Hey there, welcome to my blog "Study Smarter, Not Harder: The Ultimate Guide to Effective Learning for Pupils, Parents, Carers & Teachers". I'm so glad you decided to check it out. Whether you're a pupil, parent, carer or teacher, you probably know how challenging it can be to balance schoolwork, homework, exams, work, and life in general. Maybe you're feeling overwhelmed by the amount of information you have to learn, or frustrated by the lack of feedback you get from your teachers. Maybe you're struggling to motivate yourself or your child to study, or to find the best methods and strategies that work for you or your students. Or maybe you just want to improve your grades and achieve your academic goals.
Whatever your situation, this blog is for you. In it, I'll share with you some of the most effective and proven techniques for studying smarter, not harder. This blog is based on my own experience as a student, a teacher, and a lifelong learner. I've tried and tested many of the methods I'll share with you, and I've seen them work for myself, my students and for others. I've also done a lot of research on the science of learning and the best practices from experts in the field. In addition, I aim to document some useful teaching strategies and ideas, so hopefully teachers will find value in what I share too.
Flashback to 2010 and I was sitting my Standard Grade exams (remember those?), followed by my Higher exams in 2011 and Advanced Higher exams the following year. As a 'Grade A' student, I remember the stressful experience of studying for these exams and the sheer pressure I put on myself to perform well. I remember having what I now think was a panic attack when studying for my Advanced Higher Biology exam during study leave in 2012. This was caused by exam stress and pressure, mostly brought on by myself. Not only that, but the amount of time I spent studying for all of my different subjects meant that I lost out on quite a bit of 'living' during my teenage years. Before you ask... yes, I did have friends (and still do)! Between 2012 and 2017, it was slightly worse during my time at University as the material to be learned only got harder and greater in volume. For some reason, I thought this meant that I had to spend even more time revising for each of my courses. Sometimes this meant 10+ hour days of re-reading notes, highlighting and attempting past paper questions. However, I now realise I wasn't being efficient with my time. If only I had learned how to study smarter, not harder, then I could have spent more time on the things I enjoyed doing, and less time up to my eyeballs in revision.
Fast forward to the present day, and my perspective on how to study effectively has changed massively as a teacher. My seven years of experience teaching and tutoring, combined with my personal interests in the science of how we learn and memory, have led to a greater knowledge of the revision techniques that work, and the ones that don't. This has involved reading books, blog posts and journal articles, listening to education podcasts, speaking to other teachers and professionals in the education field and engaging with them on Twitter, and trying out different revision strategies with my own pupils. In this blog, I'll take you through some of the things I've learned over the years and provide lots of practical tips along the way.
If you follow along, hopefully you’ll find value in the insights that I share and learn something new. If you do, I encourage you to share my blog with others who might benefit from it. Together, let's create a community of effective learners and empower the next generation to study smarter, not harder.