We were excited to speak with StudyFeast, who used Stairway during GCSEs to improve their grades! Here they share how they've remained productive and healthy during lockdown, their favourite STEM subject and using Stairway with flashcards for great results
How have you found learning during lockdown?
Learning during lockdown has certainly had its ups and down. For instance, one day I may be smashing my to-do list, getting everything done and feeling great! However, the next day may be tougher, and it can feel like the whole world is on top of me. I especially found the first lockdown last year significantly overwhelming, as it was something that had never happened before. Plus, thousands of students had no idea how to react or respond to learning from home. It is important, though, to take it day by day, as who knows what will happen in the future.
How have you motivated yourself to learn during lockdown?
For me, it is about balance. I had to quickly learn and understand that I am not going to get everything completed and finished when I want to. I found that the best way to stay motivated was to take time out of my day to focus on my wellbeing and mental health. We are not learning machines at the end of the day, and we need to take regular breaks and listen to what our body is trying to tell us. I also tried focusing on setting smaller goals, even just doing five minutes of work. That way, my motivation increases, as t I complete more, and realise that I can achieve even the smallest goals if I want to!
What's your favourite STEM subject (any of the sciences or Maths)?
My favourite STEM subject has got to be physics. Originally, when I was doing my GCSEs, I found Biology to be my preferred STEM subject. Although, this was probably only because I kept passing every mock exam and end of topic test! After completing my final GCSE exam, which was actually Physics Paper Two, I realised that Physics was by far my favourite STEM subject. Why? Because it incorporated a variety of skills and topics. It was interesting to see how maths can interlink with a science subject, for example the equations that we had to learn. I also enjoyed learning about electricity, whilst my inner primary school-self would get thrilled about making circuits for the 100th time! So definitely Physics, but Biology is a close second.
What is your biggest challenge when it comes to your learning? How are you overcoming this?
My biggest learning challenge is PROCRASTINATION! I always leave tasks until the next day, and the day after that, and sometimes even the day after that. To combat this, I remind myself regularly that this is not laziness. It is my mind telling me that today is not the right day to do this; it is okay to leave it until the next day. Obviously, some tasks have deadlines, and I try my best to meet these. However, it is also vital to understand the challenges you are facing, and remind yourself that it will get easier. I like to, as I said previously, set smaller tasks that are attainable, and focus on these to get over the procrastination I may be facing. Try and try again!
What’s one top learning tip you’d share for other Stairway learners?
Keep fighting the good fight! Education has never been so disrupted in this country until this pandemic. Is it difficult, yes! But speak to your friends, your families and your teachers as to how you are feeling. Drink water, eat well (but a chocolate bar is allowed of course!), and get regular sleep and time outside. This will get better, we just have to play our part to keep everyone safe, whilst keeping our minds and bodies safe, too.
How did you first learn about Stairway?
I first learned about Stairway through an old-fashioned Google search! I searched for 'free GCSE online revision', and Stairway was one of the first websites to pop up! After exploring their website and seeing the amazing content they offered, I made the decision to set up an account, and attempt to do some each day! After using it through my GCSEs, and setting up my Instagram study account, I became an ambassador! Now, I may have finished my GCSEs, but I help others in their exam years get to know Stairway and how it can really help with their revision.
How has Stairway helped you learn?
Stairway really changed everything for me. Around 5-6 months before my GCSE exams, I was predicted to get a 3 in maths, and a 3 in physics. It was really disappointing to know that my school didn't really believe I could improve, and get the grades I needed to move onto my next phase in life. Then, after discovering Stairway, they helped restore that drive in me. I wanted to get better; I wanted to improve. I understood that Stairway was like a voice inside my head, talking me through the questions and challenges that I faced during these maths and physics exams. All their lessons and resources matched my specification perfectly, and every time I got a question right and finished a lesson on Stairway, I felt one step closer to that grade 5 I so desperately wanted. In the end, my results were reflective of Stairway's incredible support. I achieved the grades I needed, going from a grade 3 to a grade 5 all thanks to Stairway. I couldn't have asked for a better online revision tool!
How do you use Stairway?
I used Stairway in a multitude of ways. The way that worked for me was to practice using their incredible multiple choice quiz questions that tested me as I went through each lesson! I would take their questions, and write down on a flashcard the question, and on the other side I would write the answer. By using Stairway's quiz questions, I was able to transfer these and use them all the time, even when I couldn't access Stairway. Although, don't get me wrong, I ALWAYS found a way to access Stairway!