Studying: It’s crunch time. VCE exams start in 8 weeks (and NSW exams in 6!

), which is perfect time to get your study plan into gear. It may seem like ages now, but the next two months will fly (remember you’ve got a holiday in the middle of it), and you’ll be wondering why you didn’t start earlier. So let’s get into it! I’ve endeavoured to put together the BIGGEST study resource post ever, so please have a read through and start straight away! Over the next week or so, we’ll be posting study tips every single day, so be sure to check back and get your study on! Tips for Learning: 1. Do not trust your memory to remember daily homework. Record accurate notes about your assignments in your diary or study planner every day. This will save you time and you will know exactly what to do. 2. Before leaving School, make sure that you have all the books and materials you will need for studying at home. Same goes for before school – make sure all the books for your classes are packed and ready! 3. Make a time schedule for homework. Work out a daily schedule and consider the amount of time you normally need to spend on each subject. 4. Have a definite place to work. Go for a quiet, private spot with a table or desk, a straight chair and good lighting. It’s been proven that studying in silence makes it easier to concentrate, but if you seriously need to listen to music, PLEASE make it classical rather than death metal. For obvious reasons. Both for you, and the people around you. Thanks. 5. Begin to study immediately, and do the more difficult work first while your mind is fresh. Don’t make up excuses, just do it! 6. Make an effort to understand everything you’re reading. Sounds silly, but the amount of people who just mindlessly copy notes is huge! Read material and make notes that you can understand and remember. If you don’t understand something, write it down, and book a time to talk it over with your teacher. Don’t be afraid of them – it’s what they’re there for! 7. Take notes in class that can be reviewed easily and quickly, and keep them neat and tidy. Keep notebooks or set aside part of a general notebook for each subject. Make notes brief, using short sentences, phrases and abbreviations. Making the most of your time in school: 1. Be there! Sound like an easy one, but do go to all your classes. It may seem boring or annoying, and you might feel tired, but the best place to be is in that class, at least trying to understand. Chances are, if you wag, you’ll end up regretting it, and having even more work than you started off with! 2. Take care of yourself – again, it sounds simple enough, but at school, especially in VCE, it’s super easy to get tired and run-down, and consequently get behind. So look after yourself – eat healthy foods, including a good breakfast, get enough sleep on a regular basis and exercise, even if it means going for a walk with your dog every two days after school. 3. Concentrate. Be attentive to the topic and think about what is being said, no matter how boring you may find it. Try to keep your mind from wandering! Try the TQLR method: Tune in, question, listen and review. If you can do this for every class, you’ll be set!

4. Take notes. After time, this should become a habit, so press on until you’ve got it. Compare your notes with your classmates and make it fun! Figure out interesting ways to remember things, or have a study afternoon with a friend at a cafe (remember to study though...). 5. Have a good location in the classroom. I know you want to sit with your friends and it seems totally dorky to sit at the front but that is by far the best place to sit if you want to get the most out of the class. If you’re seriously worried, pull the ‘I forgot my glasses’ one. That always works to get you a better seat! 6. Ask for more information. This is possibly the most important tip in this section. At times, what you are studying won’t be clear to you and THAT’S OK! If you do not understand a point, ask questions or ask to have the teacher explain it in a different way. Remember, it is more important that you understand what is being studied, than you look clever and keep your mouth shut. 7. Prepare for your classes. Read over what you did in the previous lesson before you go to class, and do some background reading on the content of the next class. This will make the class 100% more understandable. Thank me later. 8. Share your ideas. Speak up, sister! If you’ve got an opinion, share it! If you know something extra (evidently from when you were preparing for the class), share it! There is no need to feel shy about participating! Your ideas will probably help a classmate to understand the topic, plus your teacher will love you! Getting along with teachers: Yes, now and again it seems like teachers are absolutely the bane of students existence, but contrary to popular belief, they’re here to help! (Cue gasps, etc.) Here are five tips on improving your relationship: 1. Be friendly! Go to class with an open mind, and be ready for anything. DO NOT be deceived by appearances! The old, scary-looking man is probably lovely! Give him a chance! If you seem interested and attentive, chances are everyone will get along just fine. 2. Be open-minded. We know rumours about teachers go through the school like wild fire, but wait and make your own decision. Different teachers work for different people; it’s as simple as that. Be fair to your teachers, like you’d be fair to your friends, and give all of them a chance before you make your mind up. 3. Ask for help. Teachers are there to help you, and it’s worth it! They can’t always tell which students need help straight away, so stick your hand up. If you don’t understand there’s nothing to be ashamed of, and you’ll be doing both yourself and the teacher a favour. And anyway, it’s the teacher’s job to help you learn, so take advantage of the opportunity! 4. Check often with your teachers. Of course it is a good idea to check with your teachers when you need help or when you don’t understand, but it is also a good idea to check when you think you are doing well. Communication is the key, and if you do communicate, it gives them an opportunity to see how you learn, and assist you in the future. And the teacher will be glad to know you’re interested in their subject! 5. Remember often with your teachers. Of course it is a good idea to check with your teachers when you need help or when you don’t understand, but it is also a good idea to check when you think you are doing well. Communication is the key, and if you do

