What are your priorities this year? Passing your exams? Your part-time job? Time out for fun? Your share of the chores at home? Are they of equal importance? Prioritise!
Plan your time
1. Look at your Priorities: did the exams come first? If so, remember that in addition to your class time, you should allocate 4-5 hours per week per subject for Highers, 3-4 hours pw for Intermediate 2 or Standard Grade Credit. This will vary according to your subject knowledge and the changing demands of NABs, prelims, additional reading, tests and much more! If you’re sitting 5 Highers (quite common), allow 20-25 hours per week homework, and about the same for 8 Int 2 or GCSEs. Some subjects will demand additional reading time – you won’t get through Hamlet in an hour!
If your exams didn’t come first in your priorities, why not? You may have a very good reason to put something else first – you may have care burdens at home, or your part-time wages are essential to the family budget. Can you get help? Have you discussed your difficulties with your guidance teacher or your doctor? If you put time out for fun first, ask yourself just how important these exams are to your future and whether you have got your priorities right.
2. Make a Year Plan. The form doesn’t matter but something like a spread-sheet, Google calendar or old-fashioned printed year planner allow you to see the coming year in advance. First in are major dates like those exams, prelims and NABs, school term dates, personal commitments like work, important extra-curricular activities, Xmas or holidays away from home – because you’ll be working through the others, right? Now make a firm commitment to which evenings and which parts of every weekend you’ll be studying – you have to book 20-25 hours every week and some weeks will require more. Now give yourself reward time: that includes things like TV, social media, video games – anything involving a screen! – nights out, shopping . with a time limit you decide and keep to.
3. Once you are back at school and the homework and assignments start piling up, keep ahead by planning each week, each month, each assignment. Set goals and tick them off as you reach them (very motivating!). Stay flexible, but work within your set study times.
Coming soon: study skills, active learning, looking after yourself .