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As we are heading into the middle of the school year, our international students are finding it challenging to juggle all the school work and preparing for assessments and exams. 

At this term’s international student assembly, we share the tips on learning smarter and the effective study habits that our students can develop and apply. (Reference:

Some of the good tips and habits to be a successful student could be:

  • Plan when you are going to study
  • Study at the same time to create a consistent, daily study routine if possible
  • Each study time should have a specific goal
  • Start with the most difficult subject first, etc.

Our International student leaders, Audrey Zohrab and Kayla Shen, and one of our Year 13 students Frankie Wang also shared their useful tips.

Audrey Zohrab (Year 13 domestic student, International Student Leader) 

I am a very bad procrastinator. I have a habit of stressing about due work, but not getting the motivation for completing it until it’s close to the deadline. Recently, I have come to realise that this is because I get easily overwhelmed by the amount of work I still have to complete and therefore I just don’t know where to start. I am also easily distracted and will honestly do anything before beginning that mountain of school work. However, despite my tendency to procrastinate, I have some strategies to help overcome this and achieve my goal results in NCEA.

My best advice is to start early. At the moment in biology class, we are doing work for an external on ecology. There are lots of vocabulary and terms that will be expected knowledge when I go to take the exam. I could take two approaches to this; I could create flashcards for these new terms as I learn them now, or I could cram in this knowledge during exam season where I will undoubtedly have a million other things I need to do. This can be true for other subjects as well, if you have an internal where you know you will be allowed a cheat sheet, you should begin creating that cheat sheet as soon as you begin learning the content – this will be good for both your understanding of the material and make your life a whole lot easier when it comes to taking your internal. Also, by doing this, you can curb the procrastination because it spreads out the workload.

Something else which stops me from procrastinating as much is making sure that there are no distractions, sometimes I simply just plug my phone in far away from me, other times more drastic measures must be taken. I have a phone app called ‘Flora’ where it plants a digital tree which prevents me from entering other apps because then my tree will die. I find that this method really works for me because it allows me to be completely focused on my task for the duration of the 25 minute timer.

If I can leave you with one piece of advice that you take away from this talk, it would be to make sure you have a balance between your home life and school. Even if you have to spend that whole day studying, go on that walk outside, make yourself that tasty lunch, you will feel a whole lot better.


Kayla Shen (Year 13 student from China, International Student Leader)
I would like to share some study tips I have. 

One thing I feel which is really important is to always read the marking schedule whenever you do a test. It gives you an overall understanding what points you need to get to. 

Another important thing is to stay motivated. When you’re studying, it helps to keep in mind your reasons for doing all this hard work, like a course or career you’re working towards. It can help to have something in your study space to remind you of your goals. 

There’s also a very helpful way I found out to help you prepare external exams which is to read through those past year papers. Usually there would be some similar type questions and you could learn from them. 

Review and revise is also very important. At least once a week, you should go back over the things you’ve studied in class. Thinking things over can help you understand the concepts and help you remember when you need them the most. If you study a little bit every day, you’ll be continually reviewing things in your mind. This helps you understand things. It also helps you avoid the stress of last-minute cramming.

Frankie Wang (Year 13 student from China) 

My and my friends’ tip to study effectively is finding a quiet place where you can focus on your school work well. 

Our another tip is doing your work in class as much as possible. By doing so, you can concentrate on your work without other distractions. You can also get help from your teacher easily when you are stuck.

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