So HSC is rearing its ugly head and I thought it might be useful to give you all a little pep talk to motivate you to achieve your academic goals, especially when you feel burnt out from all the study and stress. (But that’s not to say this advice won’t be relevant or useful to students in other years.)
Now let’s start with a hypothetical situation where you think a friend always does better than you in a test because you assume they’re smarter or more talented. But consider the idea that they just used better strategies, learnt from their mistakes, practised harder and didn’t give up. You can do that too if you follow some basic rules:
Research has shown that if you do not have enough sleep, the time spent studying is less productive and usually longer. So don’t think cramming all night will help before an exam, be organized!
2. PRIORITISE DIFFICULT SUBJECTS
Study subjects that are more challenging to you when you are less tired. It will be easier to find the motivation to study something you find enjoyable.
3. Studying in the same place each day helps to link study with that location (e.g. bedroom, school/public library). You will be able to focus & concentrate more quickly.
4. Study in shorter time blocks with short breaks between. This keeps you from getting tired and “wasting time”.
5. Starting a task reduces your anxiety about it.
I know I said earlier to start difficult subjects first but this doesn’t really work if you’re the best procrastinator in town so start by simply listing all the tasks you have to do in order of importance and urgency, and work through them one at a time.
6. Break up work into as many small, achievable tasks as you can. Then when you sit down to study, you are not facing a huge, pile of work, but one small task. Complete a ‘chunk’ every study period. It might be a task or a period of revision. After completing a ‘chunk’, take a break and reward yourself if it was a really hard task.
7. Take a break!
If you feel like you’re getting distracted take a short break or open a window and walk around.
8. AND FINALLY… try have FUN!
Remember it’s your last year in high school, so appreciate the time with your friends, the school environment and maybe even your teachers. It’s important for your mental and physical health to BALANCE study with fun.
I hope this advice helps you remember the simple things we all sometimes forget and on behalf of S4S Coaching, I wish the graduating class of 2010 all the luck in your HSC! :)
Cue the inspirational factoid:
Thomas Edison’s teachers said he was “too stupid to learn anything.” He was fired from his first two jobs for being “non- productive.” As an inventor, Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. When a reporter asked, “How did it feel to fail 1,000 times?” Edison replied, “I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.”