Ridge Report Writing and Photography Contest

This year, you can submit a short story, poetry piece, and/or photography connecting to one of three possible themes. Your options are "Hush", "Bang", and "Click". Be as creative as you want!

Entries will be accepted starting Monday May 1st 2017

The deadline for entering is Friday May 20th 2017

First place winners in each category (short story, photography, and poetry) will have their entry published on the Ridge Report website and will be awarded a prize.

Click on each category to submit and know about the rules and requirements.

Short Story

Friday, January 1, 2016

Early Exam Advice

Exams. A word which only has connotations of fear, uncontrollable shaking, and destruction. But it doesn’t have to be that way! With organisation, meditation and a heavy consumption of fatty processed goods - your stress can be mildly and temporarily alleviated.

Here are 11 ways to help you through your exams

Start Early:

Procrastination may seem like your friend at first, but it certainly won’t be your friend the night before your Chemistry final, when you still don’t understand the technicalities of the Haber process.

Ask questions:

Look through your class notes, and write down a list of questions to ask your teacher before your exams. This will not only be useful, as your teacher will be able to help you with what you don’t understand, but it will help you target exactly what subject areas you need to focus on.

Study groups are key:

Have a group of people in your class that you can regularly study with. These don’t have to be people who are necessarily your best friends, but people who are motivated to learn, and do well in their exams. If it is difficult to physically meet up with these people, you can always plan to Skype regularly at a specific time when you are all free. In group situations, every person should take one topic, and try and explain it to the other members of the group, who can ask questions. This won’t only help the other members of the group, answer questions they might be too intimidated by the teachers to ask, but it will also help the person explaining, in truly understanding what they are saying. 

Find out what type of learner you are:

This will help you with studying, not only for your exams but for just learning in general in the future.
There are usually four types of learner. You may not fit into one exactly; 

  • Visual: Visual learners are primarily people who learn by seeing. They tend to be good at reading charts and graphs, as well as highlighted sections of pages. In lessons, visual learners should copy down everything that they see. As well as this, they should always buy or borrow good textbooks and read them. Upon reading, they should replace words and facts with memorable drawings, graphs or diagrams to help it stick. Visual learners can also benefit from watching lots and lots of videos, and should use highlighters, to highlight the most important sections of whatever they are reading. When studying, making flashcards is an easier way for them to remember important facts. Visual learners, often benefit from revising with friends and in small groups.
  • Auditory: These are people who usually learn by listening to things. People who are auditory learners, tend to remember things that people have said, and they pick up song lyrics really easily. If you are an auditory learner, ask LOTS OF QUESTIONS. You will also benefit from reading your notes out loud to yourself. Also, watch videos on the subjects you are trying to learn. Auditory learners also should utilise mnemonics. Upon revising important facts and things you can’t understand the best way to do this is in silence as everything else will distract you. If you are revising with groups, make sure you listen to different ways things can be answered. If you are an auditory learner, and cannot understand a concept, try and teach it to someone who knows nothing about the topic; this will help you decide whether you truly understand it or not. 
  • Kinesthetic: These are people who learn primarily by doing things. They may enjoy practical and physical lessons such as experiments or Gym. Kinesthetic learners should make flash cards as this is an active way to learn. Whilst doing this, they should have someone test them. Playing games to learn is also incredibly beneficial. Kinesthetic learners, tend to have short attention spans, and may resent having to sit in long lessons and lectures; this is why they should only study in short bursts of fifteen to twenty minutes. However, they should do this regularly, as a way of preventing getting distracted permanently. They should also apply examples to facts; as they will be able to actively visualise, and make connections with difficult facts. Kinesthetic learners will also benefit from revising with others. 
  • Read and Write Learners: These are people who learn simply by reading and writing things. They work best in quiet places, and should always work alone. These learners should copy out things they don’t understand on a clean sheet of paper and make sure that it is legible and attractive to look at. For them, taking notes is the best way to remember things. Reading and writing learners, should make sure they write out everything in their own words. Make it fun and interesting, add in awful and puny jokes; they should make sure that what they write, is the type of explanation they would love to read in a textbook. If there are diagrams, these learners should try their best to convert them into words. Similarly, in class, they should write down practically everything their teacher is saying; this will help them remember the lesson.

Be prepared in class:

Don’t be the person to lose the handouts from class. They are vital and important, especially when it comes to revising. Make sure you have a folder to hold all your loose sheets. Try and not forget your notebooks and folders when you go to class; as they’ll become useless, and a whole lesson will have been wasted.

Turn your phone on flight mode during study time: 

As brilliant as Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter are; no matter how much you try to fool yourself it will not help you learn your French verb endings any better. Your phone, filled with social media, group chats and that needy friend who has relationship problems, needs to be hidden away. When you are studying, make sure that your phone is on the “Do not disturb mode”; or at the height of extremity, turn your phone on “flight mode”, when you are trying to learn. That way, you know you are truly focusing on what you need to learn.

Get Organised:

Organise all your notes early on, by putting them into an appropriate order. If there are any notes missing, make a note of it, and actively remember to copy them down from your friends. Organise your workspace, and rid your room all possible distractions. Get a nice revision planner, or make one online, and plan when you are going to revise. Be sure to add in adequate breaks; as this is the only way to make sure you can stick to it. However, don’t get too bogged down on making a plan, and forget to study.

Have a routine before you study so that you get in the mood to do so:

For example, I personally always shower before I need to learn, so that I feel clean when I do so. Have something that is unique and special to you. 

Drink lots of water: 

Your brain works best when it is hydrated, so drink as much as you possibly can. 

Plan spontaneous dance breaks:

When learning the definition of Osmosis gets tedious, or you cannot stand to see another word describing Plato’s Allegory of the Cave. There is nothing wrong with turning up your favourite song to get you motivated into working again. Sometimes, the best thing to do is take a short break have a glass of water and come back to it. 

Plan your exam day:

Have your clothes, pencil case, and school bag all prepared before the day. Give yourself plenty of time to get an adequate amount of sleep, a nice hot shower, and a hearty breakfast. This will allow you to get to school early, which you give you plenty of time to de-stress. It is more beneficial to stay on your own quietly prior to an exam than let your friends psych you out with all their "knowledge". Similarly, after the exam, although sometimes it’s nice to compare answers with your friends, don’t ever let your friends make you stressed out. Remember, there is nothing wrong with simply asking people not to talk about the exam you just took.

Good Luck!

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