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Starting a new school year is a big deal – for the child, the parents and the teachers. There is a lot at stake for everyone involved, but good intentions will only get you so far. Your tenacity and commitment will be the key determiners in achieving your academic goal. Here are some ways that you can start the new school year off well and put yourself on a strong course for academic success.


Get organised

It is easier said than done in most cases, but an essential first step. Time management is a big part of organisation and so determining how much free time you are likely to have after homework, chores, extra-curricular activities and socialising for additional study is essential. There is a fine line between being active and being overworked. Tread that line carefully by planning your time and calendar well.

A desk planner could be the answer for you so that when new assignments, sports finals, dance rehearsals or birthdays pop up you will already have a good overview of the commitments you already have organised.

A term calendar could also assist you in planning out your study time in relation to upcoming exams and assessment. Countdowns or study periods could be marked so that you plan your time as working towards something rather than just scheduling in separate events or tasks.


One step ahead

Try to pre-empt your teachers ‘surprises’ by asking them well in advance for timelines of assignments and exams. They will be so impressed with your enthusiasm that they may even give you an unwitting advantage by handing over assignment details earlier than you might normally have gotten them if you had just sat back and waited for them to arrive.

If your teacher is unwilling to give you that information ahead of time then be proactive once they arrive. See your teacher immediately after the lesson on the upcoming assessments. Ask for their advice on relevant support materials, query whether an early draft may be possible and definitely ask if there is a previous example they could make available to you.


Support versus advice

For students entering more senior levels of education such as the first year of high school or final years there can be added pressure and strain to start the year off well. There are two options here: support and advice. Each one has its own benefits, but which one you should choose depends on what you are hoping to get out of the year and what kind of concerns you may have.

Advice is seeking out an experienced person in order to interview them about unknown issues to you. Getting their opinion on unfamiliar experiences, teachers, subjects or processes can be a fantastic way of suppressing concern that might otherwise make you undone.

Support is seeking the direct assistance of an experienced person. This could be a head of subject, a graduate student, your parents or a tutor. Their intervention is ideal for steering your new direction positively and setting you off on a course headed towards achieving your academic goals.


Ultimately it is your choice how you wish to prepare for the year ahead, but remember that it doesn’t hurts to always be prepared and ask for help when you need it.