Study With Us – Guest Post Collaboration with Ib

Hello everyone it’s Zainab here, welcome or welcome back to my blog! As I said in my last post, moving forward I want to do more collaborations with you guys. So today, I’m excited to say that I’m collaborating with Ib, fellow teen blogger, from her blog It’s Ib to talk about our favourite study techniques. We thought that would be useful as I’ve just done exams, so it’s nice to look back and see what works and what doesn’t! If you’d like to read my post, then go to her blog Let’s jump into it!

Hi everyone! I’m Ib from It’s Ib

I’m a lifestyle blogger and I’ve been blogging for almost 3 years. I’m also a student like most of you. Since both Zainab and I are currently in our exams period, I thought it would be a great idea to share how we study. It could help us feel motivated and be of great help to you guys as well. Hope you enjoy reading! 

Most times I study using the Active Recall method. There are 3 steps to this method. 

Familiarize yourself with your notes/materials 

This is basically when you actively study. Read your lecture notes, make study cards/notes or anything that can help you remember what you read. Personally, I’ve realized that I recall better when I write down what I’m reading. Yes, I’m the type to write my entire notes again while reading. People find it stressful but I personally enjoy it. I think my brain retains when I write the words out again while sometimes saying it out loud.

Put everything away and try to recall what you read 

You can do this by practicing with past questions or you could set questions for yourself. You can do this while eating, walking or doing other activities. Basically, just try to see if you can recall certain definitions, principles, laws, characteristics etc.

Check how accurately you recalled 

After answering the questions you set for yourself, you can look through your notes or cards to check if you remembered accurately. If you didn’t, you can try studying that part again. This time, it’ll easily stick cause your brain will become more familiarized with it.

The environment

I also think your environment contributes to how well you study. People study better in extremely quiet places, some would like to hear sounds when they study. There’s a video on YouTube I use to study most times. They really help calm my mind and make me study better. At the end, I feel very productive. 

I’ve shared with you guys how I study and the method I use.  Like I mentioned earlier, different strokes for different folks. What works for me might not work for you but if you haven’t found what works for you, I recommend you try these. I hope you enjoyed reading! Thank you very much for having me Zainab! I really love having you in my blogosphere. 


Thank you so much to Ib for taking the time to write this post on my blog. Be sure to check out her blog here, my part of the collaboration is on her blog now! Thank you so much for reading, let me know in the comments what you thought of Ib’s ideas!

You want to see more of me and get exclusive updates on my blog? Well check out my socials!
Instagram – For exclusive updates on posts
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Contact Me if you would like to collaborate or have any other inquiries
Any suggestions or feel like chatting? Comment down below!

Have a lovely day!

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Here Are The Benefits Of A Revision Timetable

Hello everyone it’s Zainab, welcome or welcome back to the blog! As some of you may know, I’m in a very important year at school where I have exams in the Summer, and to prepare for them – we are having mock exams. For me, these exams are starting next week – so I thought I’d share something that’s helped me hugely during my revision: a revision timetable. This has honestly kept me on track so much, and I think I’d be very disorganised without it. So today, I’ll be sharing the benefits of a revision timetable. Let’s jump into it!

It Can Allow You To Plan Cumulatively and See The Overall Picture

I think the one thing that people honestly love about revision timetables is that it can allow them to see the bigger picture and what they’re working towards. Not only can you add in chunks for different subjects, you can also further specifies on the topic, content or type of questions you’ll be doing! This can be really useful with people who have a lot of exams in a given time period as you can revise a variety of subjects in a week and can plan what you’re doing based on the lead up to the exam.

To me, I think it’s a key to exam success – it can honestly work for anything you revise and breaking it down into manageable chunks makes revision much more bearable while having the end in sight!

It Adds A Layer Of Structure To Your Revision

Structured revision is so key to doing well, it allows you to revise specifically so you can get through as much of a course at once. But sometimes, when we think we’re going to revise something, we never think that deep into it so we end up wasting time trying to think, or having a revision session that’s counter productive. But, a revision timetable allows you to choose what exactly you’ll revise, and then you can change this based on how well your revision goes for the rest of your time.

