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Make the most of the Christmas break

Week 15

18 December 2017

It might be the week before Christmas, but there are a couple of important things we need to talk about: mock exams and UCAS applications. Here, we share tips on how to make the most of the Christmas break to get revising and finalise your UCAS application before the January deadline.

‘Tis the season to be jolly… ‘Tis also the season of mock exams and UCAS applications.

Lion King

If you haven't done your mocks already, the Christmas break is the perfect opportunity to set a few hours aside amid all the mayhem to get revising. It's also a good time to work on your UCAS application. (yes, really!)

The elephant in the room

A-Level students – there’s no getting away from it, it's mock exams time.

You may have already done yours. If that's the case, we hope they went well! It also means you can skip this bit and scroll down the page. 

If you haven't sat yours yet, now's the time really get revising. (you may have already started - and that's great!) 

But mocks aren’t REAL exams

True, mocks aren’t the real thing, but they are a great way to prepare you for what’s to come.

Use them to see how you’re getting on with your course. At the very least you’ll find out what you do and don’t know – helping to identify any areas you may need to focus on a little more. Also, if your tutor has made any notes, read through them and learn from them.

They’re also a great way to perfect your revision technique. You’ll know what works for you and what doesn’t. It’s a great opportunity to make any necessary tweaks and put a really good timetable together so when it comes to the ‘real thing’ in the summer, you should be raring to go.

And mock exams will give you a taste of what the summer exams will be like. You’ll be in the same conditions as your final exams, so when it comes to it, you’ll be familiar with the set up.

Don’t panic

Ron Weasley

Remember, they aren’t the real thing. Yes, they’re important, but if you don’t get the results you were expecting, don’t panic. There’s still plenty of time before your summer exams. Focus on what’s ahead and take time to work on any areas that need attention and hone your revision techniques.

Read what some sixth form students have to say about their experience of mock exams

The small matter of applying to ucas

The other big thing that’s coming up is the deadline for UCAS applications. 6pm on 15 January to be precise. If you’ve already submitted your application, you can skip this bit (although you might find our UCAS timeline useful!).

If you’re yet to submit yours, don’t panic. There’s still time! The Christmas break is an ideal time to put the finishing touches to your application. Take yourself off to a quiet corner of the house for a few hours to make sure you’ve got everything covered. Don’t forget to ask someone to give it a once-over to make sure everything’s present and correct. 

Time for some fun

Now you’ve organised your time for the really important stuff, it’s time for to get into the Christmas spirit and have some fun with your mates and your family. (you didn’t think we’d make this week all about work, did you?!)

Santa’s beard relay race

Probably the silliest game you’ll play all year. Basically, you smother your chin in Vaseline, stick your face in a bowl of cottonwool balls and whichever team has the most cottonwool balls stuck to them wins. Silly, slightly random, but fun. 

Here's a video of some random people playing the game, to give you an idea. Check out the girl in the yellow t-shirt – she really goes for it on the Vaseline!

Bake some Christmas cookies

But not just any Christmas cookie, these ones have a fancy ‘stained glass window’ in the middle. They’re easy to make, and you can hang them from your tree. Or just eat them.

Here’s the recipe 

Have a cheesy Christmas movie night

Or you could just take it easy. Get your friends round, get some popcorn in and have a Christmas movie night! Dust off the classics:

  • Elf
  • Home Alone
  • National Lampoons Christmas Vacation
  • Muppets Christmas Carol.
  • Miracle on 34th Street
  • The Santa Clause
  • Arthur Christmas
  • The Polar Express

Or maybe a couple of real oldies:

  • White Christmas
  • It's a Wonderful Life
  • Meet me in St Louis

(we could go on!)

Task for this week

Get yourself ready for mock exams, the UCAS application deadline, and then have some Christmas fun.