Learning how to study at Sixth Form level is not something we take for granted at Chadwell Heath. The demands of A Level study are very different to the challenges of GCSE and we provide support and guidance to our students in making this transition. We want you to maximise your success at A Level whilst also preparing you for study and employment beyond school.
As a component of our Citizenship programme students in Year 12 and 13 benefit from Study Skills sessions at different points in the year. Follow-up activities take place in individual one-to-one sessions with form tutors and individual subject departments will also provide study skills and revision advice.
The exact study skills you will need to develop will be dependent on the subjects you are studying and your own strengths and weaknesses. It is difficult to generalise about study skills, and you will need to work with your form tutor and teachers to find your most effective approach to study. However, there are some general tips that everyone can follow:
1. Get yourself organised – keep your diary up to date, listing work set, work completed and work outstanding. Make good use of Show My Homework to help you with this.
2. Try and stick to a regular work rota: do a little bit of study often, rather than leaving huge amounts of work to the eleventh hour before a deadline. Late work is invariably rushed, often incomplete, and of inferior quality, and by starting an assignment well in advance of a deadline you will get the chance to ask staff for help if you need it.
3. Work in a studious environment, not somewhere where you will be distracted. At home, work somewhere where you will not be disturbed (and where you can leave books and folders safely). If you do need to work on a computer, make sure you are not signed into any social networking sites to avoid distractions.
4. Define your work tasks. Make sure you understand what is expected of you. Seek clarification if you are uncertain about essay titles, the parameters of note taking, etc.
5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it!. Don’t suffer in silence and don’t pretend you understand something when you are struggling.
6. Use all the available resources: teachers; textbooks; libraries; periodicals; the Internet; newspapers; television and radio; fellow students.
7. Motivate yourself. Have a goal to aim for … on a micro scale a favourite TV programme in half an hour after some revision; on a longer scale a university grade offer.
8. Work in attention span units. Few students can work effectively for more than one hour before their concentration starts to ebb (this is particularly so with revision). Divide your working time up into attention span units (40-60 minutes) punctuated by short breaks.
9. Get a dictionary! Many exam boards now penalise poor spelling and grammar at A Level.
10. The more you put in, the more you get out, both in terms of results and enjoyment.