How to use the summer effectively to prepare for the new academic year

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June 12, 2021
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Summer is finally here — the sun is shining and temperatures are rising fast. And thanks to vaccination programmes rolling out across the world, we may be finally seeing the light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel.

With the school year coming to an end, you may be wondering about how to be productive during the summer and use this time to prepare for the next chapter in your life. Of course, this will depend on your plans and goals. 

Find below our best tips to use your free time in the summer effectively and get a head start for the school year 2021/2022.

First things first: relax

Whether you’re waiting for your 2021 GCSE assessment or are stressing out about your A level results, don’t forget to breathe.

You’ve worked hard this past year, and things have been extraordinarily challenging for the reasons we all know. It’s time for you to enjoy yourself and spend time outdoors.

Think about it, after all those lockdowns and restrictions, you can finally resume your favourite outdoor activities and the timing couldn’t be better: you’re free from homework and study and the weather is just perfect. 

Leave the house and all the screens behind, it’s time to breathe some fresh air. Maybe you want to swim, or dance, or just meditate closer to nature. You deserve it and it is a great way to recharge and re-centre so that you can face your next chapter with great energy.

How to plan your summer to transition to GCSE

Ok, so maybe your Spanish GCSE exams are coming up next year and you’re already stressing out about it. Nothing to be ashamed of, it’s great that you are thinking ahead and want to arrive prepared

Here are some ways to spend the summer months that will help you boost your confidence before September:

Check next year’s syllabus

Pre-prep is a real thing and allows you to relax knowing what’s coming. Check the textbook for next year and skim through each chapter. You will know when you’ll be hitting the greatest challenges and can get ready for them.

Revise this year’s topics

All subject programmes, and especially languages, are designed progressively. You can’t cook an elaborate recipe without getting the basic ingredients first.

Here are topics to revise from this year:

  • The ones that you struggled the most with or that for some reason represent a gap in your knowledge
  • The ones that are considered building blocks for next year’s syllabus. For example, pay special attention to grammar and verb tenses, which are the foundation of all sentences and great areas to score high marks

How to spend the summer before your A level exams

All of the above tips also apply if you are going to face your French A levels in 2022. However, here is some extra advice to revise and prepare for your exams:

  • Get into a routine of reading news articles and watching current affairs videos. For example, you can check out El País for Spanish and Radio France for French
  • Read the literature texts and check out the movies included in the syllabus. Make sure you understand the synopsis of each chapter or scene, get to know the characters, identify symbolism and metaphors, etc., to prepare for potential paper questions (you can also look at past papers)
  • Prepare for your Independent Research Project, think of topics that you may enjoy and that the syllabus touches on. Think of pros and cons, causes, and available data, and check out recent news

Summer activities to prepare for uni

First of all, congratulations on deciding what to do next, you should be proud! Don’t forget to take a moment (or two) to celebrate your achievements and relax.

Here are the 2 most important things to do this summer:

  1. Think about your UCAS personal statement. This is an essential step in your UCAS application and your chance to make your profile shine beyond grades. You should discuss the skills, motivation, and ambitions that make you unique and the perfect candidate for your course of choice. Feeling overwhelmed and think you may use some help? Contact us!
  2. Attend virtual open days. Ok, they may not be as exciting as in-person visits, but they will still give you loads of interesting information and advice and you get to ask all the questions you may have to help you make the best decision for your future.

Exploring your career choices during the summer

You’ve really come a long way and you’re now about to start your professional career. These are exciting times and it’s normal to feel a bit anxious about what may come next.

You may not have a lot of experience in searching and applying for job opportunities. That’s ok, let’s see how you can optimise your application and maximise your chances to get hired.

Research the job market

Before you even think of applying, you should start identifying the sectors you’re interested in and take a look around the job market. What are the current openings and the job requirements? Are there graduate programmes you may be eligible for?

Check your profile against job descriptions

We all started somewhere and job listings are a good place. Read:

  • Job descriptions
  • Requirements
  • Salaries and conditions

Think of what would sound like the dream job to you and how to get there. You may have to upskill and take courses or internships to reach your goals and that’s completely normal.

If you’re transitioning to a different field, consider starting passion projects to develop the right skills and show your entrepreneurial spirit.

Network, network, network

If you don’t know anyone in the industry, it’s time to make new friends! Here are some good places for professional networking:

  • LinkedIn and other professional platforms
  • Events, conferences, and workshops (both online and offline)
  • Your old uni

Remember: networking is not cold calling. You’re not asking people you don’t know for a recommendation, but you’re getting in touch with established professionals in your field. You can ask them questions about their job and career path and even ask for advice on how to break into the industry. Collaborations and opportunities may also naturally arise.


What should I revise during the summer?

Think both ahead and behind you. Consider the topics that you found to be the hardest last year and look at next year’s syllabus to revise the building blocks of what’s coming next. Take our free online language assessment to see what to focus on!

How to prepare for uni?
First of all, relax and celebrate! Then, attend virtual open days, speak with current students and alumni, and check out the courses that you’ll take. You can reach out to professors and admin staff if you have questions.