It Can Take Into Account The Rest Of Your Plans

One thing I constantly have to remind myself is not to overwork myself – and I think the timetable really takes good care of that. My timetable allows me to study for a suitable amount of time in a day while also taking time for myself. I think when we get into studying, we’re so focused on just working hard and doing our best – which is incredibly important, but sometimes we get so invested that we can suffer from burnout. So, a revision timetable can really allow you to take a step back and think about yourself for a little bit. It also means you can know prior when you’re taking breaks so your overall day can be well planned!


Thank you so much for reading this blog post, I hope you enjoyed – do let me know in the comments any other advice you have. And good luck for anyone taking exams in the coming weeks!

You want to see more of me and get exclusive updates on my blog? Well check out my socials!
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Have a lovely day!

Here’s Your Guide To The Blurting Revision Technique

Hello everyone it’s Zainab, welcome or welcome back to my blog! If you’ll remember, I recently wrote a post on Active Recall, and how that can help you in school. In the post, I mentioned that blurting is a form of active recall – and today I’ll be getting into the specifics of it. Let’s jump into it!

What Is Blurting?

Blurting is essentially what it sounds like – blurting out information! But the idea is, you do this without looking at any of your notes prior to doing this. That way, your brain has to work harder to retrieve information (this is active recall!) That way, everything that’s been blurted is consolidated information and you’ll have a chance to identify any gaps in your knowledge.

Where Do You Start?

Start by choosing a subject and then choosing a topic within that subject. For my example, I chose Geography and then within that: River Processes.(But you can do this for any subject). I’d also like to note that it will be much more easier afterwards if you choose medium sized topics that are already sectioned off in your notes / revision guide because it will make your life a lot easier.

Then, I’d find a blank piece of paper – and blurt down everything I already know about river processes. Remember, don’t look at anything prior because the key is to make your brain work.

Once I’ve done this, I’ll look back through the notes for that subject and add in any extra information or correct any mistakes I’ve made. And I’ll highlight them to make it very clear – because the important information is the information I don’t know.

How Do You Progress Afterwards?

After you’ve finished the blurt, you just have to revise the content again. Remember, the key is to revise your weak points (the areas that you highlighted on your finished blurt) because that’s where the gaps in your knowledge are, and there’s no point revising what you’re already confident on. Remember, this helps with efficiency so working smart would be revising only what you need to revise!

Again, it’s best to do this with another active recall technique. Like flashcards, teaching someone or even a second blurt.


I hope this proved useful for any of you who have exams coming up! Let me know in the comments your favourite revision methods.

You want to see more of me and get exclusive updates on my blog? Well check out my socials!
Instagram – For exclusive updates on posts
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Any suggestions or feel like chatting? Comment down below!

Have a lovely day!

Let’s Talk About Academic Pressure…

Hello everyone it’s Zainab here, welcome or welcome back to my blog! Today’s post will be another school-related one. A while ago when I posted my reminders for the new year, I mentioned that I didn’t want to let my grades define me and put too much pressure on myself. It was so comforting to hear that other people related to me, so today’s post will be a discussion on academic pressure. Let’s jump into it!

What Exactly Is Academic Pressure?

An experience in which a student is burdened by the demands of time and energy to achieve specific academic goals

Academic Pressure by The Cougar

In my opinion, academic pressure is very much a cause of burnout due to the fact that a student feels like they can’t cope with a lot of work / revision in a certain amount of time. Unfortunately, this is becoming increasingly popular nowadays causing students to suffer from a lot more mental health problems.

Where Does It Stem From?

So, I hate to say it but academic pressure can actually come from within ourselves sometimes too. For the longest time I would blame other factors. Of course, they might be a small root cause. But at the end of the day, it’s you who decides whether you listen to those external voices or not, and ultimately you’re the one who will be doing the work which might create even more pressure.

