The RHS exams for 2015 may be done and dusted for this year, but if you’re to work towards your qualifications in horticulture than it’s already time to think ahead to next year’s examinations in 2016.
The first load of exams will be held in February of the new-year. However, the deadline for signup is the 27th of November this year – only four months away! This means if you’re aiming to complete your courses early next year, then it’s already time to make plans in preparation. Here’s a few of our favourite revision and learning tips to help you get started.
#1 Start Now.
Learning is an organic process. Every fact and idea you learn in your brain needs to be physically encoded into the cells and neurons that make it up and, naturally, there is only so much growing and redeveloping the brain can do in a given period of time.
It’s like you were trying to copy a book out by hand for a deadline. Given enough time you could probably do it neatly and correctly. With less time, you start to have to cut corners. Your facts aren’t likely to all be correct and the writing will be messy and rushed. And lose too much time, and you simply won’t be able to make the deadline at all.
That’s why the key to successful learning is to start early. You can sign up to any of the RHS courses through us. The RHS also provides a whole list of colleges you can attend if you prefer to do your study face to face.
#2 Plan Your Studies.
Just like when planning how your garden will look, you will get a lot more out of your learning and revision if you actively take control of what you learn and when. Consider your strengths and weaknesses when you are learning – those things that you are good at don’t generally require much repetition. Those things that you struggle with should get more attention in your revision sessions.
However, it’s important that you are realistic when planning your study. Only the most devoted bookworms will happily study all night, every night, for months on end. Make sure to fit your studies around the rest of your life and recognize that you need time for fun and rest as well.
#3 Experiment with new learning methods
Starting early gives you plenty of time to experiment with new ways and methods of learning and retaining information. You might discover in the course of your studies that you learn much better by, for example, creating physical props to help you with your learning. You might also try a series of cards with the names of plants or wildlife written on one side and a description of them on the other. Or maybe a series of mock exams is the best way to get you focussed on learning.
The key is that not everyone learns best via the same methods. Take advantage time to learn about the unique ways you learn best – its an invaluable skill for life!
It may seem a bit counterproductive to suggest hitting the gym rather than the books, but it’s proven that improving your health can reap dividends to your ability to process and retain information.
Though you obviously can’t take your brain on a walk to give it a work out, you can improve the rest of your body upon which you brain depends. For example, by improving your cardiovascular fitness you can improve the delivery of essential oxygen and other nutrients to the brain. But like everything else, it takes time to see the benefits of a change of lifestyle. For that reason, there's no better motivation to start now!