were beneficial to lots of students because so many could access them for free.

“It’s so different from when I was at school – I only left school in 2008 – and I didn’t have a laptop and we weren’t allowed phones at school.”

Other online study tools include Thynke Hub, Studyit and StudyTime.

Around 146,000 students will sit exams from tomorrow. Exams run until December 2.

Karl Le Quesne, head of early learning and student support at the Ministry of Education, said students needed to find out a study and revision method that suited them.

“We would encourage students to use revision methods that suit them best and do not recommend one method over another.”

Source: The New Zealand Herald


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