Although the Christmas break gives all students, particularly those who are preparing to sit the Leaving or Junior Cert this June, a well-deserved chance to relax, Santa’s not the only one who should have made a list and checked it twice this year! After two weeks off, many students are now in a position to reflect on their work before Christmas and identify the changes that can be made this term. The following statements represent goals for all students to work towards and may be treated as a checklist to be consulted throughout the year.
I am happy with my progress so far this year
While many students base their level of satisfaction with their academic work purely on grades, evaluating how far you have come since September can be useful at this point in the year. Even if you are unhappy with a particular grade, acknowledging that you have improved is important for future progress.
My work this year has gone according to plan
As mentioned in our guide to getting the most from your study, having a plan encourages students to work consistently from the beginning of the year. If you had a plan, did you stick to it? If you didn’t have a formal plan, are you where you expected to be? If not, how can you do better?
I have a plan for the rest of the year
It’s never too late to make a study plan, and with mock and practical exams, summer tests, and state exams fast approaching now is the time to decide what, when, and how you are going to study. Having even a loose plan allows students to prepare for tests and exams with confidence.
I am doing my best in each subject
Thinking about the amount of effort that is being put into each subject can highlight changes that need to be made. Are you neglecting anything because it comes easily to you or spending a disproportionate amount of time on difficult subjects?
My homework and study is the best it can be
Our tips for getting the most from your homework, study, and study breaks outline how to maximise productivity and enjoyment, and the beginning of a new term is the perfect time to apply these tips and make any necessary changes.
I have enough supplies
Having the required textbook for each subject and sufficient supplies such as paper and stationery is essential for productive work, so stock up before the term gets too busy.
I have enough information
Online resources can provide a better understanding of particular topics, and consulting other books can serve the same purpose. If you need information about services such as traditional grinds or online tuition, ask friends and teachers for help or check the internet. Talk to a career guidance teacher for information about college and course choice.
I am getting the most from my teachers
If you are struggling in a particular subject, ask your teacher for any help you need. Teachers want to see their students doing their best and most will happily set some time aside to answer questions or explain concepts, so don’t be afraid to ask.
I am not in danger of burning out
Some students believe that doing their best means working for long periods of time without breaks, but this method is often unsustainable and can cause students to burn out. Identifying this mistake quickly and adopting a more consistent method will benefit students in the months to come.
I am taking care of myself
Maintaining your physical and mental health is vital to exam success, so taking regular breaks during study periods, eating well, and exercising should be prioritised this term. How can you take better care of yourself from now on?
Ask yourself how well each of the above statements applies to you after the Christmas break, taking pride in what you have achieved this year while identifying important changes to be made. Following our advice will allow students to make it easy for themselves to succeed this year. Tweet us @adaptemy or post to our Facebook page and let us know your goals for the new year!