With that being said, there still can be stemming factors which prompted you to put pressure on yourself in the first place. A few of them are:

  • Parental Expectations
  • Having A High Achieving Family
  • Teacher Expectations
  • Succeeding Friends
  • High Achieving Local Community

I do just want to note that these are just a few examples that I can think of, and that everyone’s experiences are different. in fact, some of these factors may be indirect causes instead of direct. For example, a high achieving family may never want to put pressure on you, but because of that you may feel like you have to do well for them to see your potential. This can still cause pressure regardless of whether they directly put pressure on you or not. And even that can be really upsetting,

Why Do You Put It On Yourself?

We’ve already talked about where the pressure stems from but the question is why do we let these causes consume us so much? And why do we listen to them and let them get the best of us. For me, I really believe societal pressure is the reason why we let these root causes get to ourselves so much.

Let’s take the example of high achieving family or friends. If they explicitly tell you to do well and you take pressure from that, then they become that external society wishing you do well. And if you feel that the pressure is indirect (they didn’t explicitly say anything) that could sometimes be even worse because external societies such as other families or other classmates will expect the same from you as you’re in a high achieving family or all your friends do well.

Nowadays, a lot of studying/dream grades are romanticised on social media by my generation. Which I think is great! It’s motivating students to work hard. But, I think we should just be really careful about the extent it goes to, because we don’t want to cause any pressure for any other students.

Overcoming The High Levels Of Pressure

Now don’t get me wrong, a little bit of pressure is extremely motivating – but too much is incredibly damaging. Honestly, overcoming high levels of student pressure isn’t just something that can happen overnight. It’s a lengthy process and one that I’m still going through. But a thing that really helps me is knowing that school doesn’t last forever. They’ll come a time where you reach your last day of school or university and all the pressure will just fade away, and you’ll be able to move on with the rest of your life.

Another thing I’d say is to be direct with yourself and others. Tell yourself you won’t exceed a maximum limit of studying each day and then also let your family and friends know how you’re feeling so they can hold you accountable. This has helped me so many times!


This post was quite personal for me, and I hope it could be relatable for anyone going through the same thing. Writing these posts honestly serve as a very beneficial reminder for myself!

You want to see more of me and get exclusive updates on my blog? Well check out my socials!
Instagram – For exclusive updates on posts
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Any suggestions or feel like chatting? Comment down below!

Have a lovely day!

Why Your Grades Are NOT The Defining Feature Of Your Life

Hello everyone it’s Zainab here, welcome or welcome back to Zainab Chats! Today’s post is sort of going to be a follow up to my school goals post – in which I stated I wanted to stop letting my grades define me. A lot of people said they could relate to this, which was so comforting to me! So today, I’ll be sharing the reasons as to why your grades are not the defining feature of your life right now, and hopefully it can act as a reminder to myself too! Let’s jump into it!

School Is Only Temporary

If you think about it, throughout the course of life, you are only in school for around 15 years maximum, because then you’ll move onto university, jobs etc! The average life expectancy is around 73 years. That’s only around 20% of an average life in school. Therefore, your grades will feel like the most important thing in your life right now (and don’t get me wrong, they are still worth working for).

But in the bigger picture, your grades will only account for a small portion of your future. I’m sure you will go on to do even bigger and better things after you leave school. So, don’t feel like they are the defining feature of your life because that can stress you out when your tests and exams are only temporary in your life. don’t go to plan

They’re Only Determined From One Performance

I’m not sure about globally, but most schools where I live determine your grades based on a final exam rather than class performance (that’s how GCSEs and A-Levels work). This may work in a lot of people’s favours. But can sometimes go against them. As it means that even if you vigorously prepare, you don’t know what external factors could come into play on the day. Besides from the exam preparation, you have no control over what’s being asked, how long it will take to get there etc. These are all things that could alter your final grade, all because it’s determined from one exam on one day.

The point being, that your school life will still go on even if things don’t go to plan on exam day. Of course, make sure you succeed on the factors you can control, but besides that, you need to realise that there are other factors that aren’t taken into account when deciding your grades. Therefore, your grades are not a 100% accurate reflection of your performance – so please don’t let that define you if you don’t get the results you wanted.

