Creating and maintaining an effective study plan is arguably one of the most important aspects of any exam year. Among all else, it adds structure and detail to your school day, helping to limit and decrease any worries, concerns, anxiety that we may be experiencing. Studying is one of the most common and easiest aspects of your exam year which we can get distracted from. It is important to begin by changing our current mind-set. You have plenty of time to get yourself organised to maximise your capability. Here are a few hints and tips that you can use linked to the study plan attached:
- Don’t change your routine too much, to what it normally looks like. For example: if you play a sport or have a music lesson on a Monday from 6-7, factor that into your plan and link your academic work around it. Obviously, it is important to get content covered in order to revise, but it is also important to take time out to rest, re-energise and clear the mind.
- Be realistic – some students make the mistake of adding in 2/3 hours of study a night when they know that they will in actual fact only have time or learning capacity to do 1 hour. One hour of good, effective study is more beneficial than sitting in front of a book for three hours with very little information entering your head. In fact, failure to reach this 2/3 hour study goal would actually have the opposite effect of what you wanted it to achieve in the first place. Start off small and work your way up to a significant amount of study each week.
- If studying two subjects or more in a night, include a combination of subjects you are good at/enjoy as well at subjects that you are not as strong at/don’t enjoy. Often students group strong & weak instrument together. However, to have balance in your study plan it is an integral part of your plan to get an even amount of strong/weak subjects into your study bank each evening. This allows you to have a consistent development among all subjects.
- Start studying as soon as possible – one problem students often encounter is that they have to cram their revision as they have left it too late to study. Revising a little bit of information, but often is much more effective than trying to learn a lot of information all at once.
- Find a useful format of learning that suits you – students often write down sheets upon sheets of paper as they think it’s the correct way to revise, or very simply that they see other students doing it. Every person is different and therefore benefits from a varied form of learning.
Examples of learning styles include:
- Writing things down
- Practising exam-style questions and learning from them
- Teach it to someone else
- Say things out loud (oral revision)
- Reading information to yourself both out loud and in your head
- Record yourself reciting the information and listen back over it There are a huge amount of ways that learning can take place, the hardest part is trying to find one that suits you. It is important to find a way that suits you and stick with that throughout the year!