Studying in the summer

If Covid-19 hasn’t ruined summer enough, for a lot of us summer work is another added bonus. As a Year 12 student, my to-do list is full of big, seemingly distant tasks like revising for September mocks, personal statement, EPQ and coursework. But, from experience, summer goes too quick and all those tasks that feel so far away are suddenly due next week. To prevent that, I have a few tips for managing and balancing summer work with deserved breaks.

Little and often

forgetting curve

This might be obvious, but doing small chunks over a long period of time is much better than doing all your work the night before. That’s definitely easier said than done though, so having a long term plan and weekly plan will be helpful (I’ll talk about that later). It’s the perfect time to experiment with different techniques and timing, so try and find what works for you. There are lots of good study techniques out there, like:

  • Pomodoro method: 25 mins work, 5 mins break (you can scale it up to 50 mins and 10 mins, for example)
  • 5 minute method: put a timer on for just 5 mins and start the task you’ve been putting off (it’s likely that after 5 mins you’ll want to carry on)
  • Spaced repetition: overcome the forgetting curve by revisiting study material (watch Jade’s video about it here)


Unless you know exactly what you’re doing over the summer, it’s a lot harder to plan to study in the summer than in school time, where you have an idea of what you’re doing everyday. Instead, you’ll have to be a bit more flexible but it’s even more important to plan ahead.

Firstly, make a list of everything you want to get done in the holidays. Then, break your work up into more manageable chunks i.e. if your goal is to revise A-Level maths, break it up into smaller tasks like make notes on logarithms or do practice questions on binomial expansion.

What works well for me next is using Sunday evenings to make a to-do list of everything I want to get done for next week, using this long term plan. I’ll spread my tasks over 2/3/4 days (depending on how much you want to work) without specifying the date. This is because a lot of my plans are spontaneous and it’s hard to know what I’m doing on Friday when I’m planning on Sunday (that’s where the flexibility comes in).

Again, experiment with what works well for you – you might find it easier planning each day or planning less, but I’ve found that my method is flexible but specific enough to make me actually do work!

Mix up revision

If you’re motivated to work long hours and write essays during the summer, I’m jealous and you’re probably the minority. To keep focus, I suggest mixing up your revision— whether that’s frequently changing up your subjects or changing the style of revision. You could make mind maps, test yourself with flashcards, watch YouTube or documentaries on your subject, work with your friends, the possibilities are endless!


This is probably the most important part of studying over summer. Yes, you might have a lot of looming deadlines, but don’t let that stress you out and keep you inside while the sun is shining and your friends are out. You definitely deserve a break, so if you want to spend the first few weeks doing no work, or take a break from work in the middle of summer, or take specific days off, do it! Please don’t burn yourself out in the summer. I think the hardest part of studying is finding the balance between working and relaxing, so don’t worry too much if you’re struggling; everyone finds it hard.

Thank you for reading! If you have any more tips you have for studying in the summer, please share!







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