You Have So Many More Aspects To Your Education

I know that when we think of the word education, one of the first things that comes to mind is grades. Nowadays, there’s growing pressure through social media and other factors to have the perfect grades and essentially romanticise your school life. Don’t get me wrong, grades are important. But we’re forgetting about other important educational aspects such as extracurricular activities and volunteering which play just as large a role in your future as your grades.

In 10 to 15 years, I’m sure a lot of employers will be focusing on your extracurricular activities and work experience that’s listened on your CV much more than your grades – as they show the hands on work you can do. Yes, work hard to make sure your grades show as much of your potential as possible, but please don’t overwork yourself because you also have other parts making up your education too.


Writing this post really acted as a great reminder for me as I have been going through my first week of school. I hope it can act as a reminder for anybody who feels like this too, remember your worth and know it’s much more than your grades! Thank you so much for reading, let me know any other advice you have in the comments.

You want to see more of me and get exclusive updates on my blog? Well check out my socials!
Instagram – For exclusive updates on posts
Goodreads – You can see any books I’ve read or even recommend me one!
Contact Me if you would like to collaborate or have any other inquiries
Any suggestions or feel like chatting? Comment down below!

Have a great week!

How Active Recall Can Help To Level Up Your Studying

Hey everyone, welcome or welcome back to Zainab Chats! In the midst of back to school content, I thought I’d share a study technique that I learnt about at the end of last year which is active recall. It’s a game-changing study tip, one that’s helped so many other students (including myself) in school, so today I’ll quickly be sharing this technique with you guys. Whether it’s for school, university, work etc – this can work for anyone. Let’s jump into it!

What is Active Recall?

Active Recall has fairly recently become quite a renowned study tip for students because it’s so universal. Essentially, Active Recall works by you having to retrieve the information from your brain instead of taking it in like conventional study methods. There are many researchers who have found that using active recall in revision has proven to be much more effective then rereading notes or other inefficient methods!

Read More About Active Recall

Methods of Active Recall

  • Past Papers
  • Answering Your Own Questions
  • Blurting
  • Flash Cards
  • Teaching Someone Else

How Does It Work?

Active Recall works simply by making sure the knowledge from your revision goes to your long term memory instead of your short term memory so that you can easily recall it in a test.
By using a recall method instead of the traditional way of just looking over your work, it’s going into your brain once again and will be remembered for longer because your brain is really working in order to retrieve that information.
It also works out to be a lot more effective because once you have recalled everything you remember, that means you can spend more time focusing on what you don’t know and learn them instead of just repeating what you do know.

Read More About The Effectiveness Of Active Recall


Thank you so much for reading this blog post, I know it was a short one but that’s because I’m planning to go over each method of active recall in more detail in a separate post. So, let me know what you’d like to see next!

You want to see more of me and get exclusive updates on my blog? Well check out my socials!
Instagram – For exclusive updates on posts
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Contact Me if you would like to collaborate or have any other inquiries
Any suggestions or feel like chatting? Comment down below!

Have a lovely week everyone!

Reminders For The New School Year

Hello everyone, it’s Zainab, welcome or welcome back to my blog! You all really seemed to enjoy my post from last week about my goals for the upcoming school year. With August coming to end, some schools have already started and some are beginning within the next couple of weeks. So today, I’ll be sharing some practical and mindful reminders heading into the next academic year!

Make Sure All Your Revision Is Up To Date

Going into a new year (especially an exam year) means the level of how much content you’re studying with probably increase. Meaning that you’ll have new things to learn and studying. It’s important to make sure you’re prepared for that. So, save yourself time by making sure all your previous year’s revision resources are made and ready so you can just focus on the new content!
As a side note, this is your reminder to have an up to date planner ready. This will really be helpful for planning revision during exam season, when to do homework & more.

Keep A Record All Your Achievements

This is such a great hack that I actually read from Pooja’s blog post about Impostor Syndrome: which is having a record for your achievements. Going into a new year can definitely be stressful, but among that you will have moments where you will be celebrated for your hardwork. So keep a folder, record, draw etc. Just something to store all your achievements. So if you ever reach a hard point during the year or don’t feel worthy of yourself, you can have that reminder of your achievements and know you can get through it!

