How can I make the most of the Easter break?

How can I make the most of the Easter break?

While this year might be very different to most exam years, the advice I give to my students is the same as ever. You can never be too prepared.


But that preparation extends beyond revising, revising, revising.


Stress management, health, boosting your immune system, and building good habits, will all help you to be as prepared as possible for this somewhat unusual assessment season.


Schedule your week


A lot of the time, one week looks a lot like the next. Monday to Friday means school lessons, you might have tutors and after school clubs, you might attend sports practice, and you have hobbies that tend to fit into most weeks.


So have a go at putting this into a default diary.




Plan your time


As soon as you get assessment dates from your exam centre (school) put them into your calendar and work out how much time you have left to prepare.


Also make sure you know what you have to prepare. You can get a copy of your specification from the exam board website, but you should also confirm with your teacher which topics are going to be assessed, as some specifications have been reduced this year to make up for lost classroom time.


Once you know what you have to prepare and how long you have, you’ll be able to work out how much study time you need to schedule into each week.


Make time to rest


Working smart is better than working hard. I often find myself pushing through to deadlines and not actually being productive because I haven’t given myself enough time to rest.


Make sure your week includes time to rest and time to do the things you enjoy.


It might be harder to do that in lockdown, but we can still see our loved ones (through a screen or outside for a walk), talk to friends on the phone or at school, exercise, play, read, pamper ourselves, watch films, etc. All of these things are essential to building and maintaining our resilience.


Schedule these things into your week and into your day.


Sleep


It is tempting to stay up late when you don’t have an alarm at the weekend, and to cram the night before an exam. These are both setting you up to suffer later on.


Sleep is essential to healthy growth and repair of the body, proper brain function, focus, and general health and wellbeing.


Persistent poor sleep due to late nights, early mornings, disrupted sleep patterns, late night screen time, late night snacking, noisy neighbours, or uncomfortable sleeping environments, leads to poor health and impacts on academic performance.


Make sure you are putting sleep at the top of your to do list, and plan a regular sleep and waking routine that continues throughout the weekend and holidays.


If you fall off the wagon, just try to get back on it the next day. Set an alarm to wake up earlier even if you’ve gone to bed late, and it’ll make it easy to fall asleep earlier the next day!


Use your own revision methods


Everyone’s mind is different, and what works for your friends or your teacher might not work for you. So find a revision technique that works for you, or ideally a couple, and mix your routine through those.


If you like watching videos, find a playlist that works and make summary notes from it.


If you like being creative, make posters and revision notes and put them up around the house.


If you like processes, turn your notes into checklists and bullet notes to revise from.


There are many different techniques you can use. Work with your friends to see what works for them and to get new ideas. I’d love to hear what you come up with.


Get familiar with the assessments


Its important to know what you’re preparing for so work through any past papers you can get for your specification.


This year, some (or all) of the assessment material will come from your teachers. So if they give you a practice paper to revise from, make sure you do all of that! They want you to do well, so they’ll only give you these things to help you.


Start early!


If you need help getting started with your revision, take a look at the free resources in my Facebook group, including free weekly GCSE maths lessons streamed into the group!

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