5 Step Study Plan for the 2020 Summer Term

If ever a time for a Study Plan was need, the 2020 Summer Term is it! Never have students, from 1st to 6th year faced so much uncertainty. A study plan 2020 is not all about a schedule – there is more to it than that.

#1 Focus ONLY on What you can Control!

There are things that you as a student can control and there are those that you can’t. You cannot control the restrictions that we find ourselves under, neither can you control the date that your exams will be. But there is always some uncertainty around exams. You cannot control what the questions will be, or if you will be on top form that day or how the exam will be marked by the corrector.

But there are many things that you can control. The main one being how you approach your exams. You have always known that you were going to have exams at the end of this term, so the only things that have changed are the date and format. So, focus on your revision, just as you would have before.

Yes, there may be unfinished work and you may have difficulty accessing classes online. That’s ok! If you have accessibility issues, contact your school. There are grants available to students to help them get the tools they need.

You can also control how well you take care of yourself and it is important to take good care of yourself over the next few weeks. I know it can be frustrating but keep to the physical distancing guidelines. You need to stay healthy. Eat nutritious food.  Drink lots of water to help concentration levels. Add a slice or orange or lemon or even a drop of Miwadi or Ribena, but banish the energy drinks, they are counter-productive.

Instead make sure that you get lots of sleep.  Pulling all nighters might sound like you’re working hard, but your brain needs good deep sleep to function optimally.  Getting plenty of sleep will allow your brain to easily access all that information that you’ve stored. 

Avoid any stressed-out friends or energy vampires. They will only be happy when they’ve dragged you down to their level. Instead keep up your social life (virtually) with likeminded pals and make sure to take regular exercise within your 2km radius – the endorphin release is wonderful and will help you to study better.

#2 Practice

Every formal exam follows a pattern. Even if they have to change some elements, both class and state exams will still be based on the pattern in order to ensure uniformity and consistency. The secret is to understand the pattern of the exams and replicate it.  The patterns lie in the past papers. 

Keep going over the past exam papers to understand how questions are set and phrased. Read sample answers to understand how to answer the questions. You will learn how long or short an answer should be, when to add quotes, how to use definitions etc.

If you have state exams, write out your answers by hand to get experience of the time involved in writing an answer & to get your arm and hand ‘match’ fit for the event.  If your class exams are going to be online, then you may need to get some typing practice done. Ask the teachers to do some practice runs with you before the actual exam.

Managing your time well is vital in the exam so practice timing your answers.

#3 Visualise

This is powerful technique that we constantly use in the Hummingbird Learning Centre. Imagine taking the test and feeling confident that you know all the information. Picture getting all of the answers right, and focus on how relaxed you feel. Then see yourself getting your results and you have a massive big smile on your face. The ask yourself – ‘what had to have happened to feel this good?’ This is a very simple yet powerful exercise and should be practiced very night before you go to sleep.  Your brain will then figure out everything it needs to do in order to get the outcome that you desire, so be sure to frame your desired outcome in the positive!

#4 Breathe

We are all experiencing some anxious moments under the covid-19 restrictions and the technique below can be used by everyone. Relaxation is a key element to exam success. and forms part of your Study Plan 2020. When under stress the mind tends to go blank.  Once relaxed, information floats to the surface—because the information was always there, it’s just a recall issue associated with stress.  The body cannot give you a stress response and a relaxation response at the same time. You can create a relaxation response by concentrating on your breathing. Knowing how to breathe purposefully will really help you:

Breathe in for 4 seconds, hold for 7 seconds, and breathe out for 8 seconds – repeat, as necessary. 

Practice this technique – it is a skill that will benefit you throughout your life.

#5 Study (big part of Study Plan 2020)

There is no substitute for actual study! Despite all that is going on you still need to do your revision.  This term & half of last term were disrupted but you still did a lot of learning since September. If you are facing state exams, remember that most of this term would have been on revision. Yes, there may be unfinished parts of the curriculum. Leave them! They will take up too much of your time. Focus on revising what you have already covered and knowing it well.

At home, as much as possible study in a quiet place. Log out of social media and ask everyone to respect your space. If not using it for class, turn off your phone & leave it in another room. Schedule your breaks & stick to it.  If your teacher has pre-recorded a class, then perhaps listening to it while going for a walk, within your 2km zone, would be a good way of studying away from your family and other distractions.  You could record your revision notes & play them back to yourself too.  If there is a car parked in your driveway, maybe going in there would give you some solitude for study. Noise cancelling earphones will help too and can be ordered online.

Give yourself little treats for work completed – perhaps a Zoom session with pals or a lie in or a long soak in the bath – you choose.

We are in a new paradigm and that brings with it uncertainly. But most of what constitutes the summer and state exams remains the same. Focus on what you can control.

We are excited to announce now offer our programs through a secure online platform. Our client’s security and privacy are paramount to us which is why we have resisted using Zoom or similar. To find out more, contact elaine@hummingbirdlearning.com or 087-2996054

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.