With 2020 being a whirlwind of a year, it’s no wonder that everyone is looking forward to relaxing and enjoying a well-deserved rest this Christmas. However, for GCSE and A Level students, this festive break is an important time to get on with revision for their upcoming January exams. Even though Christmas might not be as busy with family gatherings and festivities as previous years, it’s still important for students to stay motivated and keep on top of studying. Here’s a few tips to help GCSE and A Level students enjoy their break, as well as prepare for exams in the New Year.
Mark Out Specific Study Days
It’s important to stay realistic when planning out a revision schedule over the Christmas break - no student is going to want to spend all their time studying. We recommend getting a calendar and dedicating specific days to revise and taking set days off such as Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve. Having these days off planned out in advance will not only be a welcomed break but will be motivational during study sessions as it’s something to look forward to. It’s also a good idea to plan out study sessions for the time of day you will be most productive, whether that’s in the morning, afternoon or evening and stick to your plan, making sure you take regular breaks every 20-30 minutes. Finally, make sure you jot down a rough outline of your key objectives for each revision session, so you know what you need to do and when.
Get Rid of Distractions
When sitting down for your revision sessions make sure you get rid of ALL distractions - yes that includes your phone too! Not only are distractions getting in the way of having a productive revision session, it can also be easy for students to waste away hours of precious time, meaning levels of stress and anxiety increase as exams get closer. So, whether it’s removing your TV, laptop or getting away from siblings, try to study in a quiet relaxing area in your home - we guarantee your revision session will be much more productive for it!
Keep Revision Interesting
There’s nothing worse than dreading a boring revision session. That’s why we recommend mixing up your revision techniques throughout the Christmas break. This will make studying much more interesting and it will be a more beneficial use of your time. For example, avoid continuously re-reading and highlighting your notes over and over again, as this can mean you switch off and lose interest. Instead, try making some posters for your notes or tell a family member everything you can remember on a specific topic. It’s also a good idea to not study one subject for too long. Move on to something different after an hour or two as this will provide stimulation and keep your brain alert.
Make A New Year Study Plan
We know the Christmas holidays will be over in a flash, so make sure you have a plan of action for study sessions in the New Year. Not only will this help you feel less anxious for the first few weeks of 2021, but it also means you are staying on top of your revision sessions. Map out what work you will have left to complete or which exams you will need to revise for and in what order. Create a plan around your regular school or college schedule and stick to it. Hard work pays off!
If you start feeling overwhelmed or stressed out during revision sessions, remember it’s okay to step away for a bit. Head out for a walk, spend time with your family, read a book or listen to some music. Just 15 minutes away from your study zone will give yourself a much-needed mental break and you can return to work with a fresh perspective.
Enjoy The Festive Season
Finally, be realistic about the amount of studying you can fit into the Christmas break as it can be easy to burn out. Balance during the festive season really is the key to your happiness and success. Spend time with your loved ones, enjoy a lie in or sit back and indulge in a Christmas movie marathon.