27.04.17 • 2.20pm
I’ve had a strange week. Its been quite hectic and a little peculiar, but there have been some lovely things. I got my new glasses, for example. And I finally found some good history revision guides. I’m also finishing “Books Vs Cigarettes” by George Orwell. I hope you’re all staying as calm as possible with exams lurking around the corner.

PSA as it's coming up to exam season

You are not defined by your grades.
You are worth so much more than a grade on a sheet of paper for one subject.
Your mental health is more important than your grades.
Your physical health is more important than your grades.
You are more important than your grades.
You are loved and you are appreciated no matter what grades you get.
You’re an individual and every individual has strengths and weaknesses, but you can achieve anything you set your mind to.
Stay hydrated, eat well and study in small sections often, but don’t push yourself too hard. You can do this!

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11/4/2017 re-reading gatsby for my prose as exam coming up - highlighting and post-it notes seem to be working the best for revision (sorry my handwriting isn’t the best!)

Dealing with a bad grade or negative thoughts:

I have had a huge number of messages and inboxes asking about how to deal with a bad grade, or how to feel better about the fact that they have to much work to do/think they are going to fail their exams. I thought I’d make a post addressing this, in the hope that it will be helpful to some of you :)

DEALING WITH A BAD GRADE:

  • The first thing you have to do is to accept that you have got the grade you have gotten - whether that is a B instead of your usual A, or it is a fail grade.
  • Try and analyse why you got that grade. Is it something as simple as not working hard for that assignment? Or did you work hard and still not achieve the grade you wanted - then the issue might be exam technique, timing etc. 
  • It is so important to talk in this situation. Talk to your teachers about the grade you got, and about how to improve - do they think this is a one off? Or is there something they can do to help if they think you might be struggling with the material. The worst thing you can do is to deny the grade and just withdraw yourself.
  • As hard as it sounds, look at this ‘bad’ grade as something good. Take this opportunity to learn from any mistakes you might have made. Correct the paper you didn’t do well in so that it is up to full marks, try and see exactly why you didn’t get the marks you missed.
  • Then start working on an action plan of how to do better next time. The worst thing to do would be to stall completely and get focused on this one bad grade. If you focus too much on it then you won’t be able to progress and learn from what you did wrong. Instead of focusing on the fact that you got a bad grade, look forward to the next test and be determined to smash it!
  • If you are in the position that this isn’t a one off, and you are finding a particular subject and its exams very hard, maybe you should looking at getting a tutor? Talk to your teachers to see if they can give you extra questions, or one-to-one sessions during lunch/after-school. Your teachers want to help you, so utilise them.

Changing your attitude and thinking positively:

  • A lot of you have sent me messages telling me that you are scared to fail, or that you are sure that the work you’re doing won’t pay off etc. In cases like this I think it’s you attitudes that need to change.
  • If you take the stand that you will fail your exams, that because you are getting bad grades now you’ll obviously fail in summer so there’s no point even trying etc. etc. of course you aren’y going to do well! You need to think positively in order to succeed.
  • Start telling yourself that you will succeed, that you will pass, that you are good enough - even if you don’t believe it at first. If you keep that mantra going around your head, your attitude will shift and you will start feeling better about your situation.
  • Don’t dwell on the past - on grades you have got earlier in the term etc. just keep focused on the future, and the things you have to do in order to get where you want to go.
  • Keep reminding yourself of your goals and aspirations. If ever you are feeling unmotivated or in doubt of yourself, remember what you want to achieve and think about what you have to do to get there, and how much you want to get there - this will help motivate you and empower you.

Remember that bad grades do not define you. You are worth so much more than some letters on a piece of paper, so make sure you are happy and healthy before you start worrying about a bad grade. Good luck all of you! :)

Tips on time management:

Hi, since starting A-Levels I have had a huge amount of work to do, extra-curricular activities to go to etc. and not a lot of time to do this in; here’s a few tips on how you can manage your time to work more efficiently :)

  • Sleep at least 7-8 hours each night - Feeling awake and refreshed means you work much more efficiently than if you are tired and sluggish.
  • Get an early start - Waking up early and completing tasks early in the day sets you up for a productive day; an easy way to get things done.
  • Make a schedule - A weekly schedule or timetable is so useful. You can block out the time you’re in school/college and doing other things (extra-curricular, clubs, sleeping etc.) and then you know how much time you have to work with in terms of completing homework/doing revision.
  • Plan everyday - Taking a short amount of time each morning to plan your day will cause you to be a lot more productive, because you know exactly what you have to complete that day.
  • Prioritise tasks - Putting your most important or urgent tasks to the top of your to-do list will means that even if you can’t do everything you wanted to do that day, you’ve still completed the most key tasks.
  • Create habits - Making habits such as getting up early or starting on homework as soon as you get home will mean you are much more productive; these things will just become second nature.
  • Know it’s okay to say ‘No’ - It’s easy to keep saying ‘yes’ to everything; to meeting up with friends, taking on another assignment, helping out at a school event. Learn that’s it’s ok to be selfish and just to focus on you and what you have to get done in your time.
  • Give tasks/assignments time limits - Setting limits on times for tasks will make it easier to keep to your schedule. It’s easy for tasks to just keep dragging on and on. A limit will prevent this happening, increasing your efficiency.
  • Split up your to-do list - A long to-do list can be daunting; split large assignments up into smaller and more manageable chunks.
  • Utilise your weekends - Weekends are so incredibly useful! Two days of no scheduled school/college. It’s a great time to catch up on any notes or homework. Don’t waste that time by getting up late or messing around on the internet.
  • Block out distractions - Hide your phone, turn off the wifi, put a ‘do not disturb’ sign on your bedroom/study door - do whatever you need to so that you can work uninterrupted, and fully focus and concentrate on the task at hand.