Happy 2020! It's a brand new year and that means thinking about the positive steps you can make to ensure you do even better this year than the last.
If you're looking to improve your grades, study technique or learning style and you can manage just five of these resolutions, you’ll be taking a massive step towards great exam results.
1. Commit to improve
Everyone can get better at everything. Believe in your ability to improve. Small changes build up to make big differences when it comes to your grades. Start those changes now by joining our Grow your Grades community and charting your progress towards improvement.
2. Get organised (and stay organised)
Now is a great time to get your work organised into the right files. Make sure all your new notes are filed away in the right order. Get into the routine of doing this each day, maybe as soon as you get home.
3. Review your work regularly
4. Don’t procrastinate
Enjoying yourself is fine; working is fine. The problem is the area in the middle: knowing you should be working but not actually doing it. Everyone procrastinates a little but you need to tell yourself firmly that procrastination is not productive and not fun.
So shut out the world, admit that work has to be done and get on with it. The sooner you start the sooner it’s finished.
5. Don’t leave things to the last minute
Leaving work until the last possible minute is a by-product of procrastination. And the resulting dark cloud of guilt means you can’t even fully enjoy the time you’ve gained.
Tell yourself: getting work done in good time means it’s a better standard and you get the bonus of a warm feeling of satisfaction once it’s complete.
6. Join in lessons
It’s easy to sit back and let lessons float past. But it’s in the questioning and discussion that the higher level skills that are going to get you a top grade are developed and where you learn to think quickly – just like you have to in an exam.
7. Read your teachers’ comments (and act on them)
Don’t see every teacher comment as a criticism to be frightened of. They’re trying to help and are probably making great suggestions that you need to take seriously.
8. Ask for help
It’s easy to ignore material you don’t fully understand, thinking you’ll sort it out during revision. But exactly the same difficulty may occur then – and there may be no teacher to ask.
Most schools and colleges have some method of providing individual help so don’t tolerate not understanding something, teachers are there to help – use them.
9. Repeat work (if it’s not as good as you want)
Don’t tolerate missing your target grade in any piece of work. If you receive a mark below your target, find out why, put it right and repeat the work. That way your confidence builds, your skills develop and you get a great sense of achievement.
10. Find enjoyment in your subjects
If studying always feels like a chore it may be a sign that you’ve lost the passion for your chosen subjects – understandable in the stressful world of school or college.
Think about what inspired you to choose them in the first place and try to enjoy learning new information rather than just trying to memorise it.
11. Stay positive
There’ll be some tough times between now and the exams. Sometimes you might just feel that it’s all too much and that you’ll never learn everything you need to or never get all that work done.
But there are hundreds of thousands of students in exactly the same position, and millions have been there before. They have succeeded and you can too.
If it all gets too much, take a break, talk to your family, friends and teachers. Remember the times in your life when you’ve succeeded – you’ve done it before and can do it again.