Tips for Studying During the Xmas Break

By on December 22nd, 2016


It’s Christmas, which means finally time for a well-earned rest. At least, it would be, if it weren’t for all the revision you’ve got to do before January.

Studying over Christmas might seem like the most cruel punishment on earth, but with a little planning and preparation, you can still enjoy the holiday and be all ready for your exams.

Take a look at these tips from Downing on studying during the Xmas break.


1. Try to get as much done before Christmas as you can

It’s always best to get ahead, so try and get as much of your revision done as possible before the Xmas break actually starts.

Doing this might mean spending just one day or a couple of days before you head home for Christmas getting your notes organised and going over old content. Not only will this put you in a better state of mind to enjoy the celebrations, it might also reduce how many books you need to lug home.


2. Use flights or long train journeys to your advantage

We all know that travel isn’t always the most riveting thing. Use the spare time you have on trains or flights to catch up on some textual reading or look over a past paper.


3. Decide what days you will study in advance and let everyone know

The holidays can be busy times, so take into account any family commitments or friend meet-ups you’ll have on and plan which of your spare days you will spend studying. That’s not to say you should prioritise your social life…but there will be some things you won’t want to miss.

Once you’ve got a schedule, let you family know and make your mum put it on her calendar. That way, people will know when not to disturb you and they’ll be able to hold you accountable, should you stray from your desk…


4. Welcome a change of environment

Trying to study in the house when there’s so much festivity going on isn’t the most conducive environment for productivity. Try getting out to a quieter environment, such as your local library or coffee shop, where you can really focus and have fewer distractions.


5. Keep the main Christmas days free for celebrating

While at least half of your break should be mostly dedicated to studying, try and keep the main Christmas days (Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day) free for family time and having fun. This means you can truly switch off and make the most of the holiday, and then feel refreshed and ready to hit the books when it’s time.


6. Work little and often

For those who don’t like to segment entire days or blocks of days for studying, the ‘little and often’ technique can be a better approach. This is where you essentially spend a few hours each day, every day on a study session, whilst the rest of the day is spent how you please.

This is a much better system if you have trouble concentrating for long periods, or want some flexibility in your study schedule. Good study times are usually in the morning whilst the rest of your family are still asleep, or at night, after they’ve gone to bed.


7. Have a sophisticated reward system

What is hard work, without a little reward every now and then? Luckily at Christmas, there’ll be no shortage of things you can reward yourself with. Set yourself a checklist for each study session and give yourself a reward when you complete the list. This might be a mince pie, a slice of yule log, or one of the fancy truffles…but be careful – too many treats might not make you feel so great. Be sure to get some walks and fresh air in there too.


8. Get your family involved

Learning doesn’t have to be a solo affair. Getting your family involved will ensure you don’t feel so isolated and can help consolidate the information you’ve learned.

Get your family to test you with proof-cards, ask you on-the-spot questions or relay what you’ve been studying over dinner.


9. Ask for new stationary for Christmas

Who doesn’t love new stationary?! Such a simple thing, yet highly effective at motivating students to hit the books. Whether its pretty highlighters, scented gel pens or a fancy new binder…new stationary will make revision feel fun again. Well, perhaps not ‘again’…but you catch our drift.


10. Make time for exercise

Okay, so nobody likes this one. But getting out into the fresh air or simply moving your body will really boost your concentration. People tend to do too much sitting over Christmas and studying doesn’t really help with that. Making time to get 30 mins of movement each day will go a long way to keeping the brain ticking and preventing lethargy from setting in.


Overall, Downing Students wishes you a very Happy Christmas and the best of luck with your studies!

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