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Set your sights


Sometimes you can get so caught up in the day-to-day stuff that you forget the big picture. Take a few moments to remind yourself of your "life-goal" - the thing you really want to achieve - your ultimate target. Whether you want to be rich, live in a posh house, do a particular job, be famous, travel the world, play for England, or whatever - this is the prime motivator that you need to keep uppermost in your mind. In time it may change, or need to be modified, but you should never lose sight of your goal.


What is the best way to eat an elephant?

One mouthful

at a time!

Set intermediate targets.


If you are going to achieve your ultimate goal (which may well be a long way off) it is likely that there are a number of stages that you will need to pass through along the way. (You are hardly likely to "play for England" unless you have achieved local and regional success.) Try to devise a set of intermediate targets. It will help you to stay motivated as you reach each of these stages in turn. To bring it all down to the "here and now", ask yourself what you have to do NOW to get you started on the road.


A few minutes thinking about your life's ambition can help to put things in perspective. Now all the hard work required to do well in your exams seems more worthwhile.


Make a list of

topics to be


and tick them

off when you've learned them.

Short-term targets


To help keep you motivated, it helps if you can see your progress - so why not draw up a list of topics to be covered (within each subject area) and tick them off as you learn each one. More importantly, tick off those topics in which you feel confident.


Parents and teachers will often say that you need to spend "at least X hours a night" revising. Whereas you cannot deny that you do need to put in some effort, the AMOUNT of time you spend is NOT the most important factor. What IS important is WHAT you manage to learn. Too often, although you start off with good intentions, by trying to revise for a lengthy period of time you will get progressively de-motivated and lose interest.


So, instead of saying to yourself, "I will spend 3 hours revising French tonight" - set yourself a specific target. "I will learn the vocabulary on pages 56-57." By being specific, you will be able to check your achievement (perhaps by giving yourself a short test) and will know that you have actually achieved something. This will help to encourage you and keep you motivated, especially if you manage to reach your target in less time than you expected.


It is important that you set yourself reasonable targets so that you achieve something and enjoy the success of that achievement. Failure to achieve can seriously affect your motivation - so start small and build up.


Stay positive


Above all else - adopt a positive approach. Look upon the whole exam thing as a campaign. Equip yourself at the outset. Apply what you learn. Believe in your capability. Remember - at the end of the day, it's YOU who will benefit.



Getting motivated - Planning a revision timetable - Revision techniques - Memory techniques

 Make the most of your learning style - Sources of help - Exam technique