I recently finished my time in Sixth Form and sat my A Levels in June and (I’m not going to sugar coat it) it was a bit of a nightmare! But now it is done I feel a sense of confidence and pride in myself which I never have before. I wanted to share a few of the things I found gave me a little push when I needed it the most, of course all of these things are personal to myself and my own experience and (thankfully) we are all so different!! Just make sure you’re doing what works best for you!
Set mini rewards.
Treating yourself for the work you put in is super important, without that sort of motivation I would have given up straight away. Rewards can come in all shapes and sizes and will change depending on what you love (and how much procrastination you’re trying to prevent).
It could anything from:
- a cookie or chocolate bar that you know it in the kitchen cupboard
- a 30 minute break to check Twitter and Instagram
- a YouTube video that you added to your ‘watch later’ earlier that day
By doing this you will (hopefully) find a little motivation to push through! Even the most boring chapter is work it for a doughnut, right?
Take a break
If you’ve sat down and tried to study and you’re really not feeling it, just take a break! There is no point wasting an hour trying to revise if you haven’t learnt anything by the end of it. Use that hour to chill, watch TV; listen to some music and clear your mind so your next hours can be super productive! (yay)
We’re only human and we can’t work constantly so don’t beat yourself up about it but be responsible! Don’t take this as an excuse to slack of completely and don’t accidentally ‘take a break’ for the whole of exam season.
Take a drink
Everyone knows that drinking water is really important (even if it’s almost impossible to remember to do) keep hydrated and keep the mind fresh!
Another thing I found was that I really didn’t benefit from having a snack with me, maybe (definitely) it’s because I’m ridiculously greedy but I found food very distracting. This may be something just personal to me, but it could be worth keeping in mind.
Plan (but not too hard)
yes yes yes!!!! to ‘to do’ lists and timetables! They will save so much time when you come to revising, so as soon as you sit down you will know exactly what to do without wasting hours flicking through notes and text books. But don’t plan to the hour, you may find that one topic is far easier to revise that you expected (optimism), which means you may be able to get ahead of yourself and do some of tomorrows work too!
Also, definitely factor in time for break but don’t have set times for them, I found that once I was in the flow of revision I didn’t want to stop. Take a break when you feel like you need it rather than on a schedule.
Experiment with revision ideas
Don’t stick with the same method if it’s not working for you (even if everyone else loves it!). I spent ages making too many flashcards and then discovered that I’m definitely more of a mind map girl! Test them all out and whatever technique works for you, use it!!!
Try your best!
Honestly, A Levels were the only time in school that I felt I did my best and worked as hard as I could and that was a nice comfort for me. Granted, it won’t calm your nerves or reduce your stress but hopefully it will help regret in the long run, which is always a good thing! I know it’s ridiculously cliche but you can only do your best and that doesn’t always mean it’s the best, but that doesn’t matter!
I know it sounds impossible (and tbh it probably is) but try and have a positive mindset, exam season won’t last forever, even if it feels that way! It will be worth it in the end and you will beam with pride knowing that you gave it your all!!
All my love,