The June holidays are approaching! That means…camps, a one-week holiday, training and hopefully some time to study?
While the great thing about June holidays is freedom, it also means there’s no concrete structure to keep you in track of your progress. And before you know it the whole month goes by…and examinations are going to hit you. Building your own schedule will allow you to keep on track.
1. Here’s the Attitude You Need To Have
Be clear about what the holiday is going to look like. To build a schedule for the June holidays, you first must be clear about what the holiday is going to look like for you. That means knowing when you are going to train, when there is camp, when your vacation is, etc.
This also means knowing when you are going to study. If your study schedule is going to be “whenever I can”, then you’ll find yourself filling all your time doing other things that you won’t “have the time to study.” Which brings me to the most important part of this article:
Treat studying as a just an important of an event like a camp or training. See it as non-negotiable and fixed, and set a fixed time and place for your studying to take place.
2. With that Attitude, Have a Clear Idea of Your Syllabus and Where You Stand
After you know when and where you are going to study, make sure you know what you have to study and how you are going to study it. Just like your camps and trainings, there are certain objectives that you must meet. Hence, studying is not just opening the book for two hours and reading your lecture notes, but knowing what you are going to do with that time while you are studying.
Are you going to be revising your lecture notes? Do a revision package? This is not into pressuring you to finish and completely understand a topic in three hours, but to let yourself know what it is you have to accomplish. I’ve had friends study three topics that weren’t even going to be tested on the exams, so don’t go in studying blindly everything and anything.
3. Create Meta-Structure to Your Studying Schedule
Studying itself must have some sort of structure to make sure that you are keeping on track. A major concern for students is procrastination.
In the four weeks you have to study, make sure you plan to have some sort of check-in each week to track your progress. These check-ins must be strong enough of a commitment device that there is reason for you to study.
Some recommendations are:
- having a consult with a teacher regarding certain topics on a fixed date – this ensures you come with questions!
- asking your teacher to book a classroom to do a timed and fixed practice paper each week. Your school has most likely given you a stack of practice papers you can do, if you can find a place where you do a full paper under test conditions, you will know where you stand more realistically. Better yet, bring friends to hold each other accountable.
- Have an allocated day where you just do examination papers.
- Tell your parents that you must finish a certain amount of work or they won’t give you your pocket money for that month.
4. Sticking to Your Schedule on a Day to Day Basis
We find ourselves delaying what we must do because in that span of one month, nothing is making sure we keep on track. On a day to day basis, make sure you find some way of committing yourself to study. When you study, the place should be free of distractions. If you are the type of person who is easily distracted by the internet or your bed…don’t go to places with wifi and don’t study at home!
One example to do this is to go to a library only bringing your books and Ezlink card. Or – just bring your books and ask to be dropped off and picked up at a certain time! You’ll be stranded and have nothing to do but study. If you must bring your phone, give your phone to your friend to keep you from using it. All of these things are called commitment devices that keep you committed to the task you are supposed to be doing. If you are using a computer to do work – such as writing essays – you can block certain websites to make sure you do work. Or: don’t bring your charger. Find ways to make it such that your task is urgent and must be finished. I have an entire article on commitment devices here.
With all this in mind, make sure you make a proper schedule that takes into account all of these considerations. Always know who, what, when and where when you are going to study, and treat it just as important and final as a vacation trip or training, because it holds that level of importance.
Happy June Holidays!