Study is the last thing any student wants to think about over the Christmas Break. Students are probably looking forward to a nice relaxing time away from school and study. However, doing some over the break can be very beneficial and it will help reduce stress and take the pressure off once you are back to school – given you a head start and to get in front of everyone else. You will have the chance to get a good bit of work done without the pressures of schoolwork if you stay focused and keep organised. Here’s how:
Make a Study Plan:
Set out what you want to get done over the break. If you make a study plan, which we covered in Step 10: Plan your Revision of the Study Skills, you will make the most effective use of the time you have available. It will help keep organised as you will know what you have to get done each day.
Having a study plan will also keep you motivated.
It may also be a good idea to make a timetable, of how long you will spend on each thing you need to get done. Having a timetable will give your days a routine.
Getting up reasonably early to get your study done can be very advantageous. Your brain will be more alert and it will be easier to concentrate, you will be more likely to be more productive as there will probably be fewer distractions in the morning. If you get your studying done in the morning then you will have the afternoon and evening to relax.
If you study at the same time each day and in the same place your brain will stay focused and it also means you will stay organized. You can keep track of what needs to be done by using the mocks.ie To Do Task list, which you can download above.
Eliminate all Distractions:
Try to avoid getting distracted, it can be difficult especially if your siblings do not have exams this year and are enjoying their Christmas Break. If this is the case your local library is always a good quiet place to go where you will be able to concentrate and get a good chunk of task list done. When you get home it will be easier to relax as you know you got a good bit of your work done.
Try to avoid going on the internet and social networking sites as it can be very time-consuming and difficult to get back to studying. It may be an idea to turn off your phone. The fewer distractions there is the better you will study.
Prioritise the Work:
When making your study plan make sure you do it so the most important work gets done first. For example, if you have an essay or assigned question due for when you go back, or if a teacher has given advice on what to go over during the holidays you should tackle those first. It is also a good idea to mix it up: if there are subjects that you do not like, study those one day and the next day make sure to study subjects that you enjoy.
Prepare for the Mock exams:
This Christmas break is possibly the last break you will get before the mock exams, depending on when they start in your school (make sure you check with your individual school to see when they’re scheduled), so it should be used effectively; make use of the time where you are not getting homework every day. It is a chance to really focus on studying. Try to have goals of certain sections that you want to do well in for the mocks. Over this break you are free to study whatever you want to, there is no teacher telling you to study a certain thing. You have the opportunity to study the sections and subjects you have trouble with and improve in them.
With the mocks coming up after Christmas it is very important to get used to answering exam questions, which can practiced by using the various tools on mocks.ie, including Exam Creator, with which you can build your own custom papers! It is the ideal time to: perfect your exam technique, get the timing for each question correct and also learn how to answer the question that is being asked. Be familiar with the marking schemes for each subject and know what the examiners look for in the students’ answers.
Over this break is a good time to build up mind maps and flashcards. Create them for the subjects that have a lot of theory or that have formulae and diagrams to learn. They can help with problem-solving and memorising information. Having these created for when you return to school will save time and you will have more time to learn the information on them.
Related: Get the most out of your revision with flashcards!
Take Days Off:
It isn’t necessary to be studying every day of the holidays, as humans, we’re not made to work 24/7. We all need breaks and days off - especially over Christmas, you need to spend some time with your family and friends, watching movies, talking or playing games. It is also important to get some exercise in, which will help your brain focus. Even taking the dog for a walk is enough to help your brain focus and keep you alert. In order to eliminate stress and optimize your studying, you need to find a balance between study and personal life.
Go Back to School Well Rested:
There is no use in working so hard over the Christmas that you are exhausted when you go back to school! As suggested above make sure to make some time for yourself to enjoy this festive period. Ensure to get sufficient sleep and relax as it may be the last chance you have to take time out before the mocks begin. Again a balance is really important, you need to be refreshed when you return to school.
Although it will be difficult to keep focused and be productive over the holidays, you will feel much better after the holidays if you spent a little time studying over the break. Just follow these tips and try to motivate yourself by thinking about when you are back to school and you are on top of the workload and you are less stressed.