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I know from experience that those KS3 students who care about school can often find it hard when researching how to study, mainly because most tips are directed at students doing GCSE’s or A-Levels or students in other countries with different school systems.
It can be hard to find tips directed at KS3 students – the only tips I’ve found are in videos about how to get all 9’s at GCSE’s. They’re tips about how you shouldn’t work to hard in KS3 (which is true). But I always hated this advice. I always thought ‘but I want to work hard’.
1 – Do NOT put to much pressure on yourself
I get it. I used to put soooo much pressure on myself to be the best in my class. It’s hard to stop putting that pressure on yourself. But you need to tone it down because there’s no way you can be the best at every single thing, and those expectations are just unrealistic.
(Note – try to only compare yourself to yourself, not to others)
2 – Use active recall as your main study system
Active recall is sooo much better than active recall.
It’s quick and easy (after you’ve created your flashcards/ questions). 10 minutes everyday to flick through any flashcards assigned to this day is sooo little compared to hours passively reading textbooks. And you even get better grades for a shorter amount of time studying!
(Remember – study smarter not harder!)
3 – CGP books are your hero, KS3 Students!
KS3 students (in my school at least) only get given textbooks for maths and science. You don’t even get a physical copy unless your using them in lesson. CGP provides textbooks for all ages and most subjects (maths, science, English, history, geography, French, ect). They even have workbooks, 10 minute test books, and retrieval books. Teachers even recommend them.
4 – Work hard and take notes in class
Working hard in class is sooo important. If you work hard in class, you can spend less time working at home for the same grade. Obviously you can still have fun, but you don’t want to waste all of your time talking to the person beside you. At least take down all of your notes as clearly and detailed as possible (or summarise – but I don’t summarise in class because that would mean I might not have all the information).
5 -Focus on your weakest topics and sub-topics
I struggle most with maths (like most people). And I definitely prefer studying science. However, sometimes (mostly when I have I test coming up) maths must take priority over everything else. Okay, it’s not like I really struggle with it, but maths is always going to be maths and make my life harder. Focusing more on maths than any other subject is a way to make it easier.
6 – Don’t study for hours everyday
I’m telling you – it’s a waste of time for KS3 students. You should only be studying half an hour a day (1 hour max). Trying to study to much will just lead to burnout, which will lead to bad grades. So, don’t work for hours everyday. Maybe occasionally if you haven’t been studying as much as usual you could do a couple of hours one day and then go back to 30 minutes. But definitely not everyday.
7 – Always stay on top of homework
Homework. And Homework. And more Homework. Every students worst nightmare. Except… not really. It’s just homework (unless it’s maths homework – then it’s hell). My school doesn’t set much. I get around 3 subjects giving me homework everywhere, occasionally more, sometimes less. Stay. On. top. Of. It. The probably most known advice is do it the day you get it. I dont’ like that. I like do it as soon as possible. It’s not always practical to do it the day you get it.
You might get set 3 pieces of homework – maths, history and science, for example. The maths homework is due the next day, and will take you an hour. Your history homework is due in a week, and will take you 1 hour and 30 minutes. The Science homework will take 5 minutes and is due in two days. You only have 1 hour and 30 minutes to do your homework.
You can’t do all of it so you have to prioritise. Here’s what I would do:
8 – Don’t worry too much about being top of your class in everything
Being top of the class is over-rated. There’s no special treatment except for the fact people don’t mind sitting next to you because they can copy you). Do not stress about being top of the class in anything – let alone everything. As I mentioned above, you should only compare yourself to yourself, and no one else! (And I didn’t even mean for that to rhyme!)
9 – Use a planner
I personally use a bullet Journal because I love the freedom it gives me. It means that I can use daily spreads or weekly spreads and I don’t have to buy different planners for different things. But there are loads of planners out there for you to use, so do your research!
Using a planner means you will be more organised and you will be able to manage your time better. Without a planner, you would be storing all your tasks in your head and you would easily forget about them.
10 – KS3 Students need to study how to Study
Now is the best time to study how to study. KS3 students who study how to study will end up having an advantage when it comes to GCSE’s because they already know what works for them and what doesn’t. I would recommend active recall, it’s just so much better!
Thank you for reading this blog post – I know it can be hard to find resources online for KS3 students. I post every Wednesday and Sunday so make sure to keep an eye out for a new post!