It’s the beginning of another year and everyone seems to be putting together a long list of new year’s resolutions. Unfortunately, they don’t always go to plan and people often give up after a couple of weeks. As students, however, we can’t let that happen! We need to try and stick to our study-related resolutions as much as we can, but how can we go about it?
Getting into the Right Mind-set
It is tremendously difficult to force yourself to revise especially when the people around you aren’t revising too. The best way to motivate yourself during this tough time is to think about the results you’ll get from it. Yes, watching TV does sound like a good way to relax but it isn’t going to help you get any qualifications. Think of results day in August when you will nervously turn up to school, sleepless as you were in anticipation of your results all night, and open your envelope slowly only to see ten 8s and 9s on your paper! When you get your results, all the hard work you put in will be worth it and what’s even greater is that you’ll get an extra-long summer to make up for the time you spent revising!
As well as motivating yourself with the time off you will have later, you must think of how significant your mock exams are. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that mocks are merely tests that the school use; they’re not official exams. This is true but these exams are a lot more important than you think. Mocks give you a clear idea of what level you’re working at now and what level you might get when it comes to the real exams. Therefore, it is incredibly important to revise for your mocks in the same way that you would revise for a public exam to get a clear idea of where you’re working and what you need to do to improve. Also, in extreme circumstances, mocks can have an impact on the actual grade you get. We need to prepare for the worst and, you never know, you could be ill on your exam day and this will significantly impact your performance, in fact, you might not even be able to sit the exam at all! In this situation, your school could apply for special conditions where the exam board take your mock and predicted grades into consideration to decide on your final grade. Reminding yourself of why these exams are so important will help to motivate you to revise.
2. Making a Revision Timetable
So, you’re in the correct mind-set and ready to revise but there is one problem: where do you start? It can be quite overwhelming, looking at your abundant pile of textbooks, handouts and class notes without a clue about where to begin. The best way to start is to make a list of
all the things you have to revise for under sub-headings for each subject. This could be topics, like Trigonometry or Circle Theorems for Maths, or texts for English like Macbeth or Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Then rank the topics from easiest to hardest so you know what areas you need to spend more time on.
Example revision time table during the holiday:
Example revision time table during term time:
You should revise for at least 3 hours on weekdays and 5 to 6 hours on weekends and your timetable should tailor to this. Decide on when you want to revise: do you feel more focussed early in the morning or are you more productive after school? Set your revision time accordingly giving yourself breaks often; some people like to revise for three hours then have an hour break, others prefer to study for 45 minutes then take a 5-minute break. It’s totally up to you and how you work but ensure that you are never too lenient on yourself and try your best to stick to your revision timetable. If something comes up and you can’t revise, add it onto another date, if you accidentally sleep in, do your revision in the evening. This type of discipline will put you into a familiar routine and ensure that you are able to focus your revision on the areas you need to.
These are the first steps to success; you need to get into the mind-set and plan your revision. In our next post, we’ll discuss how we you can revise and stick to your revision timetable instead of giving up as we often do with all our other new year’s resolutions!