After the long summer break it is difficult to get back into good study habits, especially while the sun is still shining outside. However, with a bit of forward planning, breaking back into an academic routine can be easier than expected.
The six P's mnemonic comes into play here: Proper Preparation Prevents Pretty Poor Performance. Students need to ensure they have all the back to school essentials, textbooks, stationery, clothing etc.
Starting a 'working' routine a week or so before the end of the holiday also helps. This means going to bed and getting up at the same sort of time as on a school night. By getting the body back into a routine, the physical impact of going back to school is minimised and it becomes easier to cope with the sudden onslaught, without facing excessive exhaustion or broken sleep.
Knowing the timetable for the year quickly and intimately can increase awareness of responsibilities and teachers' trends in setting homework. This more easily allows a balance between school and social life to be found. It can also help in the production of a year-long study plan, especially helpful in exam years, to avoid undue stress at certain times. If you plan to hire a private tutor, start looking around now: don't leave it until there's a huge pile of exam revision to get through.
What study practices have you found work over the years and what advice would you give to current pupils who are headed back to school next week? Is it merely a case of discipline and getting into a new routine, or are there some useful 'short-cuts' that could be suggested?