The back-to-school season can be a daunting time for any pupil or parent. After
the fun of the summer holidays, it’s never an easy task to adjust back into a
routine and a heavy workload. For sixth form students especially, who may have
their sights set on university places, it can be a time of stress and anxiety.
Thankfully, setting up some simple habits and study techniques can go a long
way in helping the transition. If your child or students are struggling, it may help
to keep these study tips in mind as class resumes this September.
Sometimes schoolwork just doesn’t sound like fun! When a student doesn’t feel
motivated, procrastination is much more likely. To overcome this, a student can
be encouraged to:
When feeling demotivated, it can also help to talk to a friend who is likely to
listen and offer positive support. Talking a problem through together can
Sometimes with academics, it’s hard to know where to start. It’s great to have a
long-term goal such as a target grade on an exam, but students should break this
down into a series of shorter-term mini-goals. Each mini-goal should be very
specific and manageable, with a realistic schedule.
Setting attainable targets is particularly necessary for reluctant students, or
when a task is daunting. After all, gearing up to start is the hardest part. A
student could opt to work on the task for just half an hour, which will lead to a
short, concentrated period of study. Chances are, the student will become
involved in the task and continue for longer.
An organized study space equals an organized mind, so it’s useful to create a
dedicated study area. If space is at a premium, a study corner in a room works
well – this makes it easier to separate studying from other aspects of life. Neat
storage solutions, such as filing cabinets and box folders, hide study materials
from view when they are not being used.
Research has shown that studying for long hours does not necessarily result in
high grades. When studying the same amount of material, learners who work in a
calm, quiet place, without distractions, will need less study time than those who
multitask while they work.
Traditional teaching methods tend to use mostly verbal and logical approaches.
In recent years, however, educators have started to recognize that students learn
in a wider variety of ways. Being aware of one’s own learning style is enormously
helpful to any student, because it allows them to adjust their study techniques to
their own needs.
Some people prefer a particular learning style, while others may find that a
mixture of styles works best for them. It may also depend on the circumstances –
for example, the favoured learning styles for practical subjects, language learning
and academic study could be different. The ways in which student learn best can
also change over time, and understanding this can go a long way in improving a
students’ academic experience.
Especially in the last years of secondary school, it can sometimes feel like there
aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done. Creating a personal study
schedule puts students in charge of their work, and ensures that jobs get done on
time. It’s all about managing deadlines!
To manage time, students can make a simple weekly timetable, colour-coding
different activities. This will help them to identify—at a glance—what they need
to do and when.
Reduce the stress of studying and help your child get the most out of school with
Help Your Kids with Study Skills, a unique step-by-step visual guide by Carol
Vorderman. This colourfully illustrated book is designed to enhance curriculum
learning and build confidence in gathering knowledge, recalling from memory,
creating study plans, and managing stress.