Make Sure You’re In Beneficial Environments

Going into a new school year is a great way to restart. So, feel free to take time to evaluate your situations, and just make sure you have a good environment around you. Be with people who will make you happy when you feel stressed, but also have the same work ethic to push yourself.
And if you don’t have that, you can stay with the same people – maybe you can just be the one to help them!
Also, this doesn’t have to be just friends. It could be, going to a study session for a subject with other people, or studying at the library where a lot of other teens are!


Thank you so much for reading this post – I know these reminders were helpful for me, so let me know in the comments if they were for you too!

You want to see more of me and get exclusive updates on my blog? Well check out my socials!
Instagram – For exclusive updates on posts
Goodreads – You can see any books I’ve read or even recommend me one!
Contact Me if you would like to collaborate or have any other inquiries
Any suggestions or feel like chatting? Comment down below!

Have a lovely day everyone!

A Guide To A Productive Summer Break

Hello everyone, it’s Zainab, welcome or welcome back to my blog! It’s the beginning of the summer holidays now – and I could not be more excited. One thing I’m looking forward to is getting time to relax, however I think it is important to give yourself a small amount of time in the Summer to do something productive (and this can be done in a variety of out-of-the-box ways) So today, I’ll be sharing my guide to being productive this summer break!

Firstly, What Does It Mean To Be Productive?

Resulting in or providing a large amount or supply of something

Cambridge Dictionary

Above is the simplest definition of the word ‘productive.’ In this context, it’s doing a lot of something that can stimulate your brain or give it some type of new information (which usually provides pleasant results). For example, studying would be considered productive as it’s reinforcing new information!

Productivity means something different to everyone. To one person, it might be writing a fun blog post, or to another person it might be a 3 hour study session. Whatever it means to you, you can find ways to implement it, in the simplest ways, even in your summer break.

1 – Interleave Revision Sessions

Since this is summer break, I still want to include studying as a small part of my productivity. During your summer break, it is not necessary to work everyday for 6 hours a day (because the whole point of the break is to have time off of school). But, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to just interleave a few revision sessions over the course of the weeks during the break just to go over your notes before the new school year!

6 Week Break Example

  • Week 1 & 2 – Relax/Enjoy your summer break to the fullest
  • Week 3 – Exactly the same just include a few revision sessions over the course of that week
  • Week 4 & 5 – Relax/Enjoy your summer break to the fullest
  • Week 6 – Exactly the same just include a few revision sessions over the course of that week to prepare for back to school.

Even during the weeks where you include a few sessions, you don’t have to do that much! Maybe go over your notes from the previous year, or check up on anything you were unsure about. I’d say maximum do an hour a day as you’re only consolidating your notes – and pick one day to do a specific subject! Also, feel free to alter this if you make plans or are going on holiday (remember it’s your break so you don’t have to stick to this like an exam timetable!)

2 – Visit A New Place

It might sound surprising, but even by visiting a new area or attraction, it can still be counted as productive. Because you can provide your brain with new information, whether it’s being exposed to a new culture in a landmark, learning a new skill at an event or vising a museum with interesting facts!

A new place could really help you to expand your skillset and try new things – which is still productive. (Remember productivity is not just academic success!)

Some places I’d like to go are: Museums, Farms, Observatories etc! Many of these may also be free so check your local areas to see if there’s any new places you can visit this summer.

3 – Start A Passion Project

Everytime someone asks me to recommend them to do something new, I always think of a passion project – because they are amazing in so many ways!

Passion projects could include: A Youtube Channel, A Blog, A Podcast, Creating a Small Business etc.

These projects are the best because you can make them all about whatever you’re interested in, and they are known to benefit so many people in the future because of the new skills they gain and the experiences they go through.

Plus, your passion project will be completely different to someone else’s project so it helps it’s uniqueness. And it won’t feel like work if you’ve decided create one about something you truly love, and most people who start these always say it’s one of their best decisions!


