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I'm glad you've come to read my blog, but unfortunately I don't live here any more!

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Catherine Ann x

Monday, 23 September 2013

School... How I Study (Part 1)

For the most part, I do pretty well at school. I'm lucky, I suppose. I've got a fair amount of brain somewhere in there, so that once I apply myself I can get along just fine. Sometimes, I guess it's the applying that's the problem.

I thought I'd share with you all how I study, both in general and for specific subjects. These aren't tips: this is just how I like to work--but maybe you'll find something that works for you.

The most important thing for me is to have a specific area where you study. Personally, I have a desk just outside my room with a pencil pot (sadly not a PixiPot!), notice board and all my books in the one place. Make sure that wherever you study, you've got everything you need close to hand. All your notes, plus dictionaries and even water or a snack will mean much less "Oh I'll just go and get..." which will stall your progress no end. Having said all that, if you feel totally sick of your surroundings--it'll happen--don't hesitate to lounge on the sofa with your book or sit out in the sun if it ever comes back. This might be just the refresher you need.

Another really important element is timing--not just how long you study for, but when you do it. I personally cannot face my books as soon as I get home... Ew. No. For me, that's the time to flop about for a while in front of the telly, get something to eat, go for a walk or maybe even take a nap... as long as it's not for three hours, then it's great to take that rest and recharge. What's the point in studying when you're knackered? You won't take it in. I usually do a couple of hours in the evening and then get up around half six or seven and study for an hour or so before school. I love that time in the morning when my brain isn't all full up, and everyone else is still asleep so I can work in the peace and quiet... but this might not be for you, and if not, don't listen to me! Experiment. Find a time that works for you and use it.

Regarding time limits, I try and I try, but it never seems to work. The thing is that, like it or lump it, we're all unique blooming snowflakes and unfortunately learning will simply take as long as it takes. I can't set aside half an hour each for both English and maths when I know the former may need a break that night and the latter could take twice as long! I find it best to write a list of what needs to be studied and simply get started. Any teacher who's telling you to spend an hour each night on their subject is clearly delusional... that could mean anything from seven to eleven hours' study a night! When does one eat? Sleep? Shower? (That is a necessity, people...) At the end of the day, once you're trying your best to study each subject, that's all you can do. Work as hard as you can and give it your all, but know when to stop. Tired teens aren't clever ones, believe me.

I just want to add a quick note as I edit this post, because people around me seem stressed by copious amounts of homework: "I had three hours' homework last night, and that was BEFORE I even STARTED studying!"

Some people might disagree with me here, but in my opinion homework is a form of study. Obviously you need to be doing more than the bare minimum to get the grades you want, but if you think about every essay or set of questions you do, all the time you're revising what you learned in class. The majority of teachers know what they're doing and set homework for a reason, so remember that it counts to. A day with homework done is not a day less to study, so don't panic too much.

I guess all I can do is stress that every person is different. Studying should be done in a place and time that work for you... but above all, it should be done. Don't put it off. Don't make excuses. Don't get overwhelmed. Take it step by step; every little helps*.

We can do this.

*please don't sue me, Tesco. Love you. 

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