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To ALL Students, just in case you are feeling overwhelmed by all your school work, here are some tips for you on how to study!

take my advice

Be in the right place to get into the zone.

A comfortable, conducive environment with as few distractions as possible. You can always use headphones and music to drawn out the world around you.

(Classical music actually works perfectly! I know what you, as a young person, are probably thinking…but trust me. I didn’t figure that out until my Final Year of University. It’s a great way to stimulate the brain to retain information – TRY IT!!)

Plan the Work and then Work the Plan.

Be realistic with your study schedule. There is no point trying to timeline 101 things in a single day, only to be disappointed that you couldn’t complete 25% of it.

Aim to be specific and strategic! Look at your exam timetable and work backwards from that – Break the subjects down into topic areas.

Identify your favourite content and most importantly your areas for improvement.

(I really don’t like the word ‘weaknesses’ because they are actually greater than your strengths, as there is more room for major growth!)

Combine a ‘good’ area/topic/subject with a ‘growth’ one – That way even on a day of little motivation you can raise the profile of one and maintain the other. Balance and harmony is key!

DIY – Do it Yourself!

You are more than capable of creating your own notes, and developing a style that works for you. At the end of the day, it is you who will be sitting those exams and living with the results so don’t rely on others. Besides, as you write or draw something it tends to stick in your head better.

KISSKeep It Simple Stupid.

(No insult intended – It’s a saying…honest!)

Stick to the key points, i.e. words, phrases, information. Start with the widest idea and then narrow it down to 3-5 or 5-7 important things to know. The examiner does NOT want the textbook regurgitated to them…Nope, not interested!

Switch it up!

There’s nothing worse than getting bored and feeling drained by studying. Interact with people. Ah, I’ve got a great one for those facing chapters and chapters of text. 

Create a small group of 3-5 people (any more than that and it’s a party) and each of you read a chunk. Then feedback one-by-one and it’s like you read it all. Don’t be afraid to try something new. Studying can be made entertaining too because it may help you to remember something mundane.

Make your Study lists (the student life ‘to-do list’) shorter. 

C’mon on now, make them targets achievable! Why write down 10 things and only do 3, when you can write down 5 and complete at least 4?

SMART goals! Ensure they are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound (This last one can be a pain but worth it! It will save you time if you can estimate the time required to complete something, as accurately as possible. It will also keep you on track and accountable).

Divide up your time efficiently.

Saying and actually doing 90 minutes of straight studying or revision rarely works out…unless you are a machine! Are you??

How about digesting information (reviewing) for 35 minutes, then testing yourself on what you have retained (revising) for 15 minutes, and of course feel good about it (rewarding), whilst taking note of things missed for 10 minutes? Sounds reasonable, right?

This leads on to the next point…

Take a Break.

(and have a Kit-Kat if you really must…I’m not really a fan!)

Go for a quick/short walk, eat something, pick up your phone and ‘controllably scroll’ (as we all know that time can fly-by on social media breaks so be mindful!)

Your break, which is every time you pause your studying, should not be longer than your productive hours. You can even have a short rest after the reviewing time (see above) before you exercise your memory.

Do not be too hard on yourself.

You are not the first, and will not be the last student trying to figure out how to study. Take it easy but don’t overdo it. If you keep learning, you will keep growing…Why do you think adults seem to stop moving forward as quickly as you?

Think about it!

I hope this has helped you to know how to study and revise.

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Olivia D Hinds

Follow me on Twitter for regular advice @OliviaD_1

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