Tag Archive for: Study strategies

“The tougher the setback, the better the comeback.”

Do these wise words by Bernard Osei Annang sound like something you need to hear right now?

If you received some disappointing results at the end of last term, then they may resonate more than you would like.

Or you might just dismiss them as platitudes that you don’t want to hear.

But the truth is, success without setbacks is impossible. While it might be nice to sail through school – and life in general – on a wave of success, the reality is, you will hit some rough seas.

The time has come to overcome the sense of failure.

Read on to learn how you can master disappointment and come back stronger than ever.

 

#1. Take Stock of Your Routine

Poor results do not appear out of thin air.

Life has a sense of humour and likes to kick us down when we are already struggling. It’s easy to put your poor results down to bad luck, or subjective marking. But chances are if you take stock of the way you used your time last term, I’m guessing you’ll see that the warning signs were always there.

Did you prioritise your schoolwork over other activities?

Did you create a study routine at the very start of the year, or did you wait until the assessment started rolling in?

Did you allow yourself to procrastinate or did you just swallow the frog and get stuck into it?

Hindsight is 20/20, but with a little bit of work, you can make sure your poor time management and prioritising of activities of the past do not influence future academic performance.

#2. Damage Control 

Is the disappointment of your results having a broader effect on your current performance? Are you finding it hard to put it behind you and move forward? Are constantly second guessing yourself and your abilities?

Don’t panic!

No, seriously, this is not the time to give up or stick your head in the sand and hope it will all go away. [Spoiler alert: it won’t!]

You can control the situation and come out stronger.

Take a look back and reflect on where you went wrong. Did you run out of time and leave your run too late? Did you study the wrong stuff? Or just not study at all?

Knowing where you stuffed up is the best way to raise your awareness and ensure you don’t do it again this term.

 

Top Tip: Take it from someone who has failed as much as she’s succeeded.

If you look at where you went wrong and adjust your future actions accordingly, you can get yourself back on track – and maybe even ahead. What have you got to lose?

#3. Accept Help

I know you like to be independent and go it alone, but this can just get you tied up in unnecessary knots and spiralling down a hole of disappointment and confusion.

Instead, if you accept help, you can easily overcome obstacles before they overcome you.

For example:

  • If you’re struggling with the content, you should always ask your teacher for clarification.
  • Why not tap into the vast range of Youtube clips and online learning platforms – especially for those of you who are visual learners.
  • How about studying in a group? Being able to ask for assistance from your peers can help you move forward quickly and easily. Plus, as an added bonus, having to answer a question or explain something to someone else requires in-depth knowledge that will push you further.

 

#4. Future Planning

Now that you’ve reflected on your poor results, it’s time to leave them behind you and create a plan to get you the results of the high performing student that you are!

Remember: Poor results are common, and you are not stupid, or hopeless just because it has happened to you. All you can control is how you deal with the disappointment and use it to fuel your determination to succeed.

Here are some tips to implement moving forward:

  • Create a study plan that ensures all subjects are covered equally throughout the term.
  • Prioritise your time so that you have clearly allocated slots of both study and play.
  • Use spaced revision throughout the term to avoid last minute cramming and you’re your brain transfer learning to your long term memory.
  • Create a study group.

 

#5. Act, Don’t React 

Did your teacher tell you that one, too? Don’t roll your eyes at me! You know we’re both right.

Action is the mother of improvement.

Reaction puts you back in the headspace of failure.

Rather than dwelling on the past and wallowing in disappointment, use it to put a fire in your belly that propels you to take positive and determined action.

You can’t change the past, but your actions can certainly change the future.

 

So, How Can Edvantage Australia Help?

Are you still flailing a little or want just a bit more help to get you back on your feet after your disappointing results?

No problem!

At Edvantage Australia, we pride ourselves on supporting students to achieve their full potential and get the results they need to follow their dreams.

That means you don’t have to flail around aimlessly wondering how to improve. That’s what we’re here for.

We have 28 Study Skills workshops designed to take any student from failing to flying. Unlike regular tutoring, we don’t focus on content, but on teaching you how to deal with the content so that you can improve your results and still have a life.

In short, our aim is to teach you how to study smarter not harder.

Our workshops include a range of tips and easy actions that you can implement right away to see a huge improvement in your results.

We can’t wait to work with you and help you get the results you want.

 

 

 

You know what?

There’s a whole lot of misinformation about studying, which is why it’s easy to feel defeated when you’re doing everything “right” and still not getting results.

