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With too many tempting mince pies and general merriment prying you away from your desk, it might seem hard to get any “real” revision done over the Christmas holidays. Unfortunately, as fate would have it, your most important and crucial study period is upcoming, especially with mock GCSEs round the corner and the real thing (for GCSE, A-Level and Pre-U) just five months away. Easter will be a flurry of study classes, revision space and general panic and pandemonium, so taking the opportunity to study over Christmas is actually a welcomed chance to get ahead of the game and enjoy learning.

We’ve compiled some helpful tips for effective revision over the holiday season.

Write your key objectives

You don’t need a regimented day-by-day, hour-by-hour, study schedule, but you do need to know what you want doing. It just needs to be some key objectives you want achieving over the holidays. If you’re studying The Handmaid’s Tale for English or revising M1 in Maths, then sketch out some key bits you want done before the New Year. Whether it’s making notes on character and theme or working your way through a handful of past papers, then make sure you get your key objectives completed.

Find your rhythm

The holidays are for relaxing and spending time with family – so make sure your study time isn’t too intense. Maybe you want to lie in over the December holidays, then do so, but make sure you try and get in an hour or two of study before bed – you’ll appreciate giving yourself a head start come the grueling March to May months.

Work with friends

The great thing about the Christmas holidays is that your friends will also be off from school and looking to catch up outside of the classroom. Perhaps organise an afternoon of Christmas shopping and study; trying to put the studying first so it’s out the way and you can spend the rest of the afternoon picking out gifts.

Make it fun

Seeing as you have an excess of family and friends around you, and only a limited number of dinner topics to explore that steer clear of religion, politics and weird uncle Larry, you may as well club together to further your education. Why not get them to test your knowledge using notes or textbooks; they’ll probably learn a thing or two themselves, and it makes revising more fun and interactive.

Bedtime reading

If the thought of reading your textbook before bed makes your toe’s curl – then don’t. Why don’t you read around your subject to further your general knowledge. Even if it won’t come up in the test necessarily, you are studying your chosen subjects because you fundamentally enjoy them; so broaden your expertise and read around the subject.