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November 30, 2011

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Year 11 and Christmas holidays

AS a Year 12 student currently occupied in the intense IB Diploma Program, I cannot help but claim that my IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education) exams five months ago were nothing compared to my studies right now. Yet, it would still be a lie to say that the IGCSE exams were not a challenge.

Despite the freedom that accompanies the study leaves Year 11 IGCSE students will be granted half way through summer term, revision, for those who ultimately care about their IGCSE results, needs to be balanced with this freedom. It is immediately prior to or during study leave that a great deal of students start to think about what they have really been doing for the past two years. Thoughts with the opening phrase, "if only I had," start to appear in some of the student's minds. If only I had paid attention in class. If only I had written revision notes for each of my end-of-unit tests. If only I had started revising earlier. The list can continue indefinitely. But in all honesty those thoughts do not matter once students go on study leave. As people say, dwelling on the past is futile. The present (and the future) is what matters.

In truth, it is too early to talk about study leaves and final examinations, as they're still quite some time away. With Christmas around the corner, the atmosphere in school is already becoming just a little bit more animated than usual. Tinsel and snowflake decorations scattered around school mark the upcoming celebration of Christmas. "Skiing" and "holidays" are on the tip of people's tongues. And here is a small piece of advice for the respectable Year 11 students: when winter Holiday does arrive, remember to take some time to organize your notes for revision.

However even more importantly, enjoy the holiday.

For those couch potatoes who prefer to relax at home, relax. sleep, watch TV, do the norm. For those active adventurers, get out there. Go skiing. And for those sociable individuals, do hang out with your friends. Go to the cinema and watch "Breaking Dawn" together.

Naturally, some parents may oppose this and I wouldn't disagree with them, as starting revision early is, in most cases, never a bad decision. But from my own experience, the Christmas holiday will be the only proper holiday left for the Year 11s to enjoy without any stress and pressure. Of course, there is still the spring break in April but by then, trust me, the pressure will be on. Teachers will be pushing students to start revising if they have not already and the students themselves will be noticing that time will not wait.

So all in all, the winter holiday is the serenity before the storm. And to all the Year 11s out there - do revision, but also enjoy the Christmas holiday while you still can!


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