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How to Survive Your Last Semester of Sixth Form

The start of this new year means so many different things to billions of people worldwide. However, to students in their last year of sixth form, it means A-Level or IB exams coming up soon, as well as coursework deadlines around the corner. At this point, everything gets hard to deal with. Trying to juggle your school work, relationships, university interviews and a part-time job (if you have one) can cause a lot of stress on you. Here are a few tips on how to survive the last few months of sixth form.


  1. Finish your coursework: Although it may not seem like it, coursework is very important when it comes to your final grade. You may not need to pull all-nighters studying for it but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put your all into the coursework.  Completing your coursework and getting a good grade on it offers you the opportunity to walk into your exam with a high grade in that module. Coursework isn’t done in timed conditions unlike exams and on top of that, you get the guidance of your teachers as well.
  2. Make a study plan: It’s surprising to know that some people don’t use study plans. Study plans make guiding yourself through topics and your subjects easier. A study plan will allow you to feel organized and give you a sense of direction with your subjects. Also with a study plan, your priorities become clear the requisite level of importance and effort can be directed to the learning of each subject.
  3. Time management: Time management is very key in life, especially at this crucial point in sixth form. You probably still have coursework deadlines, studying for exams, a part-time job, relationships and university interviews to think about. Managing your time for all of these factors may seem impossible but it is essential that you do so or else it will get stressful. With time management, it is important to delineate a time limit in which to complete your different tasks. The time constraint will push you to focus and be more efficient, even if you end up having to go back and add a bit later.
  4. Try and visit applicant days: After hearing back from your universities on UCAS, all of your universities will hold applicant days. Applicant days are a chance for you to experience your chosen major in greater depth, visit the university campus, meet the people who will be teaching you for the next three to four years and talk to current students as well. Being able to visit your applicant days for your different universities will play a part in the universities you end up choosing as your firm or insurance choice.
  5. Focus on learning, not just memo-rising. I used to think the opposite and couldn’t care less about actually learning in my subjects. None of my subjects play a big part in the major I’ve chosen at one of my future universities, so I felt I might as well just memorize everything I need to know for my final IB exams. However, even though I’m not entirely interested in some of my subjects, listening to my teachers and actually learning will help you to understand and study efficiently.
  6. Take time to relax: You may think, “I don’t have any time for myself, relaxation is not an option”. Now that is a thought one should never think. Once again it all comes down to time management and fitting time into your busy schedule for you to relax. These next few months will be very stressful without a doubt but it is essential that you take time for yourself, step back and relax. Don’t allow your last year of sixth form to take on toll on your health because you’re so caught up in good grades. Remember, your health comes before anything else.

The next few months will be a hard time and there will be times that you feel like giving up but just know that you can do this and if you need any extra support, don’t be afraid to talk to your form tutor, friends, family, teachers or your head of year. Sometimes it feels like the teachers are against us but they truly want the best for us and will be willing to help if you need any extra help in your studies. Remember to stay healthy and take care of your mental health.

Photo credit: Joie de Jodie

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