Sadly, the summer is now well and truly over, and it's time to start focusing on your exams, whether you want to or not.
Whether they're a year away or two years away, starting early is always a good idea. I hate to be cliché but the early bird really does catch the worm. Think about it logically, if you start studying for your exams now, just imagine how much more information you're going to be able to fit into your brain than if you only start studying a month before exams!
Here are some reasons why you should start studying ASAP and how to get motivated.
Reasons to Start Studying Right Now
1. You're training yourself for the rest of the year(s)
If you start studying right now at the start of the school year, you don't have to do anything too hard-core, maybe a half-hour/hour each evening after your homework. This small-scaled level of study will be such good practise though for when you have to start getting more intense about it, doing maybe 2 hours of study each night when exams are closing in. So, if you start now, you're training yourself into it, and when the time comes to be more serious about it, doing larger amounts of study won't seem like such a shock to the system. Practise makes perfect!
2. You're giving yourself time to learn more
It's common sense. Imagine you start studying now, and then imagine you start studying in 5 months time. How much more information could you have squeezed into your brain within those 5 months that you've wasted by going on your phone for an hour a night instead of studying? I know it seems so daunting to have to start studying now and keep it up for months but you will regret it in months to come when you realise that 2 weeks is not enough time to memorise all those facts and figures for your 6+ subjects.
3. You'll be more organised and prepared
Year after year everyone hears stories of the stress students feel in the run-up to exams and how much pressure they're under to learn everything. I'm not guaranteeing you won't feel stress and pressure in the run up to exams, even if you start studying now, because a bit of stress and pressure is only natural, but that stress and pressure will be majorly reduced if you start studying now. Be smart about it. Make a study plan now and be organised. Plan out what, when, and how much you're going to study. We here have taken the hassle out of making a studyplan by creating a study plan for you to print off and fill out easily. You can access it by clicking here.
Ways to Get Motivated and How to Optimise Your Studying
1. Be creative
Studying doesn't have to be all about having your nose in a book, frantically read line after line of notes that won't stick in your head anyway. Find the study method that works for you! If you like drawing and art, make mind maps, flash cards or drawings. If you like film and TV, watch learning videos on YouTube. If you like music, listen to educational podcasts, helpful learning songs or even just focus music while you're reading notes. If you check out the resources box on the subject pages here on Studyclix we have loads of different ways and methods of studying , so check that out and see if anything there can help you! Everyone's brain works differently so you need to find your way and use it to your advantage. Your studying will become more enjoyable, less of a chore, and way more efficient.
2. Include others
Who said studying needs to be done alone? Try getting your friends together once a week to have a study session, sometimes it's easier to learn with someone else. For example, if you're all studying Maths, you might study by doing out a particular question. If you're struggling, one of your friends might be able to explain it to you in a way that makes sense. Studying in a group works especially well for languages, I think. Get one or more friends over and have a conversation in whatever language you're studying. Talking to yourself won't get you very far.
Be sure to be careful with this tactic though. Set out some rules before you start studying that no phones are allowed and that if you're in the middle of studying, you can't go off on a tangent talking about the latest gossip. It's a waste of time. Be clever about it and this method can do wonders.
This isn't limited to your friends either. I used to get my mam to ask me oral-type questions in French and I'd have to answer them. This method is less lonely and more practical so it's a great way of studying if done right.
3. Make goals
Lots of students tend to get very unmotivated about studying after a while because they weren't doing it with much of a purpose. It's essential to make study goals so that when you achieve them, you have a sense of accomplishment and you have increased motivation to achieve more. For example, if you're studying French, make a goal for one week to learn off all the irregular verbs, when you've reached your goal, make a new one.
This not only helps motivate you but it breaks up your study which makes it more manageable.
I know no one really wants to start studying this early but trust me, you'll thank yourself later. You'll have so much time to enjoy yourself and your social life during the holidays and after school but right now, work hard and earn it first. You'll feel a lot better for it.
Good luck studying, we at Studyclix are always here to help out if you have any questions :)
Eimear and the Studyclix Team