School holidays, HSC study breaks and STUVAC periods present an opportunity for you to catch up and accelerate ahead in your studies. It’s so crucial that we’ve put together 10 tips to help you get through them in a productive way!
Whether you listen to all, some, or none is completely up to you — these are just some ideas that we as Project have seen work in the past. 🙂
If you haven’t built good study habits, then now’s a great time to start!
TIP #1 — Routine ⏰
School has gotten you into a routine of (hopefully) being productive from 9am to 3pm, and hopefully throughout Year 12 you’ve been making the most of your time from 3pm onwards. It’s a very good idea to maintain a routine throughout STUVAC. That might be following the same periods as what you do in school, or something you set for yourself, but routine/consistency is one of the biggest indicators of performance.
An example of a routine might be:
- Study Session 1: 9am — 12pm (take small breaks as necessary)
- Lunch: 12–1pm
- Study Session 2: 1–4pm
- Break: 4–4:30pm
- Study Session 3: 4:30–7:30pm
- Dinner: 7:30–8:15pm
- Study Session 4: 8:15–11pm
Some of you will want to do this much work, others won’t (12 hours might be a bit much for every single day)— do what’s right for you! Make sure you schedule in enough breaks too.
For many, a productive 8 hours of study per day is achievable and sustainable.
Get into a routine, and stick to it!
TIP #2 — Sleep 🌙
Get enough sleep! The importance of sleep has been researched to death and has huge impact on your productivity. Don’t screw yourself by going on social media all night — do that in 40 days or whatever.
Get at least 7 hours of sleep, PLEASE.
TIP #3 — Have a Study Plan 📆
This works really well in conjunction with a routine. A routine tells you WHEN you should be working, but a Study Plan tells you WHAT work you should be doing in your study sessions.
For each one of your subjects, create a list of every possible thing you would do if you had an unlimited amount of time, in order to get 100% in your HSC Exam for that subject. Then make sure you plot the things onto your plan and do the things that will improve your marks the quickest!
The tasks you set for yourself should be measurable, complete-able and quantitative. Don’t set yourself the task of “Study 3U Maths for 3 hours.”, instead it might be “Complete Exercise 11(g) of Cambridge”, or “Write 150 word Intro for King Henry IV Essay”. This way you know how much progress you’ve made, and you actually know when you’ve finished, and if you’ve actually improved.
TIP #4 — Time Out ⚽️
All work and no play is a bad idea — make sure you take some time relax!
Some ideas include:
- Playing Project Sports with us (the plan is to do a bit of exercise each day of STUVAC together — more on this soon!)
- Use the Calm/Headspace apps to reduce anxiety/build mental strength
- Zone out with some music/TV/games
TIP #5 — No Phones! 📞
I firmly believe there is no benefit to having your phone anywhere near you while you’re studying. Don’t say you need it for music; don’t say you need it for getting notes from your friends; don’t say you need it for Forest. Just don’t use it.
Get the notes from your mates at the end of the day. Turn on that Lofi Beats playlist and put your phone away. Better yet, turn off your notifications. Do whatever you can to free yourself of distraction and get into the zone and stay there! Turn off iMessage on your MacBook, and if you really have no self-control, download an app that blocks FB/Messenger on your computer.
You can use your phone when you’re not in a study session.
TIP #6 — Don’t Play Where You Work 🙅♂
Choose your Study location carefully. If you’re taking a break, go take it away from the place where you’re studying. If you’re studying at your desk, don’t take your break there — go to another room, or if your home environment doesn’t allow you to do that, move your chair to another part of your room, or sit on the floor even. This will help you get into the zone faster when you sit at your table to do some work.
TIP #7 — Teach Your Peers 👩🏫
Teaching is one of the best ways to learn. It’s a great idea to form a study group and meet up in person or over Zoom and teach each other things out of your syllabus. It doesn’t matter if the other people in your group are smarter than you or weaker than you are — all that matters is that they’re willing to learn!
TIP #8 — Use Your Tutors 👨🏫
Make sure you use the subject channels on Slack, and ask questions. Your Tutors are also a hugely vital resource during this period. They’ve been through this before and they know how this period can make or break your marks and they’re infinitely more wise than me and can give you some golden nuggets of wisdom. They’re hugely invested in seeing you succeed, so don’t hesitate to reach out if you need a hand.
TIP #9 — Book Into Tutorials 🏫
Book yourself into Tutorials and go in with a plan of what you want to get done. Don’t go in just to do work in the presence of a Tutor — this is a waste of both your times. Tutorials are abundant over the next couple of weeks (and they’re free!), so make sure you utilise them as much as possible!
TIP #10 — Action Begets Motivation 👏
“Action comes before motivation. There is no lightning strike of motivation from the gods, the quickest way to get motivated is to get up and take a step forward. Motivation comes second. It comes naturally with forward momentum.”