3 Steps To Improve The Efficiency Of Your Studying

Hello everyone it’s Zainab here, welcome or welcome back to my blog! I feel like I’ll be writing so many school-related posts this year as I approach my public exams this summer. But today, I wanted to share some of my advice of efficient studying. Let’s jump into it!

FOCUS ON YOUR WEAKEST TOPICS

Focusing on your weakest topics, or topics that you haven’t gone through much, are so important when it comes to the efficiency of your learning. I mean, there’s no point going over a topic if you got 100% on that section in previous quizzes. It will just be wasting precious revision time, and you won’t be learning anything new.

Instead, pinpoint topics that you’ve struggled in and focus on them. That way, your cumulative knowledge of the subject will go up, because you have your new subject knowledge as well as the retained knowledge. Of course, still look over what you do know – but not in as much depth.

SET A LIMIT EVERY DAY

This may sound slightly unconventional initially, but remember that more studying doesn’t necessarily mean that you will do better.

I’ve experienced firsthand the consequences of trying to study too much in one day, and honestly it’s worse than not studying at all. You can just get so burnt out and forget everything!

Instead, you can set yourself a temporal or topic limit. For example, I’m going to revise a maximum of two hours a day, or I’ll revise these 2 subjects today. That way, you know you can achieve something – but also not overworking yourself.

BUILD UP RESOURCES AS YOU GO

Sometimes you are so close to an exam or test, that it’s just not a pragmatic approach to make notes or new flashcards the night before. So, one really time-saving technique you can try, which is so simple, is just saving your resources from time’s of previous revisison.

Each small quiz or assessment you take is building you up to your end of year or public exam, so if you save them and use them to learn – you’re going to save time, and also you’ll be able to improve from how you previously performed!


Thank you so much for reading this post, I hope it was useful. Let me know in the comments what advice you would give to others!

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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.

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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!
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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.

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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!
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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!

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Have a lovely day everyone!

How You Can Be More Efficient With School Work

Hey everyone, Zainab here, welcome or welcome back to my blog. As I’ve gotten older, you guys have too – and we are all getting to harder years with school, and we need to be more efficient with our work. So today, I’m sharing some tips on how to be more efficient with schoolwork. Let’s jump into it!

Do Your Homework The Day You Get It

I know this can seem annoying on the day, but doing your homework straight away will allow you to not be consumed by a build up of homework the day before it’s due. It also means you won’t be as stressed!

Have A Planner To Write All Your Work Down

Sometimes when we get given work, or a date for an exam, we easily forget. So, make sure you have a planner to write down everything so you don’t forget and get worried before an exam or assignment is due!

Surround Yourself With Hardworking People

You wouldn’t always think this, but surrounding yourself with like-minded people is one of the best things you can do, you can all support each other and it will really help you in school.


Thank you so much for reading this blog post, let me know in the comments how you keep up with your schoolwork. Also apologies for the short post, I have been quite busy lately, but I’ll be back on the grind soon!

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Have an amazing day!

How To Study In Lockdown

Hi everyone it’s Zainab, welcome or welcome back to Zainab Chats! I’ve been getting a lot of requests to do more studying and school related posts! So, today I’m going to share some tips for efficient studying in lockdown. Let’s jump into it!

Set Aside Time Every Day
Since we’re in lockdown, we obviously want to relax for a majority of time. So, if you set aside a specific time every day you can really just get it done at a specific time every day so you can maintain routine!

Plan What You Will Do Ahead Of Time
If you plan what you will do ahead of time with a timetable, it will allow you to waste no time so you can just grind down and get your work done!

Give Yourself Breaks
This is probably the most crucial tip, you need to allow yourself at least a couple of breaks so you have something to work towards. This is so you don’t overwork yourself too much!

So guys, that’s all the tips for today! Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed, share all your tips in the comments!

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

My Positive Experience Of Year 7 and 8 In Secondary School

Hey everyone, it’s Zainab, welcome or welcome back to the blog! Today, I’ll be sharing with you guys my experience of my first two years in secondary school as from September I’m starting my 3rd year. Let’s get started!

Context
For anybody whose not in the UK, essentially you start Secondary School when you’re 11 years old, which is called Year 7 (your first year). Then, when you go into Year 9 (the third year) you start your GCSE courses up until Year 11 which is when you take the exams!

Now, let’s talk about my experiences!

Year 7
So, in Year 7, I was kind of adjusting to my new school life, when you’re in new surroundings and there’s new people it’s a little bit hard at first. However, after my first week I was completely fine with everyone supporting me! I will say, to anybody starting secondary school, Year 7 is quite easy and you honestly don’t get too much homework!

Year 8
Once you get into Year 8, the teachers do raise the bar a little bit. You definitely will get more homework and you will gain more independence in the school as you’re no longer a first year. One of my favourite experiences of Year 8, was definitely my options process! Having the freedom of picking the subjects I want to take was definitely nice, if you need tips for choosing exam subjects, click here.

Now that I’ve shared a little bit of my experiences I’ll share with you my goals for Year 9 which I’m starting in September.

Goals For Year 9

  • Create Daily / Weekly notes on what I learn in lessons
  • Get all my Homework done earliest as possible
  • Join more extracurricular activities

These are my main goals for Year 9 but because I’m transitioning from lower school to upper school I don’t know how many I’m going to complete but maybe I’ll do another post in a year explaining my Year 9 Experience!

Thanks for reading this guys, I hope you enjoyed it and it helps for when you start Secondary School!

You want to see more of me and get exclusive updates on my blog? Well check out my socials!
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How To Keep Learning In The Summer

Hi everyone it’s Zainab! Welcome back! Before we get started I want to say thank you for 70 followers! In my last post I shared how to stay positive while in Lockdown Summer! So, today I thought I would share a couple of ways on how to keep your brain exercised in the Summer!

  1. Read A Book
    Most people do this for leisure but reading a book can help increase your vocabulary and if it’s Non-Fiction you could learn some interesting facts!
  2. Learn A Language
    If you can fully master a brand new language then you’re very smart as not many people can do that! So, learning a language could be fun! There’s an amazing free app called Duolingo which you can use to learn new languages which you should totally check out!
  3. Take Kahoot Quizzes!
    So guys, I’m sure most of us do quizzes for things like ‘Which Movie Character Are You?’ but why not take some educational ones too? There’s an app called Kahoot which allows you to take both educational and fun quizzes! Just sign up for a free account and then start quizzing, the best part is you can send the game pin to your friends and you can play online! Have a battle of knowledge!

That’s three ways you can exercise and keep your brain going in the Summer! I didn’t want to give you too many as I know most of us want to relax in our break, which I totally get! Thank you for reading this post, I hope it helps!
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