Study motivation + the best revision apps

It’s getting to that time of the year where exams suddenly seem terrifyingly close – there’s only 1 full month left now until the A-Level exams start, since today is March 1st!! With that in mind, I figured we’d all need a bit of study motivation…myself included: even though I don’t have actual exams, mock exams are heading my way and I need to do everything I can to prepare properly 🙃

  1. Drink lots of water – maybe this isn’t strictly motivation, but you’ll definitely feel a lot better if you’re hydrated when you’re studying, plus your brain will be more awake so you’ll absorb more information in a shorter space of time.
  2. Don’t panic!! You can do this, I promise! Exams do seem daunting, and they are, but keep reminding yourself that you’re going to ace them and they’ll be over soon enough.
  3. Try lots of styles of revision – some will work for you, some won’t. Weirdly, I’m finding that now, halfway through year 12, a technique is really working for me that last year when I was revising for my GCSEs I wouldn’t have gone near (but I’ll explain that in the apps section in a little while). If you’re bored whilst revising, you’re going to lose concentration so make it fun for yourself! Give yourself regular breaks and treats – I ate a lot of chocolate last summer…😉
  4. Think of why you’re doing this – what’s the bigger picture? I always find thinking of my future uni a somewhat intimidating but definitely motivating mental image to keep referring to.
  5. Strive for the best you can achieve – whilst there are more important things in life than exams (I can’t stress that enough!), they do give you a good grounding and knowledge, and since you only get one go at them, you might as well give them 100%!
  6. Don’t stay up too late thinking about schoolwork – this is ironic, since I’m writing this post at 9.30pm…

When I was revising last year for my GCSEs my favourite technique was to just rewrite my notes and reread them again and again, which, although it worked, was a pain since I was going through notebooks at an astonishing rate! Plus my hand felt like it was constantly about to drop off because I’d written so much, but I felt that physically writing notes down was the only way to properly revise. I stayed right away from online textbooks, ebooks and videos because I just wasn’t comfortable revising through a screen, but this year I’ve actually found using some apps a real bonus to my studies.

  • Forest

Forest is a brilliant app with such a simple concept, yet it’s so effective – you set a timer for how long you want to concentrate for and then can’t leave the app until the time is up, else your tree will die 😦 not only can you grow virtual trees but eventually they translate into real trees being planted in Sub Saharan Africa which is SUCH a great idea.

The other great thing about this app is that you’re rewarded for meeting your target time in coins, which you can spend on prettied trees and ASMR-worthy noises which relax and stimulate your brain in a white-noise effect. I’m currently saving up for the cherry tree which I’m very excited for 😝 the only downside to this app is that it’s £1.99 on the App Store but free on the Play Store, which is a bit of a con – I don’t know if that’s Apple or the app developers who just want to make some more money from it, but I would still definitely recommend paying £1.99 for it because it truly increases your motivation and concentration.

  • Duolingo

Probably the most popular languages app in the world, but Duolingo makes learning languages easy and accessible but also fun – especially for people like me who aren’t studying a language in depth at school. My only negative of Duolingo is the daily pushy reminder system which gets on my nerves a little bit, but sometimes all you need is an extra boost. (Saying that, I’ve lost my streak, so that’s a shame 😂)

  • Quizlet

Quizlet is a relatively new discovery of mine but I can tell this is going to help me so much nearer to my exams! You can input information onto virtual flash cards or use sets already online – and the great thing is, they’re all there stored on the app all the time! You can also change the format so that you’re being tested or you have to match pairs up which is a cool idea, and definitely brings a little excitement to revision.

So – my top tips for motivating yourself to study: make it fun! Try to savour it (yes, I know that sounds crazy, but you do only get one go at exams so make them count) but don’t panic, and remember that you don’t need to study 24/7 to succeed. Take it easy and you’ll be fine 😊 if you use any of these apps (or any others!) let me know because I’d be really interested!

Cara xx

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