Before I learned how to overcome my limiting beliefs, I tried every guide and article I could find.

Expert #1 would say writing information out multiple times is the best way to learn it (it’s not).

Expert #2 would say reading over the content and highlighting key words is the way to go (another myth).

Expert #3 think the best way to get top marks is to study on your own as you have more control.  

No matter what I did, I still couldn’t find a study plan that worked for me.

I kept thinking there was some big secret I just didn’t know. That everyone else knew exactly what they were doing and I was the only one who didn’t.

But then I learned the truth.

The big secret that was blocking my success was that I had to trust myself and overcome my limiting beliefs.

Whatever you think about is what your brain focuses on.

So while I was focusing on all the things I was getting wrong, the more my brain kept going back to them and doing them more often.

Once I finally started turning it around and looking at my limiting beliefs as beneficial, things really fell into place.

You can do it too!

Read on for some sneaky limiting beliefs that may be holding you back from getting top results, and how to turn them into your superpowers.  

Limiting Belief #1: I Don’t Need Help

If you’re used to being self-sufficient and doing things on your own, you can probably relate to this. And it’s probably worked for you up until now. But the final years of high school can be quite challenging and having a support network around you can make a huge difference.

Many students find study groups a great motivator – it’s hard to avoid showing up and doing the work when others are counting on you.

Some like having the reassurance of a mentor – someone who always has your back and can pick you up when you’re feeling down.

Others like to have a kind of PA – someone in the background reminding them of when things are due and helping them to stay organised and on top of things.

How to turn it into your superpower

First, challenge your belief. After all, it’s just a belief and you have no proof that it’s reality (spoiler: it’s NOT!)

Ask yourself why you think you need to go it alone. Is it that you don’t want others to know your weaknesses (or steal from your strengths)?

Maybe it’s that you’ve always done it alone and assume that’s the only way?

Or perhaps you’re a deadliner and have never been organised enough to think of getting help until it’s too late.

Once you have the answers, think about what it would be like to do the opposite. What would it be like to have help? Would it make studying feel less isolating and boring? Would it give you more confidence to proceed?  Would it improve your time management and organisation, reducing the number of last minute cramming sessions?

You don’t have to take action now. Just let it sit with you and try to broaden your perspective. Keep challenging yourself. 

When you’re ready, try reaching out for help. We have a number of ways to support you in your studies. Here are a few resources available:

  • Our workshops will help you strengthen your skillset
  • Join the forum in our study skills group to interact with other students or to receive assistance
  • Ask for our study support team to send you SMS reminders of assessment dates and milestones

Limiting Belief #2: I just have to… 

“I’ll get to my studies as soon as I finish working out my study schedule”.

Sound familiar?

We all have a list of things we need to do, and in what order we want to do them.

But if you’ve been procrastinating on a specific task for weeks or months, it’s probably time to re-prioritise.

While it’s great to have a planner and know exactly what you’re doing, do you really need to have one set in stone before you can tackle your workload? Or is it that actually doing the work scares you? 

It’s common to put off things we’re not “ready” for

But you know what? You’re never actually going to find the right time when you feel totally ready.

Putting tasks off never makes them go away or helps them get any easier. In fact, the more you procrastinate the worse things will get. Your anxiety levels will rise and your time frame will reduce.

Besides, have you ever noticed that the things we dread doing aren’t actually that difficult or time consuming once we actually knuckle down and get them done?

How to turn it into your superpower

Believe it or not, procrastination can actually be used to your advantage.

Any time you hear yourself thinking “I just need to…”, count to 5 and make yourself do it. That way it is done and can no longer be used as an excuse. 

You’ll be amazed by how many tasks you manage to get out of the way if you adopt this attitude.

Plus, completing these smaller tasks will give you the motivation to keep going and get to work on those bigger tasks that you’ve been avoiding.

Many people don’t want to start things until they feel they have all the knowledge and ability to do them well. Taking small but imperfect action is always better than doing nothing at all.

Whatever you have to do today, do it with the confidence of a 4 year old in a superhero cape

Limiting Belief #3: I’m not clever enough

How many times have you put off studying for your exams because you tell yourself you’re not clever enough to succeed?

You’re not alone. This is another belief that comes from a place of fear, and we all have them.

When you’re about to try something new, you picture all the things that can go wrong.

This is especially true if you have experienced failure in the past.

The problem with this belief is that it can prevent more empowering beliefs from forming if you’re not aware of them.

If we focus on the things we can’t do, we end up in a negative spiral where we doubt ourselves to the extent that we question our ability to do even simple things.

As Henry Ford once said “whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right”.

Just because you once tried and failed does not mean that will happen again.

Imagine if when you were starting to walk you fell on your bottom once and decided you weren’t capable of walking!

How to turn it into your superpower

If you hear yourself thinking “I can’t do that”, add the word “yet”.

This simple trick will help you find the motivation to develop the skill you feel you’re lacking, rather than simply giving up in defeat. 

You absolutely CAN get the results you want!

I’m not saying it’s going to be easy, but the right attitude will certainly hep you get there. 

Here’s an activity that might help…

Think about all the things you couldn’t do once that you can now do without thinking. 

Write each skill on a post-it note and place them in a jar.

Now you have a visual representation of all the things you can do that once you couldn’t.

Rather than giving up, find solutions to the problem. What can you do to help you achieve this skill? Do you need to ask for help? Complete practice exams? Watch a Youtube lesson? 

Focusing on what you CAN do will help turn your limiting beliefs around and help you use them to drive your success.

Jar of skills

Limiting Belief #4:  I don’t have time

If you believe you have too much work to do and not enough time in which to do it you’ll find ways to keep yourself occupied with other activities rather than studying.

Saying you don’t have time is really saying it’s not a priority right now.

The truth is, as a full-time student, you have to make studying a priority!

How to turn it into a superpower

You don’t need huge blocks of time to study. You just have to do it with consistency. 

In fact, frequent short study sessions are far more effective than a few long ones.

Parkinson’s Law tells us that work expands to fit the time allocated. So having more time doesn’t help the situation – it just allows us to work less efficiently.

I always thought I worked effectively, but once I had my babies I became far more efficient as I had to squeeze my work into any little windows of opportunity throughout the day. 

As they say, if you want something done, ask a busy person to do it.

Don’t be afraid to say no to things that aren’t absolutely necessary. Draw a line in the sand and make studying a priority, no matter what else you have going on

If you can carve out even one hour a day, you can revise everything you learned that day and re-visit at least one subject.

Here’s how to get started:

  • Step #1 Create a study schedule that includes all of your time commitments. This will help to give you a visual representation of how much time you have available.
  • Step #2 Prioritise your commitments. Do you really need to spend that number of hours at your part-time job? Even if you love the money and the freedom that brings you, is it the highest priority while you are a student?
  • Step #3 Find the self-discipline to make use of any gaps of time you have. Stop thinking of studying as being something that has to be done in long blocks of time. Use flashcards, quizzes and past papers to constantly self-test and revise learned work. 

You’re making great progress!

Your limiting beliefs can pose the biggest obstacles to your success. Identifying, acknowledging and understanding them helps you turn them into superpowers that boost your performance and your results.

It’s time to turn your limiting beliefs into empowering beliefs! If you find yourself procrastinating over your studying, think about what may be holding you back. Write down 10 limiting beliefs, and don’t be afraid to see them on paper. 

We all have them, remember. It’s what you do with them that counts. 

Will you push through and keep going? You bet you will! 

Remember, you can always reach me here if you want some help with this. Let’s get you the results you really want!

Many students fail to take mock exams seriously or to really look at their results. But they can be a great learning tool, providing valuable insights into where you need to improve your study habits and techniques in the lead-up to exams in order to get the best possible results.

In an ideal world, you should have been studying and revising for ATAR exams all year. But if you have left things to the last minute, it’s no excuse to quit. There are still effective study techniques you can utilise to help you make the most of the time you still have in the lead-up to exams.

Many students fear the external ATAR exams and the unknown elements in them. Focusing on the best study techniques to put you back in control will remove much of the stress and fear that surrounds them.

Almost 1/3 of teens report feeling stressed and overwhelmed. But a little bit of stress is necessary to keep us motivated, focused and healthy. The trick is to learn to manage your stress levels and use it to your advantage.

Even the most organised and conscientious students often leave easy marks on the table through nerves or careless errors. Learn some easy study techniques to ensure you get the bonus marks that many students miss.

There are 4 main learning styles: Auditory, Verbal, Visual and Kinaesthetic. Knowing your natural style helps you use the study techniques that will be most effective for you. The more styles you can tap into, the more you will activate all areas of your brain.

Take our Learning Styles Quiz and discover your personal style.

So what does this all mean and what are the implications for our study habits?