Start Fresh for the New School Year – Be Prepared!
Successful grades are not a matter of studying hard before the exam. They are about all the work you have done throughout the year to get you there. If you can start your school year in January, rather than February, when school commences, then you are already ahead of the game. You should be doing some work during the holidays to prepare you for success in 2015.
Here are six ideas to help you get ready for a successful school year.
2. Read your English texts before you start school.
This will not kill you. Do it at the beach, in a café, before bed. Before you start school you should have a good idea about the plot of your text and how the characters interact. This is really going to help you get ahead. At VCE level, teachers want to discuss themes, motifs and characters motivations in your text. These discussions with your teacher will allow you to analyse and show your understanding at a deeper level. This cannot be achieved if you are still struggling with plot.
3. Structure your homework timetable.
Before you start school, most of you would have a pretty good idea of your social timetable, your work timetable and your family commitments – you need to structure your homework time around all of these distractions and school! Type up an Excel / Numbers document to schedule your homework timetable – if it’s done on the computer it is easy to change if you need to.
While creating this, think about when you work best. Some of you could easily fit in a solid hour study with a clear head before school, munching down breakfast. Other’s couldn’t even think about study before school – getting out of bed is hard enough!
4. If you have been given holiday homework – do it!
Many schools run a ‘Head Start’ program, where your teachers will give you a summary of the units in the new year and may even leave you with some work to complete over the holidays. It may be the last thing that you feel like doing, but it will give you a good start to the new year. It is easier to learn when you already know what you are going to be confronted with – if all content of the subject is a surprise, you will be dealing with surface level understanding, leaving less time for in-depth analysis and memorisation.
5. Organise your work desk, and start the way you wish to continue.
Make sure you have the files, paper, pens and highlighters etc you think you will need. Organise them neatly on your desk. Purchase a small cork board, or magnetic white board – you can put any important reminders up there as well as your homework timetable. Make sure your computer is neat too. If you have loads of documents on your desktop, organise them in files and store them in a system that makes sense to you. You do not want to be wasting time searching for a file or pen when you could be studying.
6. Create a list of goals for 2015.
Some of these goals can be short term, such as ‘Read my text book before school starts.’ Some can be long term such as ‘Average 60% in all my English grades’. Keep your goals SMART goals, and by SMART I mean S.M.A.R.T. Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. – I will be writing a blog shortly about goal setting, stay tuned. You should also have ideas to help keep you on track with your goals. Have them written in a place where you can see them, think about a reward you will grant yourself when you achieve your goal, or a new approach you can take if you fall short.
It is no surprise that senior years can be stressful and feel like time is moving very quickly. This stress can be reduced by being organised and prepared for your year. A little work now will help you feel on top of things later. It will also help your success throughout the year. 2015 is going to be full of learning, remembering, testing, revising – help yourself by early preparation and a less stressful start to the school year.
Good Luck, stay positive!
If you have any other ideas for how seniors can prepare for the school year, please write your comments below.
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