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I can hear your sighs of relief from my desk at the bottom of the Pacific — another school year, or, if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere, the first half of the school year, is done. HUZZAH!!!

If you’re anything like me after exams, all you’ll want to do is adopt the lifestyle of a full time sloth.

BUT, now — when you have a bit of down time, and before next year is upon us before you can say Christmas food coma — is the perfect time to take 10 minutes and think about how your Study Formula worked, or as the case may be, didn’t work, for you this year.

What is a Study Formula again?

Refresher — your Study Formula is the unique way that YOU study in a way that works best for YOU. Your Study Formula consists of all of the study methods and study processes that you utilise during the course of your exam preparation. It starts when you’re just getting organised and goes all the way to your in-exam strategy.

As we discussed here and here, having a Study Formula is THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU NEED WHEN IT COMES TO STUDYING.

No apologies for the overuse of all caps there. We want this point to be heard loud and clear.

When you have a Study Formula it means you understand what your study process is. And very importantly, it means you’re not bogged down with confusion and feelings of being overwhelmed when you sit down at your desk to study.

Identifying your Study Formula’s weak spots

If there is ONE THING we want to help you with, it’s figuring out what your Study Formula is.

So, to that end, having just finished what would have felt like a never ending exam period, now is the time for you to reflect on how your Study Formula worked for you these last few months.

  1. Looking back, do you think that your study sessions were productive? Or did you spend a lot of time procrastinating and not knowing where to start?
  2. Did you retain information reasonably quickly, or was it always going in one eye/ear and out the other?
  3. Do you wish that you had gone over more practice questions and practice exams so that you were more comfortable with the style of the real exam questions?

Don’t be too hard on yourself — your Study Formula will always be a work in progress — but identifying the weaknesses of your Study Formula is the crucial first step to improving the efficiency and efficacy of your study for 2018.

Your Study Formula will only help you reach the study goals you’re striving for if you’re CONSCIOUS of your Study Formula.

If someone was to ask you, “How do you study?”, would you know how to answer? Or would you just say “Ummmmmmmmm”.

We want you to get to the point where you know exactly what study skills and what study methods your Study Formula consists of. And getting to that point involves taking the time to acknowledge what parts of your Study Formula aren’t so great.

We’re not asking you to sit down for hours and conduct a complex analysis of your Study Formula using Excel. Just be honest with yourself and think about (or even better, write down), how you’d like to improve your Study Formula for 2018.

Doing this for 10 minutes sometime this week will save you hours of precious study time next time you’re sitting at your desk to study, and we all know how incredibly precious time is when you’re studying!

We’d love to hear how you’ve improved your Study Formula this year, or how to you plan to improve it in 2018! Comment below or get social 🙂


Photo credit: Markus Spiske



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High School Study Advice | The Study Gurus