Many students use the holidays to finally relax after a several months of hard work. For those sitting the HPAT next year, the road ahead can look especially challenging and instil feelings of anxiety. However, after taking a long-deserved rest, the holidays can actually be used efficiently and effectively to get ahead in the HPAT and obtain the score you need to get into your dream course.
With the HPAT exam fast approaching in February, students often use the holidays as an opportunity to start practicing full length exams under timed conditions. Enormous amounts of mental energy, determination and positivity is required to sit a 2 1/2 hour HPAT exam, 3 1/2 hours if you need to do the written English component, which is why holidays are one of the best times to practice, rather than attempting one at the end a long school day. At the same time, don’t finish all available exams during the holidays – pace yourself and do them at regular intervals until the HPAT exam date.
Additionally, start developing strategies for sitting the HPAT. Whether this be how you attempt non-verbal reasoning questions or how you analyse an understanding emotions text, this is a good time to attempt different techniques to find out what works best for you. If you start practicing techniques now, they will become second nature to you by the time the HPAT exam comes around, which will not only enhance your time management but also your accuracy and score.
The holidays can also be a good time for you to start reviewing your performance to identify your current strengths and weaknesses in HPAT. By doing so, you can assess the questions you need to improve in and specifically focus your attention in the holidays into refining that particular area. Use the questions you are strong in as motivation to keep on improving because there is still time to perfect your skills.
Try to develop a “HPAT Timetable”. This will allow you to prioritise your weak areas, have practice exam sessions at regular intervals and address clear targets you wish to meet by certain dates. As a result, your study plan will be organised and structured, helping you visualise your progress and truly see the positive results of working hard.
The holidays are meant for and should be used for relaxing. Use the time to catch up with friends, attend parties and binge-watch Netflix shows, but don’t drown in the pleasures of leisure and lose sight of your end goal. That being said, studying every day will just make you burnout and even more stressed when school begins. Keep yourself balanced, work hard and enjoy the indulgences of the holidays.