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Your guide to instantly improving your study habits for the long term

Have you ever wondered what the habits of a band 6 student were? Or what it takes to achieve a band 6 result?

Then continue reading as a go through and discuss the 4 fundamental habits that a band 6 student incorporates into their study routine.

Now, a foreword. These are by no means the definitive techniques that all must use to achieve a band 6 result. All students are their own individual and thus have their own methods of study. However, look to these fundamental habits as a way to adjust your own methodology if need be.

We at Stepping Stones Education have observed many students across many schools and have come to agree on a few fundamental techniques that an excelling student displays during the course of their study.

The act of studying is a skill, and like any other can be improved. Never be disheartened by your current results if they are not what you had hoped for, and never be complacent in them either.

Below are the four habits to help you achieve better results.

  1. Planning your time effectively

Before you even pick up your pen and place it to paper or open up that word document, I want you first to think, “How do I best utilise my time? How much in a day can I dedicate to studying? If an examination is approaching, then what topics are being tested and how much time do I have left?”

These questions along with numerous others are important to answer or at least consider before you begin your study. From experience, I can tell you that by answering these questions alone and working out a planned and methodological approach to activities such as preparing for exams, I have:

  • Reduced my stress
  • Spent less time ‘studying’
  • Studied with greater focus and purpose
  • Achieved better results

Now, to the meat of it all. Say you have prepared mentally by understanding your current situation and reasons to study whether it be prepare for an examination or revise over topics. You must now begin mapping on your days and time on paper, Microsoft word, Microsoft excel, or any other app that allows you to set tasks to days.

We recommend the following timetable template to our students, as it is simple and to the point.

Firstly, you must determine how much time you can spend each weekday, this gives you an idea of how to structure your activities and free time. Once you have done this and understand what days you can study you must then allocate the individual tasks which can be or should be accomplished on those days.

Remember! Focus on being task-orientated and not time-orientated as it has been shown to produce better results.

Download our free study timetable template below to try it out yourself.

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Click Here to Download “Study Timetable Template”

An example of the timetable filled out can be downloaded below.

Click Here to Download “Example – Study Timetable Template”

As you can see, colours can be utilised on the weekly timetable to more easily read of what your plans are next.

So remember to plan out your study, not only will you have less to worry about in the future, but your marks will also see a vast improvement if this habit is maintained. Keep in mind that you might be changing the hours you allocate to study over time so consider this as something you might want to update often!

  1. Applying Theory in a Practical Way

A band 6 student’s approach to study goes beyond regurgitating information and rudimentary definitions from the textbook. A band 6 student seeks to understand, interpret, analyse, and ultimately apply their observations to that subject field and broader headings through practical questions.

This isn’t so much a habit as it is a mindset. A mindset that dictates how a student should approach study and what they should do to fulfil this mindset.

The next time your studying and you review over a concept or piece of theory, stop and think, “what is the cause, and what is the effect?” or “Why is this the case? How did it come to be?”. By asking these questions you are slowly working an important muscle that is necessary to becoming a band 6 student, critical thinking.

Critical thinking means to make clear and reasoned thoughts and interpretation of concepts. This is important, as it allows you to tackle problems you otherwise would have not encountered before. You rely less on steps and tricks and more on intelligence and problem solving ability.

Always relate the theoretical knowledge you have or are learning in your subjects whether it be Maths, English, Sciences, or Humanities to real world scenarios, and whenever possible do your own research as well to educate yourself on the surrounding context about whatever it is you are learning. Practiced enough, you will not only see yourself achieving significantly better marks, but also grow a passion and interest in that subject field.

Don’t regurgitate information when you study, but attempt to understand it on a deeper level by relating it to yourself and real world scenarios.

  1. Maintaining discipline and routine

One of the most obvious habits of a band 6 student is discipline and routine. Now, as far as developing a routine is concerned that has already been covered. It is in following this routine day in day out over an extended period of time that is difficult.

Following your set routine requires discipline. That is, the ability to obey your own rules you have set for yourself, and correcting harmful behaviour where necessary. Becoming a disciplined individual requires you to have confidence in yourself, this may sound vague but consider the scenario where you didn’t believe that what you were doing day in day out was contributing to your success in becoming a band 6 student. If that is the case you will most likely have given up already.

Another point I’d like to add and this may sound counter-intuitive to the article, but be process orientated not results orientated. What I mean is this, focus on the process and actions you are doing rather than the outcome. Put all your efforts into making positive expected value actions, what is a positive expected value action? It is one where if repeated enough times will produce a positive outcome.

What are some positive actions I could undertake you may ask? The answer is very simple and one that you’ve understood to have existed for a very long time. You need to take the initiative to formulate your own study plan and carry it out, whether it involves revising homework questions constantly or attempting pass exam papers ever day till the exam.

A band 6 student is also not afraid to seek out help from others, such as other students, teachers, and tutors. Help is always out there, so seek it out!

  1. Constantly developing their maturity and remaining motivated

Finally I would like to end of on this note. Of all the habits mentioned here in this article, I would stress this one the most and that is, be mature. Things will not always be smooth sailing and at times your actions may feel like they have been all in vain. But do not buckle so easily from a poor mark in an exam or a less than average assignment grade, look to these as opportunities to test your resolve. I do not mean to say you must be unconditionally optimistic but aim to always remain collected and calm in the face of failures and obstacles.

Study is difficult, but remember all your peers are going through the same thing. Don’t be loud in your complaints and don’t give up. Through all of this you will become a more accomplished and well-adjusted adult. You will learn to be able to recognise hard work in others and appreciate it in them and yourself as well.


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