Friday, 8 May 2015

Education Wisdom

It's that time of year again, where people my age, and those at school/college/university are sitting their exams for their GCSE's, A-Levels, Diplomas etc.
It's so easy to get carried away with summer and not want to revise or do anything exam related, especially if you're like me and gave up in the middle of September *guilty smile*. Today was my last day at college before having four weeks off for study leave and to sit my exams, and honestly, it was the worst day of college so far. I received my coursework grade back my media AS, and lets just say that appalled is an understatement. I almost cried, considering I wanted to study media at university, and I thought I was going to get my target grade. That is basically the reason for this post, as I just want to share some words both for myself and for you, so you don't stress over your exams or your grades.

Grades don't define you
It's so easy to let your grades ruin your life. Since I was 6 I have been told that i'm 'top of the class', 'really smart, 'capable of anything', and it has completely ruined education for me. I managed to come out of school with 2 A*'s, 5 A's and 5 B's, which when you think about it, is really really good. But those B's completely crushed my confidence. I was targeted A's for everything and I will forever regret not trying harder for those subjects. But at the end of the day, those grades don't change who I am. They don't change what I want to achieve or what I want to do or who I want to be. It's just a letter on a piece of paper reflecting how good my memory is of random knowledge and my ability to spew that knowledge onto some lined paper. In completely silence. With no other resources. That doesn't happen in the real world. You get trained and you get experience and you will always have the internet or books or people around you to help. Your grades do not define who you are or how smart you are.

I have no idea how to revise. Literally, do not have a clue. As I've always been 'smart' (in the education system's eyes) I've never needed to revise in order to get a good grade. I did little to no revision for my GCSE's and I completely regret it. I should have asked for help so I knew how to revise properly and now that I'm at college, I'm completely stuck. It's so important to revise, and start as soon as possible. Although I have little motivation when it comes to education, I always want to start revising as soon as lessons start in September. I want to be able to go to my lessons, review my notes at home and create more condensed notes to look through every now and again, rather than having to read pages and pages of some useless information. There are loads of ways to revise, and its been said that you should do 20 minutes of focused revision and try to do the best as possible, and then take a 40 minute break, rather than trying to do everything all at once. If you don't revise, you will end up panicking way more than you really need to, and may mess up on the tiniest questions or make silly mistakes that you could really have answered. Practise makes perfect.

Help with exams
Exams can be ridiculously scary. Massive, freezing cold sports halls, rows and rows of creaky little desks and horrible plastic chairs, an extremely loud clock, and an exam paper that looks like it's been written in hieroglyphics. I had a mock exam a couple of months ago, and ended up having a panic attack in the middle of it. Not fun. But, in case you don't know, you can get help with your exams. I went to my college's mental health nurse who arranged for me to have my exams in a separate classroom  so I don't become overwhelmed, and I think it may really help. You can also get extra time (usually 25%), can have a computer rather than pen and paper and probably other things. I thought you could only get these things if you were disabled in some way, but that's really not the case. It's also important to know that the people marking your exam papers know that you are under scary conditions and do take this into account, so it's never as bad as it seems.

See you soon!
Katie xo