Take our advice

Take our advice

With just one more term to go, we asked our cadets their tips for surviving the final few weeks before the summer holidays

Have a plan and switch off the phone

For the last term, most schools follow the Summer Timetable, which means you can leave at around one to two o'clock. But don't think that you'll have extra time for rest and fun and not start doing any homework until 3.40pm (when schools normally close). You will regret it if you do.

There's around a month left for the finals, and it's usually the week before the exams when you'll truly feel that time is running out. Start preparing for the exams now that you have the time. Otherwise, it could be too late because unexpected things might happen, such as extra lessons or preparations for out-of-school activities.

Draw up a study plan, indicating what subjects you are going to revise each day. Your plan should include study breaks, and you should rigidly stick to your timetable, so there's no excuse at all to check your WhatsApp or Instagram during revision. Your phone is your major distraction in times like this, so it's best to switch it off. Time is limited so make good use of it.

Cheryl Yuen, 16, Diocesan Girls' School

Know your deadlines, revise and relax

Deadlines are extremely annoying, but once you reach a certain stage of your secondary school life, you'll learn to deal with them. If you keep track of the tasks and give yourself enough time to complete them, you'll be fine. Otherwise, you'll have to pull an all-nighter to complete your 2,000-word assignment.

It's also important to revise what you've learned over the past year and refresh your memory. You might be surprised to find that things you understood in the past don't seem quite as clear any more. Perhaps spend your weekend going over the content from the previous week or month and see what you've missed.

After you've gone through all the trouble of writing, reading and revising, it's best to take a break, have a cup of tea and sit back. It's never a good idea to overwork yourself in the last term (unless you have examinations), so feel free to relax at home and watch cat videos.

Henry Lui, 14, Sha Tin College

Prioritise and set a timetable

Exams leech away your life, forcing you to stay up late because you have decided to cram a year's knowledge in one night.

You could have avoided this by paying attention to what your teachers said, but you were too busy gossiping about your love life instead. Before you end up with a large pile of notes that need to be embedded in your brain a day before the exam, take this as an early warning and start spending time wisely.

Prioritise! Think whether football is more important than revising when exams are just two weeks away. Set a timetable and make sure that you end up studying rather than WhatsApping your friends while your notebooks lie empty.

Don't let exams destroy your peace of mind. You still need to take breaks as you strive to understand difficult concepts.

Dhruv Singh, 16, YMCA of Hong Kong Christian College

Treat yourself well

It may be flogging a dead horse to bring up the usual words of wisdom: "eat healthy, exercise regularly and sleep well." Treating your body properly is obviously the easiest way to make it perform well.

Any student can say time management is the key to success, but doing it is the problem. You should split a seemingly impossible task (such as acing the exams) into smaller goals that you can comfortably manage.

Take short and regular breaks that do not turn into five-hour Breaking Bad marathons, and never pull all-nighters - you'll want to walk into the exam the happiest person in the world, not a brain-dead grouch.

Also, hang out with people whose company you enjoy. Everyone's going through the same thing. Find people who will understand you and make you smile, cheesy as it may sound. Don't be afraid to cancel plans and make arrangements that you could look forward to.

Avoid stressful friends who've done - or at least claim they've done - all the work last year and like to show off their knowledge.

Daniel Monteiro, 16, South Island School

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Take our advice

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