Starting the year successfully – 4 tips

As the beginning of the school year dawns, it’s time to turn our attention back to school/work! Here are 4...

As the beginning of the school year dawns, it’s time to turn our attention back to school/work!

Here are 4 simple tips that have proven to be successful for students in the past:

1. Growth Mindset

In a fixed mindset, you come to believe that your skills, traits, and talents are fixed. What you know is unchanging, and therefore, you can’t possibly learn anything new. While this seems extreme at first, you can hear it crop up in conversations when people say things like “I’m terrible at Maths,” or “I can’t write a great essay”. All of these are an example of a fixed mindset.

A growth mindset, however, believes that challenges and learning are opportunities, and that failure is an opportunity for growth. Rather than seeking out evidence that proves we’re not smart, people with a growth mindset focus on process and progress, searching out opportunities to stretch their existing abilities.

This belief that intelligence and personality can be developed has profound consequences on our behavior as learners. Fixed mindset students will avoid difficult situations, refuse to challenge themselves, and effectively evaluate every situation to see if it will make them look smart or dumb, whether they will succeed or fail.

In contrast, the growth mindset believes that the hand you’re dealt is just the starting point for development, and that your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts.

The growth mindset embodies a passion for learning (rather than a hunger for approval) and this is where you need to be.

To begin, before you get back into study, it’s a great idea to do some self-evaluation of your attitude to work so you can get the best out of this year.

Further questions you can ask yourself include:

  1. What motivates me?
  2. What are my best abilities?
  3. How do my friends influence me?
  4. When and with whom am I at my best?
  5. Who are my best sources of help?
  6. How can I do more of what will best help me to succeed?

2. Set your goals

Top-level athletes, successful business-people and achievers in all fields all set goals. Setting goals gives you long-term vision and short-term motivation . It focuses your acquisition of knowledge, and helps you to organize your time and your resources so that you can make the very most of your life.

By setting sharp, clearly defined goals, you can measure and take pride in the achievement of those goals, and you’ll see forward progress in what might previously have seemed a long pointless grind. You will also raise your self-confidence , as you recognize your own ability and competence in achieving the goals that you’ve set.

I’m sure you have heard this before, but short-term and long-term goals really are a successful strategy in improving your marks.

Now is the time to do this for the year ahead!

3. Plan to succeed

A goal without a plan is just a wish!

Put simply, planning ahead with your studies helps to improve your results. It will allow you to:

  • Be clear about the steps to take
  • Use time more efficiently
  • Become less stressed

Click here to download a to-do list that you can use to plan and organise your day!

There is no doubt that part of being organised is also having an effective timetable. Click here to download a study timetable that you can use to plan your time effectively.

You can then set out your times to study, exercise, be with family or friends and you can then ensure that adequate time is spent across all areas.

When it gets scheduled, it gets done!

4. Get started!

William Wordsworth, a famous poet (ask your English teacher!) once said “To begin, begin.” It is no surprise that previous high achieving students begin studying and preparing earlier than their peers. We definitely encourage a break during this January period, but now is the time to get started with your studies.

Consider finalising Term 4 study notes, pre-reading or viewing Term 1 content or looking at a range of practice questions (just like you will find on our app). The more you can hit the ground running, the more confident you will be for the next round of assessment tasks.

The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing!