Planning for success – Hints and Tips

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To stay organized there are several key points to include:

  • Keep track of time – stay punctual and stay on schedule.
  • Record your work and study progress. There’s no point in working hard unless you know how many hours you’ve put into your revision.
  • Work smarter not harder! Make sure you have a break before sessions and don’t stay up all night studying.

The Pomodoro Method is a time management technique developed by Francesco Cirillo. The technique uses a timer to break down work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks. Each interval is known as a “Pomodoro” (Italian for tomato), and the method is named Pomodoro because these intervals typically use a tomato-shaped timer.

You study with absolute focus for  25 minutes, and take a 5 minute break between revisions; subjects; tasks, topics, etc. (the breaks can be longer is required).

 Posters and Notes

Posters and notes around the room you use for studying are essential for helping you stay organised and stay on track with your goals. Posters can remind you of your study’s schedule, what materials to bring with you, and what topics to cover, on any given date.

Notes can help you stay accountable when completing in-depth research and stay focused on your studies.

Posters are designed to stay in one place so you can refer to them for reminders and deadlines for what you need to do as well as help remind you of the resources available. Don’t be afraid to put them in a high frequented area as you don’t want them lost in the fray. Place the posters and notes in places that won’t cause obstruction such as doors and windows.

Both posters and notes can help you when studying various subjects. For example, if you’re doing maths one day and science on the other your posters are a cue to what you may be covering and your notes in post-it notes can be used in your classes as well to aid with learning i.e.: ‘stickability’ when working on a certain part of a study schedule that has accompanying notes.

This may also help to stay on track by reminding yourself to look at the notes provided.

When creating your poster, stay true to what you are studying and make it simple. Don’t go overboard or try to make it too fancy (it’s not going in an art museum).

A way to stay organized is by writing down your plan of action, so by using a planner you can stay on track. The same applies to you, using the A2i Academy Planner to write your key mocks and exams dates. Just by doing this you have a sense of where you are going.

At school/college or university students have to stay organised and stay on top of their revision.

Make learning Memorable

Mnemonics

Many techniques can be used such as using mnemonics, which is when symbols or pictures are used to aid memory. By associating words with an image in a visual way, it is easier to remember them. For example, if you want to remember the planets as the picture below: 

 

 

 

Music

For people who find it difficult to study at home or dislike how they feel when they study at home, music can be a helpful tool for keeping you awake and alert during revision sessions. It’s important not to listen to anything too stimulating that might cause you to lose focus – classical music is ideal.

Quizzes

Quizzes are an excellent way to learn a topic in a fun and interactive way. This is especially great if you take quizzes on the topics/subjects that you find most challenging. What’s more is that they help measure how much you’ve learned over the last few weeks or months.

When you’re revising for an exam, stay focused on progress instead of perfection. The key is that you know where your areas for improvement are. Therefore, you can work to improving them. By doing that, your revision is already a success!

Exam practice

Past Papers and Mark Schemes are an excellent way to revise. Exam papers represent the type of questions that will be asked in your exams, which means they provide a good indicator of what you need to study to perform well in your exams.

Reviewing mark schemes also provides a bit more clarity around what will be expected in your upcoming exam by illustrating how questions were marked and graded on previous papers. Therefore, you gain an insight into how the exam board mark your papers and how each mark is awarded.

As an example, this is how Pearson Edexcel awards marks for this question:

Examiner guidance:

Flashcards

Flashcards are a great tool for revision. They allow you to recollect small amounts of information at any time, without having to take notes or look things up. When I use flashcards, I spend about 10 minutes reminding myself of the main points of the subject or topic. Once again this helps with ‘Stickability’.

Mind maps

Mind maps are the ultimate tool for brainstorming, structuring more complex concepts and can be used for both for short-term and long-term planning.

They let you work on one aspect of a topic at a time, allowing for creative thinking to flow freely.

Once you’ve completed your mind map, it’s like having an internal roadmap to follow when doing research or drafting a paper. It serves as a reminder of all the topics included in a project. For writing long paragraphs, identifying what are the topics to apply in a problem, to structure a keynote speech or a presentation. Mind maps tap into your creativity which adds more visual cues that aid your learning.

“How to” Study resources

There are also videos you can watch, such as “How to Study” or “Exam Skills,” which can help with productivity and efficiency in your revision. You should stay focused and keep a list of deadlines that are coming up for work, school, college, etc. Some of the exams you may need to study for include English Language exams (e.g. GCSEs), Maths exams (e.g. SATs), and Science exams (e.g. A level).

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