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Study Skills: Motivation & Goal Setting

Updated: Feb 11

Feeling the exam pressure? Late nights, scattered textbooks, no idea where to begin—we've all been there. Boost your success by staying motivated and setting clear goals.


SS17. Handling Exam Pressure

Study and exam pressure can feel overwhelming. Balancing study, social life, and self-care is important. Here are some tips to help:

Plan and Prioritise:

  • Create a realistic study schedule that breaks down your subjects and topics. Prioritize based on your strengths and weaknesses, allocating more time to challenging subjects. This will help you manage your time effectively and avoid last-minute cramming.

Active Revision Techniques:

  • Engage in active learning rather than passively reading notes. Utilize flashcards, mind maps, and teaching concepts to others. These techniques enhance understanding and retention, making your study sessions more productive.

Balance and Breaks:

  • Avoid burnout by incorporating regular breaks into your study routine. Short, frequent breaks help maintain focus and prevent fatigue. Additionally, ensure you get enough sleep, as a well-rested mind is more capable of retaining information and solving problems.

Healthy Lifestyle Choices:

  • Maintain a balanced diet and stay hydrated. Nutrient-rich foods fuel your brain, enhancing cognitive function. Regular exercise is also crucial for stress relief and overall well-being. Incorporating these habits into your routine will contribute to a healthier mindset during exams.

Mindfulness and Stress Management:

  • Practice mindfulness techniques, such as deep breathing and meditation, to manage stress and anxiety. These practices can help you stay calm and focused, allowing for better concentration during study sessions and exams.

Remember, it's essential to find a study routine that works for you and adapt these tips to fit your personal needs. Take care of your mental and physical well-being, and approach exams with confidence and resilience.


SS18. Digital Study Tools

By mixing up your study routine with different types of resources, you may find that you are more motivated to study and more likely to retain the information you are learning. Here are our top recommendations:

  • Seneca Learning: Tailored revision with interactive materials for GCSE and A-Level subjects.

  • Gojimo: Over 40,000 practice questions for effective exam preparation.

  • Quizlet: Boost memorization with digital flashcards and quizzes.

  • BBC Bitesize: Online resource for interactive GCSE exam prep.

  • Evernote: Seamlessly capture, organize, and search study materials.

  • Knowunity: Offers homework help, exam prep, and access to free school content.

  • Khan Academy: Extensive library of educational videos covering various subjects for additional explanations and examples.

  • Trello: Stay organized with boards, lists, and cards, ideal for project management and task tracking.

  • StudyBlue: Enhance study sessions with electronic flashcards and quizzes, including access to a vast library of user-generated cards.

  • Wolfram Alpha: Solve complex maths problems, generate step-by-step solutions, and explore scientific concepts, particularly beneficial for maths and science subjects.

Do you need support to take charge of revision with proper preparation? Join our Study Skills Course starting on Sunday, January 26th. Learn more HERE.


SS19. Effective Reading Strategies

Reading is not just about scanning words on a page; it's about understanding and retaining information. Here are some effective strategies to enhance your reading comprehension:

Preview the Material:

  • Before diving in, take a few minutes to skim through headings, subheadings, and any highlighted or bolded text. This provides an overview, making it easier to grasp the main ideas.

Activate Prior Knowledge:

  • Connect new information to what you already know. This not only aids comprehension but also helps in retaining and recalling details.

Annotate and Highlight:

  • Engage actively with the text by jotting down notes, underlining key points, or using digital tools to highlight important information. This encourages focus and reinforces understanding.

Take Breaks:

  • Reading for extended periods can lead to fatigue and reduced comprehension. Break down your reading into manageable chunks, and take short breaks to maintain optimal focus.

Summarise Each Section:

  • After reading a section, challenge yourself to summarise the key points in your own words. This reinforces understanding and helps solidify the information.

Ask Questions:

  • Formulate questions about the material as you read. This not only keeps you actively engaged but also enhances your ability to comprehend and recall details.

Visualise Concepts:

  • Create mental images or diagrams of complex concepts. Visualisation adds another layer of understanding and aids in remembering details.

Discuss with Others:

  • Engage in discussions with peers or mentors about what you've read. Explaining concepts to others reinforces your comprehension and provides new perspectives.

Vary Your Reading Speed:

  • Adjust your reading speed based on the material. Some sections may require slower, more deliberate reading, while others can be skimmed for key points.

Practice Mindfulness:

  • Minimise distractions and focus your attention on the material. Mindful reading promotes better comprehension and retention.

Incorporate these strategies into your reading routine to not only enhance comprehension but also make the process more enjoyable and effective. Happy reading! 📖✨


SS20. Staying Focused During Exams

Staying focused during an exam is essential for success. When you’re focused, you’re better able to remember information, think clearly, and answer questions accurately. But it can be difficult to stay focused, especially when you’re feeling nervous or stressed. Here are 7 tips you can use when taking your next exam:

Strategic Time Allocation:

  • Allocate time wisely to ensure you have sufficient minutes for each section or question.

Mindful Breathing Techniques:

  • Incorporate deep breathing exercises to calm nerves and maintain focus throughout the exam.

Effective Note-Taking:

  • Take concise notes during the exam to organise your thoughts and ensure clarity in your responses.

Active Question Analysis:

  • Read each question carefully, identify keywords, and ensure a clear understanding before answering.

Prioritise Questions:

  • Begin with questions you feel most confident about to secure points early on and build confidence.

Utilise Reading Time Effectively:

  • Make the most of initial reading time to skim through the paper, noting instructions and planning your approach.

Positive Visualisation:

  • Visualise success and approach the exam with a positive mindset to reduce anxiety and boost confidence.

Good luck with your exams—remember, they're just one part of your journey.

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