Excel In Exams Blog

10 reasons not to revise over Christmas

It may sound crazy but I tell my students that sometimes the best thing you can do to maximise success is to NOT to revise. It’s all about timing – knowing when to study and when to chill.

Many of you will have had intense, non-stop schedules since September – so the Christmas break is the perfect time to momentarily park these commitments, relax and prepare your mind and body for 2016.

Instead, try these practical tips and have yourself a happy, healthy and very restful Christmas!

1. Catch up on sleep
Rest – you have permission and you need it! Most students don’t sleep enough. If you find it hard to switch your brain off during term time, get into some good rest habits now. Make a bedtime routine, stick to it. Avoid tablets or phones once in bed – tough, but research has shown blue or artificial light actually wakes our brain up. Also, get rid of anything that could cause distraction at night, like whirring laptops and curtains that let in too much light, and try my guided relaxation video to help unwind. http://www.excelinexams.com/progressive-muscular-relaxation.htm

2. Spend time with friends who are ‘energy pumps’
Energy pumps are friends and family who are full of positive energy and leave you feeling motivated and happy. The festive season is full of opportunities to catch up with these golden people and share a laugh together. If you can’t avoid the ‘energy parasites’, people who have a negative, draining effect, the energy pumps will help balance the negativity and leave you feeling more resilient.

3. Practise techniques for coping with stress, before it hits
Set aside some time to equip yourself with a stress management toolkit for when exam, relationship or home stress hits. One very effective technique is to mentally leave your worries at a specific point in your home. This could be at the entrance to your bedroom, or your front door. I call these ‘worry hedges’ – a place to park your stress – and make sure your home environment is free of outside concerns. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=za2SJXsJStg

4. Create an environment for great performance
Create a study space which is stimulating, comfortable and generally a nice place to be. Go through your notes and set up a logical filing system so you can find what you need really easily. Although now is not the time to revise, you’ll be ready to go for it when the time is right.

5. Make time to train your body – and in turn, your mind
We know exercise, activity and good nutrition impact our ability to absorb and retain information. So, get out there, and get moving! I guarantee that no matter how grey or cold it is outside – a walk with the dog, a swim or sport – whatever you can do and enjoy – will leave you feeling happier and your brain ready for study.

6. Make a mental advent calendar
In the run up to Christmas day, wake up every morning and think of something you are thankful for already having. Typically, we make lists of things we want – flip this, and focus on what you do have. It could be anything – a talent, a great friend, or an upcoming holiday.

7. Check that you fully understand your concepts
Identify any weak points and ask for help now rather than putting your head in the sand when you find something you can’t do. Meeting up with a classmate to talk through subjects you share might help, or arrange a meeting with a teacher or tutor before the end of term.

8. Plan the year ahead
If you made a plan at the start of the school year already, review it. If not – start now, and create a personalised plan to keep you on track when things really hot up. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KwqIIC2Ya4I

9. Take time to reflect and learn…
The lovely thing about the end of a year is that we can draw a line under it and look forward to a positive, fresh start to 2016. Think back to any low points in the year, and also times when you did something really well – what were the factors that the high and low points had in common? Our mistakes also provide us with valuable experience.

10 …And think about the future
Take time to set yourself clear goals – this will help to keep you motivated and focused throughout the year ahead. Be specific; what’s your dream job, or which university do you want to attend? What lifestyle do you aim to have, and where? Explore what it is that drives you, then write it down as a constant reminder, and share these with your supporters, friends and family.

What do you think? Join the conversation! https://www.facebook.com/Excelinexams/

This entry was posted on Monday, December 7th, 2015 at 11:13 am and is filed under A Level, Exam Nerves, Exam Tips, GCSE, Goal Setting, News, Revision Tips, Stress & Anxiety, Teenagers. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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