The February Half-Term Break - Study Advice
February 5, 2018
The February Half-Term Break: Study Advice
It’s February and half-term. You’re starting to feel guilty about all of the study you think you’re supposed to be doing, or at the very least thinking you should feel guilty about the study you’re not doing; and aren’t those two things practically the same?
Well, you can and should relax, because it is February after all. There’s no need to panic just yet.
The February half-term break is a good time for you to ready yourself for your upcoming mock exams. Although your school’s in-house mock exams aren’t the be all and end all of your exam year, it’s important you prepare for them as if they were the real thing, and that you use them as a learning experience in themselves.
On average, students tend to improve their mock exam results in each subject by almost a full grade. As part of the mocks, marking can be stringent, students haven’t completed their study in most if not all subjects (thus they cannot revise as well as they might for the real thing), this might well be the first time students will have completed a full mock exam in each subject, etc.
Accordingly, it’s best you accept that you’re unlikely to achieve the final grades you’re aspiring to in June, but you should strive to do the best you can right now and take the following steps over the February half-term to ensure you perform well in each exam.
Here are our steps to ensure you make the most of your time off this February.
First, you can only achieve significant marks for the things you’ve learned thus far in class and as part of your study. Whatever comes up on each mock exam paper, your first priority is to perform as best you can in the questions and/or topics you’ve prepared for since September. If you’ve missed or not ‘got’ any as well as you should, these are the ones you should revise first based on your revision timetable.
Next, prepare for each exam as you’re advised to by those who have more experience than you – i.e. your teachers, parents, siblings, and co. If someone who ‘knows’ advises you to study a specific topic or practise a particular skill, listen to them. Don’t kick yourself the evening after it appears on the paper.
Third, practise completing each paper: know the timing, marks awarded, typical question types, etc., then practise getting these right. As we’ve said, based on your learning to date, you’ll perform better in some of these than others, and that’s fine.
Subsequently, based on your practice, if there’s a skill or topic that you’re struggling with, address that issue by asking yourself the following:
1) What am I finding difficult?
2) How can I get better – e.g. source extra notes, complete exam questions, study with a friend, get extra help, etc. ?
After reflecting, complete your catch-up. You may not have enough time to catch up completely on every subject, but you can do this as you go along once the mocks end and you’re back at school; you just need a schedule to follow – perhaps something similar to that of your October half-term break.