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Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Get Motivated: Study Tips & Tricks

Hoorah! I'm back! Seems a long time - almost a month actually! Apologies in advance if this post won't be quite up to my normal standard. I'm a bit out of touch firstly with people in general as my mind has been focused on work and physics equations, English quotes, verb tenses etc, etc...and secondly, I haven't actually typed anything apart from my username and passwords in the two weeks I've been gone. Oops.

But I've missed you blog, oh wonderful glorious blog. And studying wasn't exactly a walk in the park. I mean we all know how it is; you've got tons of work to do and you just can't get up and do any of it. You just sit at your desk reading the same thing over and over again. Before you know it, it's 1 am and you still haven't got anything inside that gloop that you call a brain. Sure the adrenaline could fuel you until you have to actually leave the house for school. But you did have those 5 days earlier where you did nothing but sit in front of the TV, laptop on your stomach to keep you warm, unwashed face, greasy hair and the faint smell of a takeaway lingering in the air. Sound familiar?

Although I am pretty awesome, (If I do say so myself) I can't turn back time to 5 days ago when you had time to actually study. But what I can do is offer you some kind of help, advice and dandy (?) little tips and tricks to you and the rest of the internet. :)
1. Spend Time With Positive People - I've stressed the importance of spending time with positive people before, but this is especially important around exam time. Don't have a 'Negative Nancy' whinging about how she hasn't studied and how she's going to do so badly and how the teacher didn't teach her anything in the first place. Instead replace 'Negative Nancy' with a 'Positive Polly' (not sure if I like this name or not, but just roll with it) - someone who will cheer you on and reassure you of the fact that you'll do great because you worked hard and you're awesome.
2. Avoid ALL Drama - I'm sure you all have those friends that no matter what, drama just seems to circulate them wherever they go. If you're someone like me who gets distracted easily, it's best to avoid drama. I'm not saying ditch your friend, but if any of this craziness comes up, calmly say, "I'm sorry you have this issue (again *eye-roll*) but I would suggest you talk about this with someone else as I would like to concentrate on this work at hand. After I have finished, I would be happy to talk about your problem(s)." Any exams I did before, would have gone a lot smoother if I had avoided drama.

3. Imagine The Future - I'm all for living in the present and working towards your goals, but sometimes thinking about the future can help a lot. Think how this part is just a step towards your goal. The future seems like such a long way away, so think about whatever job you have as being something that you'll get next week or next month and how the test is just something you have to pass to get to this goal of yours.
4. You will be the future version of yourself - Slightly similar to the tip above, but remember that   in 24 hours you will be the future version of you and you will have done the exam. I don't know why, but thinking about that seems to motivate myself and make me think, "I want to be the future version of myself who has finished the exam and knows that it went well."
(Side note: This is actually how I dance. Not kidding.)
5. Flashcards and Headphones - This one might not be for everyone but I have found flashcards so, so useful. I'd never actually tried them out until a few weeks ago but when I finally did everything just seemed so much clearer. They're perfect for revising in a car, on a bus and right before the test. It also helps summarise the main points that you really need to pay attention to.
Headphones/Earphones might not be for everyone, but they are really good if you have to study in a crowded place, to just block all the annoying chattering out. Again, this isn't for everyone, but it is sometimes useful in noisy areas.
6. Vlog - This is by far one of my weirdest tips but from my obsession with Youtube, I think it's clear why I say this. Okay I don't mean actually record yourself with a camera (unless you want to) but just pretend like you're in a vlog. I highly, highly recommend this as a good way to getting stuff done. Also it's really fun pretending you're a Youtuber and just saying, "Okay guys, well I'm going to work now and I'll check in with you in a little bit after I've finished!"
7. Make a Rewards List - For some reason when it comes to exams, I seem to want to do absolutely everything NOT related to them. Something just takes a hold of me and whispers, "Go on, watch New Girl now."  But I'm saying now: save it. Make a list of every kind of non-academic thing you want to do and save it until your work is done. 1) It builds suspense until you actually do it 2) It makes it so much more worth it when you have actually done your work 3) You can then have movie marathons/go shopping/whatever you want to do, without thinking about the piles of crap you have to get done.
8. Get Organised - Tidy your room, buy revision guides, make lists, sharpen your pencils, clean your desk, do whatever you need to do to get organised.
9. Do What Works For You - I have a few friends that all have different revision schedules; some do hour long study sessions of a certain subject and plan their day to the hour of everything they do while others just go with the flow. And I have tried scheduling before, but I hated it. It just doesn't work for me. So if you need to create a schedule, create one that will work for you, whether that is planning everything on the hour to the hour or just saying to yourself "I need to get X, Y and Z done by the end of the day."
10. Different Learners - Unfortunately there's no easy way to determine what kind of learner you are but people have different tactics to learning things. You can take a few tests on the internet, but ultimately the only way to find out the best way for you to learn is to experiment. A lot of people learn by writing things out again and again, but for me I don't find that works at all in certain subjects like Physics. However, I do write things out again and again when it comes to learning my German and French Orals. So experiment and see what works for you.
11. Time VS Learning - Remember that it's not about how long you study for, but about how well you study. If you're the kind of person who studies for days and days - great! Snaps for your motivation and hard work! But if you can't do that, don't force yourself to study for that long just because someone else is doing it. Because if you only stare at that book for all those hours - how much would you really have taken in?
12. You Deserve It - Think about all the people who never understood why you went to the library to study or didn't understand that you needed to work on your Geography or believed that you couldn't do well or gave you dirty looks for spending your lunchtime with your French homework rather than them or called you a nerd or a dork or a neek. Think about how much that hurt you. And channel those emotions into your drive to do well and prove that you can and you will do well. You don't have to prove anything to anyone, but make it clear and let them all know: you were wrong about me.  
So I hope that helped you if you have any exams coming up or that just entertained you for 5 minutes. I really hope you'll all be able to pull out one or two tips from this post so that you can turn this:
into this:

(Another actual representation of my dancing abilities)
Side note: I'm a little bit obsessed with New Girl/GIFs
♥ Jess ♥

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