1. Get a year planner or a calendar. If you buy a mid-year calendar or planner, because it starts in August, so you won’t have to buy two when the New Year comes in. Once you’ve got it, you can map out your deadlines.
2. You can also colour code your courses, breaks, and other things. Then you’ll know how much time you have to relax, and which courses you’ll be doing on certain days. Colours also help you to memorise things better, and if you look at your calendar and there’s a good mix, you’ll know you’re heading in the right direction.
3. Give yourself enough time. Don’t try and do coursework in 24 hours – schedule yourself enough days/weeks to do a certain task. You may already know how long it takes you to do an essay, for example a week for 2,000 words, so you can devote enough time to each module. This will ensure you have the best chance of success.
4. Don’t sit around fretting about all the work you have to do. Make a start on your term plan now, if you know what your deadlines are. You can stop yourself from panicking by making a comprehensive, good plan. You don’t have to know what you’ll be doing exactly, just know how much time you’ll need, and when you’ll need to do it.
5. Start early. Although it’s tempting to do absolutely nothing for the first few weeks, whilst you settle in, you don’t want to be really stressed at the end of term. If you start early, you’ll be able to get assignments out of the way, so that you don’t have to worry about them when all your deadlines are looming. All this is pretty obvious advice, but it’s so easy to get caught up in everything and to forget to plan ahead.
6. Make a separate revision schedule. Exams need a certain amount of time dedicated to them, but hopefully you’ll have most of your other coursework in by then. A revision schedule should also have day-by-day plans of what topics you’ll be revising, and it needs to cover all topics equally. Colour coding, giving yourself enough rest breaks etc. are still applicable here, so you can follow many of these tips when it comes to making a revision schedule.
7. Be realistic. If you know you aren’t going to be around on a certain day, or know that you won’t have enough time to study (say you’re taking a day trip or a pre-arranged holiday), don’t schedule anything in. Yes, you need time to study, but you also need time to relax. Going out and doing something is as good a way as any! After all, if you schedule something for that day and don’t do it, you’ll be behind and you’ll feel guilty. Hopefully by planning in advance you’ll be able to avoid this!
8. Don’t be too hard on yourself. If you struggle with concentration, or if you feel like nothing is going in, go and do something else. Come back to it later – you’re only exhausting yourself and wasting time by studying when you don’t feel up to it.
9. Think positively, and motivate yourself by thinking about what you want to do in the future. If you know you have to get certain grades to go to university/college, that should be enough to get you to study hard enough!
10. “You can only do your best”. This was some wise advice a nice lady would always repeat to me. If you go into an exam not feeling prepared enough (although it’s likely you actually will have done), you can only do what you can do. Try not to stress much about it afterwards – there’s no point until the results come in, after all.
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