I joke, but summer isn’t just a time for fun in the sun. When you’re thinking of University, careers and other scary stuff, it’s important to remember summer is a golden time to boost those CVs/Personal Statements. I’m not suggesting work all summer – that is no fun. Maybe look into a couple and keep your eye out for applications opening for 2018. There is no harm trying!
Nuffield Placements – A fabulous way to experience life in research and industry. These placements are offered in STEM and some social sciences. Nuffield source you a placement, reimburse you for travel costs and give you the opportunity to make links with amazing people. I’m currently on my Physics Nuffield Placement now (more on that in future posts), and I can’t tell you enough what an amazing opportunity this is!
Summer Schools & Access Programmes – I know, its hard to think about the dreaded universities! But whilst you are researching future universities (I’d suggest doing a little digging in the summer after Year 11, but before College) take a look at what they are offering you now. It may be reduced grade boundaries after completing certain schemes, summer schools to sample Uni life, or scholarships. Doing your research will make your life easier later on, plus it could open doors to opportunities you may have missed!
Extra Stuff – The last thing you’ll probably want to do is do extra work on your break. However, choosing to study a little will boost your applications, and knowledge, and avoid loosing your ability to think over summer. (We’ve all been there!) Why not take a look at FutureLearn, a site that enables you to choose a short course of your choice and receive qualifications from a University or certified centre in the process. Or, take a look at free lectures, museums & galleries, or a scientific paper to advance your knowledge.
Let me know how you get on. I’m happy to answer any questions or give further advice – just let me know in the comments below! – The Clever Owl
So, here is something new I’m trying. I thought I’d share some of my revision notes. In light of the AS Physics exam next week, I’ve been revising Waves. So, here are my AQA Physics Waves notes, in a variety of colours across a whiteboard.
I’d like to note, I am still learning and am merely a student. So my notes may contain a couple of errors, despite trying to remain as accurate as possible – I apologise in advanced!
This is a trial thing. I don’t know whether I’ll share more of my notes in the future. So if you find this useful, I’d love to know. If you would like me to make more notes, or would like to suggest future topics that I should cover, please just let me know in the comments below!
We have hit exam season – students are stressing, past papers are mounting and invigilators are practising the rules and regulations (well, I imagine they do!). Hopefully, fellow students, you aren’t floundering under the pressure. I also hope that you are feeling prepared. However, just in case you aren’t, here’s what I pack for my exams…
So you might have read previously that I pack everything I might ever need for all of my exams in one pencil case (if you missed this, why not read my last minute exam advice!). I do this for a couple of reasons. The main reason is to avoid unnecessary stress on the night before every exam, trying to remember what you need and locate it all. Pack it all in a big, clear pencil case at the start of exam season – this way you don’t forget anything, don’t add unnecessary stress trying to find a protractor the night before, and can focus on the important stuff. Don’t take anything out till the end of your exams.
In my pencil case, I pack:
Several Pens (in case one runs out mid-essay), several pencils (all sharp), a sharpener (in case I make all of my pencils blunt or need one extra sharp to draw a graph), a calculator (scientific, of course!), a spare calculator (better to be safe than sorry!), protractor (you might not need one, depending on which exams you’re taking), a ruler and a rubber (big must have!). You might decide to pack a highlighter (to highlight key words in questions or quotes in an extract) or coloured pencils (tends to be necessary for media exams). I must stress to CHECK YOUR EXAM BOARD. I might not have covered everything, and the equipment requirements vary from board to board.
That’s it from me. I wish you all the best of luck for your exams and hope to hear about your success in the summer. Be prepared, keep calm and show off – YOU CAN DO THIS!
– The Clever Owl xx
Exam Season is upon us, and to be quite honest, I’m a little nervous this time for my AS exams. It’s normal to get nervous for exams. It’s not good to get overly-stressed or panic-y. Here are some quick tips to ensure things run smoothly on the day and you can focus on the important stuff: acing your exam!
