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Exam Motivation


So you have an offer from Oxford? Congratulations! This must be a very exciting time for you. I know that it definitely was for me. However, there was always a voice in my head whispering “You may have got an offer Mary but you still have to get the grades”. And this is true. The hard work doesn’t stop once you get an offer because you need to get those all-important grades. For me, getting an offer made me 100 times more motivated to work hard but there were times when I just felt tired, unmotivated and stressed. These feelings, I’m sure, are pretty universal so here are my top tips to keep motivated until exams are over.

Tip 1 – Keep mentally reminding yourself what you are working for – picture opening your UCAS track on results day to a message saying that you are GOING TO OXFORD UNIVERSITY!!

Tip 2 – Keep physical reminders of your goals around your work space, for example, stick up a picture of your college crest or motivational messages. I know from personal experience that these little reminders work wonders when you are feeling like you can’t possibly revise one more chapter.

Tip 3 – DO NOT SPEND THE NEXT 6 MONTHS WITH YOUR HEAD STUCK IN YOUR BOOKS 24 HOURS A DAY. This is not necessary and it is also definitely not healthy. Granted, Oxford has higher grade requirements than some other universities but this doesn’t mean that you need to spend your every waking moment revising. The tutors at Oxford believe that you are capable of achieving those grades so don’t doubt yourself or assume you can only achieve them if you literally eat your textbooks.

Tip 4 – Set small goals!! Thinking “Oh My Life, I need to revise all of biology unit 3 and 4 as well as all the practicals” is just going to stress you out. Break it down into small chunks and tell yourself that you will do 2 chapters one day and three the next etc. I also found it very useful to make a revision timetable. Find what works best for you and stick to it.

Overall, try to make the most of your last few months at Sixth Form/College because you will miss it when you leave. Take some time out of revision to have fun (and don’t feel guilty when you do so). I remember spending most of my last days in Sixth Form sunbathing with my friends on the field and I still got the grades I needed to. You will inevitably be working hard for the next few months so setting aside time to have fun with your friends and relax is very important. Keep that end goal of being an Oxford University student in your mind. I promise you that Oxford is worth every second of work because you will have the time of your life once you get here. Good Luck and Stay Motivated!

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