Sunday 22 October 2017

Going to College: Forget the sins of the past and focus on making sixth year the best year possible

As students begin sixth year they are often nervous of what lies ahead.

Although all students begin with the best of intentions, it can often to be very difficult for them to know how to put these intentions into practice, especially if they have not put a study routine into place before now. However, we can only control what we do now not what we didn't do in the past, so students should forget about all they have not done and focus on doing the best sixth year possible.

Here are some tips to get started

1.Set goals.

Research shows that students who set goals do better than those who do not. However one of the main stress factors for students during Leaving Cert year is focusing on an important and large goal which is so far off. Therefore it is a good idea to set short, medium, and long term goals:

*short – what "I would like to achieve this week";

*medium – "the grade I would like to achieve in the Christmas exams";

*long term –"the grade I would like to achieve for the Leaving ".

Focusing on achievable, short term goals while understanding how this will help achieve a long term goal will help reduce stress and get the student closer to their ultimate goal.

2. Measure the success of a study session by what you have achieved, not how long you spent at the desk.

Ultimately nobody wants to spend hours a day at a desk, although sometimes this is necessary. By having a study goal as something measurable like 'complete an exam question without using the book' or 'know three quotes off by heart' students are able to measure what they have achieved, make their study more efficient and will be motivated by their progress.

3.Keep up with homework:

Many sixth year students find themselves with more homework than ever, especially during the first term. They can worry that they are spending too much time on homework when they should be revising. However, it is important to remember that study is made up of two elements: homework and revision. Think of homework as study that the teacher has assigned. Also, the Leaving Cert is a two year course and all course content will be examined equally. If a student does not do the homework properly now, they will have to revisit it again in term two. Learning it properly now, saves time in the long run.

4. Research courses

Choosing a course and career is a process, and not something that can be decided upon quickly. We make decisions about our careers by gathering information and reflecting. Therefore it is important that students spend time regularly looking up courses and careers and discussing their findings and questions with someone who can help them make decisions, such as a guidance counsellor and parent. Perhaps incorporate an hour of careers research into the weekly plan.

Anyone choosing to attend open days should ensure that they have fully researched the institution before they go, have a plan and attend on Saturdays whenever possible.

Irish Independent

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