As we approach the end of the school year, students in all year groups will be preparing for summative assessments and exams. While this may seem overwhelming, there are some simple steps to follow that can support students in feeling calm, confident and equipped to deal with the tasks ahead.
Time management is arguably the most important factor in effective study. Create a study timetable that takes into consideration other commitments such as sport and part time work. Live the timetable for a while and if it doesn’t work, change it. Look ahead. What is your assessment schedule or exam timetable? What other commitments such as sport, social events or extracurricular activities are going to have an impact on your ability to stick to your timetable? Take these all into consideration so that, when the time comes, you are not feeling overwhelmed but rather in control.
Once you know what needs to be done, set goals to help you get there. Consider short term, medium term and long term goals. A long term goal might be achieving a particular grade or graduation from high school and embarking on your post school pathway. Conversely, short term goals might be to begin researching this week for that project that is due in three weeks’ time. Know what your priorities are and set your goals accordingly.
Looking after yourself
Make sure that you take care of your body and mind. Pay attention to sleep, exercise, hydration and nutrition. Know what helps you relax. Do you need to take the dog for a walk? Kick a ball around? Listen to some music? Read a book? The activity is going to be different for everyone, so know what works for you. Listen to what your body is telling you.
Consider the location of your study. When you are studying by yourself, do you have a quiet place free of distractions? Is your phone on your desk or well out of the way? Vary your study routine by sometimes studying with your friends. Once you have a study group established, vary the location of where you study. Setting up online groups for your subjects can be a good way of asking questions of your peers when you are studying and getting quick responses. Answering the questions of your peers also helps you to consolidate your own understanding.
There are lots of different methods of note taking, reading, memorising and responding for you to try to see what works best. Crash Course has a series of ten short videos that cover a range of different study techniques that are well explained and well worth watching. Here is the link to the first video. Crash Course Study Skills Preview – YouTube.
Overall, being prepared and looking after yourself will set you on the path to success.
College Wellbeing Team