How can I make the most of strike days and the midterm? (Also available on Anchor)
We got this question from a current 6th year via Snapchat, but had the time to answer it here and on sc (six25points).
More independent study, eh? More sitting on your own staring at a book and feeling guilty because you just cannot focus? A fate worse than... what we suggest instead.
Focus on doing papers, not on making notes
Don't know enough to do a proper question and think that there's no point? Surround yourself with books and notes, do it with your study buddy, ask the teacher when you see them again should you get stuck. Asking questions and looking for information in a more directed way is going to get achieve 3 things:
1) It is a much smaller (and therefore much more doable) task to answer 1 question than to "study" a whole topic. It's all about the small wins and building momentum.
2) Our brains like questions and answers - it gives you a sense of purpose. Streams of endless information are about as digestible as cellulose.
3) It is more relevant to the task. Whatever you achieve in your Leaving Cert, you will achieve through doing an exam. So it makes sense to focus on past exams as your training for the big event.
Can't stomach looking at a book? Use this time to learn to unwind
Resilience is tested as much as your memory/IQ/academic ability in this environment. Download Calm, the app, and do 10 minutes a day. It's mostly free and super effective in alleviating anxiety: Anne McCormack, a psychologist who recently spoke at Zeminar, wrote a guest post for us here explaining what this exercise does for your brain: Mindfulness as a Way To Curb Anxiety. You can read an even more detailed post with concrete examples of how the thickness of different areas of your brain changes with mindfulness. A change of scenery, some exercise, catching up with friends, watching your favorite drama - are all allowed. It's about balance - and you are the best judge of when you are slacking off vs when you are running yourself into the ground. Try and stay somewhere in the middle.
Find out more about the tactics of the top performers here: How to Do Well In The Leaving Cert
You may also like: 9 Tips for Study-related Anxiety
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