Here in the UK, A levels are what we study in the last two years of school, ready to sit exams in either 3 or 4 subjects at the end of Year 13 and Year 14 to get into Uni. I have just started Year 13 and when people tell you there's going to be a running jump up from your previous year, believe them. I've been back at school 3 weeks and I've already handed in two 35 mark essays, completed an entire topic and have had a test. This is not GCSE. This is Hell.
So I've decided to compile a list of study tips to help keep on top of homework, independent study and class exams, whichever year you're in, before you slowly get the urge to eat glass or gauge your own eyes out or do both at the same time.
1. Do Your Homeworks The Day You Get Them, Not The Night Before It's Due
This will help you more than you know. There is nothing worse than leaving an essay to the day before and soon realising that you will be working into the wee hours of the morning. This will inevitably make your writing worse and just lower your overall opinion of the subject it was for. Instead, try and at least begin your homework when you get it, either in a study period or for half an hour at home, to lighten your work load. Believe me, it helps.
2. Begin Studying For Exams Now
I know this sounds absolutely ridiculous, but it helps. If your school is anything like mine and you don't get study leave before exams during this year, you will thank yourself so much. It's not as hard as it sounds either. Simply write good notes, draw a spider diagram, make a mind-map every time you have a test in school or an end of topic test. Eventually these will build up your database and save you from wasting time on making notes just days before your exams.
3. Make Yourself A Clean, Organised Working Environment
As the saying goes, a tidy space makes a tidy mind, and it's so very very true. Spend time making your desk beautiful and practical, take pride in making little motivational posters, don't be afraid to spend money to make it perfect. The end result will be a cute, unique little space that you will be happy to go to at the end of the day to begin homework or study and you'll want to spend as much time there as you can.
4. Find Out What Works Best For You
Whether it be making flashcards or lists, mind-maps or diagrams, pictures or words, it's never too early to find out which way your mind works best and accommodate to it's needs. Figure out if you need silence or music to study to, and if so what type of music you need. My personal favourite music to listen to whilst studying is film scores and orchestral music (link to my study playlist at the end of the post).
5. Take Breaks
Do not try and do everything at once. I repeat do not try and do everything at once. This will only drive you to insanity and stress you to the max. Break down your study time into manageable blocks, usually between an hour to an hour and a half, and allow for breaks for half an hour to an hour. Make yourself a snack, take a shower, go for a drive, watch some TV, do anything to take your mind off your work. This will allow you to wind down and have a breath before returning with a fresh mind and new perspective as to what you were working on.
So that's that! I hope I have given you some ideas as to how to make your life a little more manageable, and I wish you luck in all your school/work/homework/life and I'll talk to you again soon!
Link to 'Study : A Playlist' - http://sweetlyundefined.blogspot.co.uk/2015/09/study-playlist.html
Song of the day : 'Something Good Can Work' - Two Door Cinema Club