The chances are that if you’re about to sit the junior or leaving cert then you’ll have finished school early and will be faced with the prospect of studying full days at home. The change from the routine of school can be difficult to adjust to and getting focused can be difficult. That’s why we’ve put together 10 tips that will help you study effectively at home.
10 tips on how to study at home
1. Get up early
Even though you may feel you study better at night don’t fall into the trap of burning the midnight oil and then rising at 11 or 12 the following day. The problem is that in exam week you ‘ll need to be alert and ready to go at 9:30 AM each morning so try and stick to a sleep cycle that will suit this early start.
2. Make a clear plan
One of the best ways to avoid getting overly stressed is to make a clear plan for the days leading up to the exam. It’s best to start with your last exam and work backwards. Look at your timetable and see if you have any free days before any of the exams. If you do you can put off some of the study for these subjects until the day before. Once you get to the Monday before the exams you should only concentrate on the subjects for that week.
3. Past Papers are key
If you've been studying lots over the year the chances are that you’ll get the feeling that you’ve covered everything and you’re unsure what to do next. The best way to study in the last few weeks is to keep practicing past exam questions. This way you will be able to see the remaining gaps in your knowledge. Get a Studyclix PLUS+ account, go through the past questions and then view the marking scheme to see how you would have done. Understanding what the examiner is looking for in their marking scheme can often make the difference between an A and a B.
4. Sort your room out
The last thing you want the night before an exam is to be tidying your room to find some missing notes. Take a couple of hours now to get your study area in order so that you know where everything is. If possible try and make your study area distraction-free. Your parents can help here by getting noisy brothers or sisters to keep the noise down near you.
5. Take regular breaks
The human brain is not designed to stay concentrated on one task for hours on end so this means taking breaks actually helps you study better! Try and break up your study into blocks similar to the school day and take bigger breaks around lunch and dinner time.
6. Get moving
It’s very common to start feeling really drowsy after a long period of study. One of the best things you can do is to get the blood flowing by doing some exercise. Whether it’s walking the dog or running, getting your heart rate up will wake you up by increasing blood flow to the brain and you’ll also feel way less stressed afterwards.
7. It’s good to talk… sometimes
If you’re feeling stressed it’s definitely a good idea to talk to your friends but try and do so only during your study breaks. While you are studying turn your phone off and try to avoid Facebook and other social media. Constantly replying to messages and checking Facebook will half the amount of work you get done. If you've any questions, remember your teacher is still in school and will be happy to help you out and you can also post a question on Studyclix’s Discussion forum.
8. Sleep, Sleep, Sleep
When we asked repeat students for their advice having done the exam last year one thing that kept coming up was the importance of getting good sleep. Sleep is really important as it helps you relax and research has shown your mind actually organizes and stores new information as you dream. The exams are not a sprint but a marathon. You will be writing non-stop for up to 6 hours a daily, day after day. A teenager should be getting at least 8 hour sleep per night so try and stick to this if you’re not to burn out.
9. Practice the Listening comprehensions
Loads of students forget to prepare properly for the listening comprehension test which comes at the start of all the language exams. You can dramatically improve your score on this part of the exams by trying past questions as you listen to the audio clip. You can hear these MP3 clips on Studyclix by clicking the topic called AURALS in any of your subjects.
10. Just do it
You are now in the lucky position where you can still influence the grades you score in these exams. There is no point standing outside your principal’s office when you have just received your results wishing you had studied a bit more. How you do is still in your hands. Everything you study in the next week or two will still be fresh in your mind so is more likely to be remembered. Just do it!
Best of luck and get in touch if you have any questions!!