I hope this post was useful to anyone who wants to have a fun summer while still being productive – remember productivity can be achieved in so many ways. Thanks for reading, please comment your summer plans and what you’re going to do!

You want to see more of me and get exclusive updates on my blog? Well check out my socials!
Instagram – For exclusive updates on posts
Goodreads – You can see any books I’ve read or even recommend me one!
Contact Me if you would like to collaborate or have any other inquiries
Any suggestions or feel like chatting? Comment down below!

Have a fantastic day!

Advice for Studying From Home

Hey everyone, it’s Zainab, welcome or welcome back to my blog! This past week has been the beginning of public exams in the UK. My public exams aren’t until next year, but I know a lot of people who are studying for them currently, so I thought I’d share some of my advice for independent study at home!

Space Out Your Revision Using A Planner

When you get given the dates for your exams, I’d recommend you write them all down in a planner. You can then go in and space out each subject for different days so you have enough time to revise in time for the exam.
I’d also recommend you write down the specific topic you memorise as well so that you can go back to it if you’re still not 100% and can keep track of how much of the course you’ve revised

Use The Pomodoro Method

The Pomodoro method is such a good revision method that I have to recommend – it’s so great at preventing burnout! Essentially, the way it works is you work for 25 minutes, then you have a five minute break and you repeat. I really like this as you can allocate each interval for a different topic and then go back to it for a refresher!

Change Up Your Environment

This isn’t so much of a revision technique, but more a piece of advice. I’ve spent exam weeks just revising in my room, and it gets really boring and feels like my room isn’t my area of the house anymore as it’s just consumed by revision. So, try moving your revision to another room in your house or your local library so you don’t get as fed up and you can still be motivated to revise!


Thank you so much for reading, I wanted to make this short as I know people want to spend more time revising. Good luck for anyone doing exams for the next few weeks!

You want to see more of me and get exclusive updates on my blog? Well check out my socials!
Instagram – For exclusive updates on posts
Goodreads – You can see any books I’ve read or even recommend me one!
Contact Me if you would like to collaborate or have any other inquiries
Any suggestions or feel like chatting? Comment down below!

Thanks for reading!

Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting My GCSEs

Hey guys, it’s Zainab here, welcome or welcome back to Zainab Chats! Since the Spring break is over, everyone is going back to school and exam season is starting. But it’s also the period where UK Students may be choosing their GCSE courses and some schools even start them midway through the years.

I’m in the 2nd year of my course so I’ll be sharing what I wish I knew before starting them. This post will be split into 3 sections: Choosing Subjects, Revision & Workload/Stress. If you’re not in the UK, you can apply this to any school curriculum you have to choose/have exams for. Let’s jump into it!

Choosing Subjects (What You Should Know)

  • Pick subjects that you constantly enjoy learning about
  • Ask yourself if you will still like the subject in 2 years time
  • Choose a variety of theory/practical based subjects to add variety to your choices
  • Check your school website to see what each subject’s curriculum is before you commit to it

Revision (What To Keep in Mind)

  • You may have different revision techniques depending on the subject
  • Find your preferred revision strategy ASAP
  • Trial a range of methods to see what works for you (Mindmaps, Notes, Flashcards, Audio etc!)
  • Any revision resources need to be made before hand – it will allow you to spend more time revising

Workload/Stress (What To Remember)

  • Procrastination will find it’s way back to you – do revision or assignments quickly
  • Someone else will know how you’re feeling, ask for help if needed
  • Breaks are vital to your success too
  • Remember to take some time every day to distress away from your working environment

I hope this post was useful to anyone going into exam years soon, this is information I definitely wish I had 2 years ago. Thank you so much for reading, let me know how exams/school are going for you in the comments!

You want to see more of me and get exclusive updates on my blog? Well check out my socials!
Instagram – For exclusive updates on posts
Goodreads – You can see any books I’ve read or even recommend me one!
Contact Me if you would like to collaborate or have any other inquiries
Any suggestions or feel like chatting? Comment down below!

Have a lovely day everyone!