For those of you who are new to home learning due to the COVID-19 situation, this is for you.
While the following tips are aimed at those studying for their UCAT, the majority of the tips can be applied to aid general studying techniques too. Have a read through, pick out what’s relevant to you and apply them to see a difference on your revision sessions.
Due to COVID-19, you will no longer be able to study in places like public libraries, school libraries, computer labs, and local cafés for a while. You might have found these places suited for your UCAT study sessions due to various reasons such as a productive atmosphere, spaciousness, access to a computer or they were quieter than your home environment. Now that these options are off-limits, you should prepare yourself for spending extended hours in a space at home than usual.
If noise is a problem at home like other people chatting, the TV or siblings playing music, try earphones with some low white noise or focus jazz music which you can find on YouTube or better still try earplugs if you have any accessible. You could observe when your home environment tends to quieten down each day and use that as an opportunity to get some peaceful, undisturbed study done. These might be during the early hours of the morning 5-6am or mid-evening after 7pm.
Is the lighting and temperature of your study space comfortable? Can you open a window to let in some fresh air to keep you alert? Is your chair in need of a cushion to support your back? Is everything you need such as stationery, digital devices and notes within easy access?
Do whatever it takes to make yourself more comfortable, secure and happy in your study environment to bring out the maximum efficiency in your learning and improve your UCAT scores.
Having some routine in your life by sticking to a schedule is a great way to keep yourself moving in uncertain times. While you may not go to classes every day, you should make an effort to wake up at the usual time, get dressed and plan for the day ahead of you. Your study sessions can closely follow that of your normal school timetable if your home environment allows or can be adapted.
Be aware of distractions such as phones, tablets, gaming consoles, remember you control them, not the other way around. It is so easy to drain your time scrolling through social media posts or watching your favourite shows when you are alone. If you find yourself scrolling for hours try locking them away or give them to a member of your family to keep during your study time.
Having said this though, make sure to take a break from time to time - again as you would normally do at school. Reward yourself whenever you reach a milestone, like completing a UCAT mock exam at the end of a revision cycle.
You may have enjoyed studying with your classmates or other friends from time to time. After all, group studying is a fantastic way to eliminate procrastination, help each other to learn and break up the monotony of studying by yourself.
While a group study might not be so feasible physically, you can still reap all the benefits of group studying thanks to programmes like Zoom, Skype and Google Hangouts. With the capability to hold group video conferencing and features like screen sharing, you can continue to learn with and from each other.
Take ownership of your education while helping others, it’s a great way to catch up with your friends and minimise the impact of social isolation.
We’ve highlighted this point several times in our blog posts, but it is of fundamental importance that you stay healthy. Practice good hygiene techniques, engage in regular exercise sessions and eat as healthily as possible to stay physically strong.
Look after your mental health too. Don’t overdo your study and have some downtime, stay positive and get your dose of social interaction, even if often limited to online. You can also consider keeping a journal of your work plans, your progress, and what you are grateful for.
Note: In response to COVID-19, Medify has rolled out a COVID-19 guarantee scheme for those purchasing a UCAT season pass. This means that even if the UCAT exam is delayed, we will guarantee access to the Medify platform until your exam date.
Feeling a bit overwhelmed and anxious? Please don’t worry, head over to our UCAT Online Course and we’ll get you signed up to guide you through this whole process.
We have a bank of over 10,000 questions, a decision-making section, and 8 full mock exams and 18 mini-mock exams; we even give you performance feedback too.
We’ve been lending a successful helping hand since 2009. Medify is here to support you, just reach out to us.