The winter break is always important for exam-level students with upcoming tests – consolidating knowledge, revision, panic due to impending mocks, teacher-induced stress: the full package!
With the current global situation, the uncertainty and unpredictability can really affect both a student’s academic performance and general wellbeing. For these students it is vital that they plan to make their winter break structured and efficient, being proactive in planning revision and managing their studies and thereby reducing stress in the long-term.
Bouncing between online and in-person learning means that for many students some of their core subject topics have been compromised leaving essential gaps in a students’ knowledge within important subjects. This winter break can be helpful for students that do not have exams to fill in the blanks left from the disrupted learning of this last year.
Carfax offer a range of winter break services contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about how we can help.
Our tutors at Carfax UAE have put together their top tips for making sure that students can maximise their time over the holidays so that they can catch up, consolidate their knowledge, fill in the gaps and be ready to achieve their full potential come the start of the new term.
1. Schedule your time, keep to it but be realistic!
Scheduling is key to keeping on top of your education over the break. Plan to do past papers, consider taking winter-break lessons to review your learning, and spread your time sensibly across the whole subject range.
Planning this out in advance and making a study schedule means you remove the stress of worrying about what you are doing and maximise your time.
Having said this, it is extremely easy to make a schedule, but significantly harder to keep to it. This is why schedules have to be realistic – no student is able to revise well for 3 or 4 hours straight, even the most focused students will not be able to effectively study for over 2 hours at a time. The recommended revision time is a 10 minute break every 30 minutes.
Studies show that focus is lost after 30 minutes of concentration for self-revision, and a small break may feel like breaking attention, but will lead to an overall gain in productivity.
2. Know your learning style and adapt to it!
Everybody learns differently – some students excel by reading notes, some through making them. It’s important that each student finds the method of learning that works best for them. There is plenty of time to try out each style and settle on methods that suit the students’ preferences. Identifying this can massively bump productivity.
In general, there are three types of learner: Visual, Audio and Kinaesthetic (based of the VAK model of learning).
Visual learners prefer observed learning; pictures, diagrams, demonstrations, handouts. These learners will thrive by reading through notes and performing actions after reading instructions. For these learners, the best method of revision is to plaster the walls with notes and diagrams, create picture-heavy notes, highlight important words, and make piles of flash-cards.
Audio learners prefer hearing their information rather than reading it or writing it down. For these learners, its important to talk to others about the material, listen to podcasts and revision videos, get groups of friends together to discuss the subject and discuss mark scheme answers. Record yourself going over your vocabulary, or definitions. Create mnemonics, songs, and jingles to help your brain memorise difficult lists and facts.
Kinaesthetic learners benefit from physical experiences; touching, feeling, holding, and doing. For kinaesthetic learners, they should focus on creating notes rather than reading them, teaching others the material as if they were the teacher, mind-mapping, and even listening to music while studying. Kinaesthetic learners tend to be more active than their audio or visual counterparts, so more regular breaks may be necessary. Alongside this, creating plays, songs, or a dance, will be extremely useful to memorise difficult facts or subjects.
3. Do not do this all alone, get everyone involved!
Even with the current restrictions on meeting, it is important not to ignore the social aspects of learning. Self-revision can be efficient and productive, however for many students this can lead to isolation and loneliness, which can reduce the chances of maintaining a three week period of structured learning.
Involving parents, siblings, and friends in revision can be extremely helpful for making revision more sustainable and fun – especially if these people are studying similar subjects and levels. Even on an online setting, such as a zoom group call, social interaction can make students find the revision process much easier, and a much more enjoyable process.
4. Get some help!
Alongside this, the role of tuition is as important as ever. Students can only push so far with individual revision, supplementing this with an outside force such as a tutor may be the additional push to take students to the next level. Tutors can be a cheerleader to keep students on track to maintain their study schedules. They are there to make sure that any holes created by the disrupted nature of this year’s education of education can be filled, and that subject knowledge is consolidated and strong foundations are built so that they transition into the next term confident and assured.
With the future of next years exams still up for debate, now more than ever, students need to excel in any class tests and mock exams. An intense revision course this winter could make the difference of several crucial grades
This winter students need to take a perspective that it is not a time to be discouraged but a chance to revise and plug any gaps in their knowledge and view it as an opportunity to push ahead and maximise their academic position in the coming term. Revision and review do not need to be arduous, but can be a fun and exciting time to grow and learn, as long as it is done in the right way!