Studying over Christmas – Top Tips

At the end of term, the Deputy Head (Academic), Ed Tolputt, spoke to both exam year-groups about why and how to study over the Christmas break.

These were his seven top tips:

1. Have a plan. Let the plan take the strain. Let the plan do the worrying. Just do what it says.

2. Make use of those around you (your parents, perhaps?). They will be happy to help. Tell them your plan. They will help you stick to it. Work with your door ajar. Ask them to peer in occasionally to keep you on task.

3. Plan your downtime – it’s important. Try to avoid toxic downtime. Toxic downtime is not getting around to working. Procrastinating. Downtime that controls you (rather than vice versa). Eg Facebook. Or whatever you young things use nowadays. Toxic downtime makes you feel guilty. What’s the point? If you’re not working you might as well *properly* not work – watch a film, go to a café etc. It’ll make you feel good. Tell your parents that you plan to watch TV this evening. Then you won’t feel guilty.

4. Working isn’t difficult. The difficult thing is *beginning* to work. So make sure you end a work session at a point from which it’s easy to pick up. Ask yourself: “how easy will it be for me to resume after my break?”. Stop in the middle of the sentence.

5. Very first day of the holiday. Do an hour’s work. That way you’ve begun your holiday-work. The work wagon is on the tracks, and beginning to roll.

6. When you’ve finished the holiday-work that you’ve been set carry on. This isn’t about you pleasing your teacher. This about you setting yourself up for the most intense five months of your school to date. So do more. Get the specification. Go online. Find revision resources. Make yourself better at your subject. Take control.

7. Be active. Not passive. You don’t get better at tennis by watching tennis. You don’t get better at your subjects by just reading the text book. Have a pen in your hand. Write. Do.

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