communicate, it gives them an opportunity to see how you learn, and assist you in the future. And the teacher will be glad to know you’re interested in their day! What can you do if you fall behind? 1. Avoid panic! The assignments begin to pile up, and you seem to have tests every second day, but try not to freak out! This may seem hard, but as we panic, we tend to rush to finish tasks, and because of the hurry, we make mistakes, making the problem worse. First of all, breathe. Then get yourself a planner, and take it slow, asking yourself the questions: What is the problem? Why am I behind? What can I do to catch up with my work? 2. See your teacher. The first thing you should do if you can’t seem to work it out by yourself (and that is totally ok!) is talk to your teacher/tutor/counsellor. They’ve been there before, and they will know how to help you! Book a time to see your teacher – send them an email with the times you are free and ask them to book you in. When you have a time, take your books, your assignments and your diary or planner, and explain to your teacher exactly what the problem is. The questions they will ask will probably be along the lines of: How are you using your time in school? Home much time do you spend on your work at home? Which sections do you not understand? Is it because you are not spending enough time on them? How can you adjust your study schedule? Think about these questions before you see your teacher. Be ready! 3. Try to help yourself. Make summary pages and try and teach yourself the things you don’t understand. Make a study timetable, and stick to it. Stick it on the fridge so your parents know, and can help you out. Plan a reward if you get everything done! Remember that you’re not the only one who falls behind, and cut yourself some slack! Research Techniques: 1. Understand your assignment before you leave the classroom. Get it in writing straight away, preferably in your diary, so there’s absolutely zero chance of you forgetting it. If you need more guidelines, ask your teacher STRAIGHT AWAY! Don’t wait. Go. 2. Decide on a do-able topic within the guidelines. Make it straightforward and understandable. We all get excited at the start, I understand, but there’s no point deciding you’re going to write the entire American History for your essay. That’s silly. You have a due date, and possibly a word limit, so plan accordingly. 3. Prepare an outline. Think through all the different subtopics and points you want to cover, and write them all down in a new notebook for the project. Do some brainstorming of the things you ALREADY know, before you start additional research. 4. Begin your research. Take notes efficiently on note/cue cards. On the front write the title of the reference book and the page number, and then on the back write all your information. If you need more facts, you’ll know exactly where to look later on. 5. Give credit when you’re quoting people. If you use the exact words, PUT IT IN QUOTATION MARKS. You did not give the “I Have a Dream Speech”. Martin Luther King Jr. did. Give credit where credit’s due. 6. Work your notes (cue cards) into your outline. Use a symbol, and organise them into the various paragraphs you’ve decided on. Label them, and shuffle them around, until you have a well detailed outline, ready for writing up. 7. If you need a bibliography, just copy the information from your cue cards. Easy!

Planning a study schedule: 1. Plan for required periods of time – First block out all the things you can’t get out of – orchestra practice, doctors appointments, etc. This way you get a clear idea of the time you do have for studying. 2. Plan for emergencies – Be ready to make adjustments to your schedule. Don’t pack it so tightly that a) it’s unreasonable or b) you can’t make it up if something crops up. Have a free period every now and again to make up lost time. 3. Plan ample time for study – For each subject give yourself enough study time every week, and DON’T FORGET A SUBJECT. Some subjects need more time, and that’s ok, but don’t do so much maths that you don’t have time to touch your English work. 4. Plan a study session after a particular class – Sometimes this isn’t possible, but try to give yourself even 10 minutes on each subject you’ve had that day, to revise what you’ve learnt. It will mean you get a better understanding of the topics taught, and will put you in good stead for revision later on. 5. Plan for your learning personality – If you’re a night person, plan your homework for after dinner, and if you’re a morning person, plan to get up earlier. If you adjust your study hours to when you work best you’ll feel better AND get better results! 6. Plan for review sessions – Set aside revision time before tests and exams. This doesn’t mean cramming, it simply means going over the things you already know, in preparation for the assessed task. 7. Plan for free time – We all need a break, and if we plan them around our study hours, they automatically seem better, because you are rewarding yourself for the hard work you have done. Try taking a walk every couple of hours!

Brought to you by The Peer Pressure Project www.thepeerpressurproject.blogspot.com

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