Re-engaging in your studies as colleges reopen

The past year has not been easy for learners, with colleges forced to close, a mass move to remote learning and cancelled exams and assessments.

You may be feeling nervous or concerned as colleges re-open and assessments recommence. This blog aims to give you some simple tips to motivate yourself and make sure you stay on track with your studies and exam preparation.

How do you eat an elephant?
If you’re unsure where to start with your studies, ask yourself the question ‘How do you eat an elephant?’, with the answer being ‘one bite at a time’. 

Break your work down into bite size chunks with small achievable goals. This will make your studies seem so much less daunting, and if you’re achieving small wins every day then that in itself is a hugely powerful motivator. 

Create a daily ritual
Get ready for the day. Set a morning ritual of getting dressed, making your morning cup of coffee and doing whatever else you need to get in the right mindset. 

Plan your study time. Write a timetable of what you need to do and when you are going to do it. Build in break times and make sure you stop at least one hour before you go to bed. Let the people in your household know when you are studying and that you do not wish to be disturbed.

Put your phone down
The single best way to avoid distraction is to turn off your phone and any other devices you are not working on and put them in another room. There are some fun apps out there that reward you for not using your phone.

One of our favourites is Forest. The basic premise is: once you start the app, you can’t use your phone for 30 minutes. Over that 30 minutes, a little tree will grow. It will stay green, lush and growing for as long as you don’t use your phone.

However, if you choose to use your phone then the tree will die. Over the course of the day, you can grow more trees, with each tree representing a 30 minutes period that you stayed focused. It’s not much, but it is a nice reward and reflection on how much you have actually achieved that day. 

“I’ll start tomorrow”
Today you might be fed up, wanting to postpone tasks until tomorrow.  The trouble is that tomorrow tends to go the same way and then, before you know it, a whole week has passed and you still have not got going. So, you need to break out of any negative cycles quickly.  You can have a word with yourself and that often helps, but not always.

Try starting by watching a video lesson or answering a question.  That is not too big a target. Then it is easy to do another question or two. Then another. Before you realise it, you are deep into your studies. 

Use the VLE – it’s there to help you!
Make sure you attempt all Progress Reviews; these will provide an indication of where further study is required.

If you’re worried about a postponed exam then make sure you revisit Assessment Practice. You can reset all the questions on the assessment practice pages using the reset function in the VLE. 

The essential practice pages help to underpin your knowledge so you should attempt as many questions as you need to until you feel happy that you have understood the content.

Please click here to download an advice sheet which explains how to best re-engage with your studies.

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