Read Examiners’ Reports. Especially in essay based subjects like English and Humanities, having a little glimpse into the insight and thinking that goes behind marking is brilliant. After completing a past paper, take a look where others have commonly gone wrong and where you can improve. Little things like adding an example after every time you write “quality of life” in Geography can ensure top marks from picky examiners.
Clear Pencil Cases at the Ready! Pack everything you’ll ever need for all of your exams. This will stop the stress when you get home of unpacking and repacking your stuff each night, trying to find your equipment and possibly forgetting something you’ll need for the next day. Simply pack everything in one clear pencil case, and take the pencil case with you into all of your exams. Then all you have to do is take out individual equipment you’re likely to use when you are sat at your desk.
Mint. As you’re sat at your desk, waiting for everyone to file in, that’s when you can get a little nervous. I always put a mint in my mouth before heading into an exam, because not only will I have minty breath, but I have something to focus my attention on whilst I’m sat waiting. My simple trick to combat nerves!
Candidate Number. A pesky series of random numbers that identifies you from everyone else in the country sitting an exam. To avoid stress trying to learn it last minute outside the exam hall, be forward-thinking. Ask your teacher or exam coordinator for your Candidate Number before the exam season and set it as your phone pin (if you can). Therefore you learn your number easily and reduce on-the-day stress.
Good luck to everyone sitting exams this year. Go out and smash it! I’d love to know how they go, and I’m here for any last minute advice – let me know in the comments below or via Instagram.
– The Clever Owl
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Language. I’m going to try to avoid starting the debate about the importance of learning languages. About the ability to communicate in a person’s mother tongue rather than assuming they can speak yours. It’s developing a respect for others and their culture. It’s also a wonderful skill to develop.
But rant over (sorry – I said I wasn’t going to!). Whether you’re learning a foreign language for business, to travel or because you have to (cue exam-related huff!), I have found an app to help!
I love Memrise. I’ll be honest; I found out about Memrise a couple of weeks before my french exam. However, I have continued my french studies past GCSE and I couldn’t think of a better way to learn a language. Whatever your reason, learning a language is SO HARD and there is a mountain of content that takes you a year to cover before you can say a sentence. No need. Everyone’s lives are far too busy to properly sit down and take on extra work. Instead, simply download the Memrise app and complete five minutes of new words, revision of old content, extra help when you’re stuck and speed reviews. Select the topic to learn or work through it all – you’ll cover the breadth of a language in no time!
I only have one complaint. For languages dependant on characters rather than letters – such as Japanese Kanji – Memrise isn’t brilliant. OK, you learn to identify the characters and what they stand for in English, but you don’t practice writing them yourself.
Overall, Memrise is great. It’s about investing your time early to improve your grade, widen your world and develop your character. Let me know what you think!
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh ! Sorry. It’s mock season and I’ve got too much work and too little time. It really is no wonder that at least 1 in 10 teenagers suffer from anxiety, mental health issues or depression – we are all under so much pressure. So – like I hope you do – I have turned to my stressed out play list to calm me down. Not got one? Maybe it’s time to make one to combat the stress and tension of everyday life. Here are my suggestions if you’re stuck for awesome stress-free music:
- Tom Odell. Full Stop. Any of his music is beautiful and bound to chill you out.
- Lianne La Havas – songs like Green & Gold and Unstoppable make you feel light.
- The 1975 – Not all of their music is stress-relieving, but pretty songs like Paris and She Lays Down are just… well, pretty!
- Elbow – I’m very much into my Indie, so I love Elbow. Not to mention they are from my home turf! Try ‘Magnificent (She Said)’ if you’d like to give them a listen!
- Mumford & Sons. What can’t be solved without a banjo?!? My favourites include: Roll Away Your Stone, Lover of the light & Below my Feet.
I hope you are all well and aren’t too stressed. I’d love to know what you listen to to relax! Love, The Clever Owl