The Best Ways to Revise

Did you know that six out of ten students struggle to learn proficiency in mathematics? That is more than half of young learners who need some support. While stereotypes like “practice makes perfect” work for some, there are some proven strategies that produce better results when it comes time to take the test.

Instead of trying to fit students into a cookie-cutter mold, try out these methods for the best ways to revise and see confidence and test scores improve. The bottom line is that hours of study won’t produce better test scores unless the techniques are effective.

Partner Up

Working with a partner can motivate you to work harder, but it can also be a double-edged sword. This strategy only works if you choose a partner that is focused on revising. When you spend time with another student, you are subconsciously matching your motivation to theirs. This subtle competitive drive can help both students work harder at revising, committing more learning to long-term memory.

In addition to a stronger work ethic, partnerships build foundational collaboration skills. Students who can learn to work together will eventually become employees who can work in teams and individuals who can build strong, healthy relationships.

Retrieval Practice

The old-school flashcard method is a tried and true way to learn material. It is thought that practicing active recall by repetitively testing your brain strengthens neural connections. And since taking a test involves a lot of recall, your brain is already in the habit of retrieving information and can readily access learned information. The repetition also boosts learner confidence, serving as a counterbalance for test-related anxiety that might hurt scores.


The practice of spacing is directly opposite to the way that most students engage in learning. Instead of breezing through classes and learning content once followed by intense cramming before an exam, spacing focuses on bite-size revisions over a period of time. Spacing is particularly effective for revising mathematics, producing measurable results in terms of higher test scores.

The bottom line on using spacing as an effective strategy when revising mathematics is that students retain more when they revise for one hour per day over seven days compared to revising for seven hours in one day.


Most academic courses are structured by grouping similar topics together in units. Interleaving is essentially the opposite of this approach. In mathematics, interleaving would involve mixing the practice of different problems together. This technique helps break down the context that material is learned in, which improves critical thinking skills and helps students apply different techniques to solve problems.

Final Points

Students who employ these methods of revision tend to perform somewhere between 10% and 30% better on tests. While some revision methods like working with a study buddy and practicing retrieval with flashcards are well-known methods, others are in direct contrast to common practices. For example, studies suggest that spacing may work better than cramming, and interleaving may work better than blocking.

Top 5 Universities In London.

Many students look up to London as their ideal destination when it comes to studying abroad. Are you mulling over the same? Captivating, isn’t it? To live and study in the multicultural metropolis that London is. London is one of the world’s most prominent capitals; from its profound cultural history, making it one of the most popular tourist spots, packed shopping areas, and leading financial district, you’ll find everything you need in London without breaking a sweat.

If you’re preparing to study abroad in London, however, you will need to know which of its numerous universities is best for you. Whether you wish to get into a specialist or multidisciplinary university, central or more suburban neighborhood, or the opportunity to blend a flexible education program with your career, your possibilities of finding a desirable match in the UK capital are endless.

There are approximately 40 institutions in and around London, all with unique strengths. In an attempt to help you clear your mind, we’ve jotted down a list of 5 of the best universities in London.


  1. Imperial College London

Even amongst London’s deep and rich pool of top Universities, the Imperial College London is a notch above. The highest-ranking university in London is also revered globally, sitting at no 8th in the world.

Imperial College London is a preeminent research institute that authenticated abiding schooling and research traditions in science, medicine, and engineering. Imperial’s teaching techniques expose you to complex challenges in the real world, opening up doors to work with international teams filled with diverse cultures.

Founded in 1907 after an alliance between the Royal School of Mines and the City & Guilds College, and the Royal College of Science. Imperial’s main campus is located in the heart of the city. Imperial is a highly lucrative destination for international students- with over 59% of its student body being outside of the UK and over 140 countries are presently represented on their numerous campuses. With such a surge of students, Imperial College dorms are always at full capacity. But, don’t worry, you can easily find affordable and comfortable private student accommodation near Imperial College London.

The esteemed university has produced many renowned graduates including 29 Nobel Prize winners and prestigious Fellowships (Royal Society, Royal Academy of Engineering, Academy of Medical Sciences).

Most notable alumni of Imperial College London – H.G. Wells (Author), John Ambrose Fleming (Physicist), Thomas Henry Huxley (biologist), Brian May (Musician), etc.


  1. University College London

University College London (UCL) is the second-ranked University in London and regarded as the 10th best University in the world. UCL is remarkably attractive to international students, accounting for more than 48% of its student body. In addition, UCL boasts a high percentage of PG students – approximately 46%.

The University College London was founded in 1826, becoming the first higher education institution established in London.  UCL is situated in the heart of Bloomsbury in London’s West End, home to several famous tourist spots, theatres, and government organizations. You can always stay near the city centre & university campus as there are countless student accommodations near UCL to choose from.

UCL is often called “London’s global university” because its multicultural campus fascinates students from more than 150 countries and collaborations with over 300 foreign institutions. Among the UCL graduates, around 29 Nobel Prize Laureates further cementing the University’s reputation.

Most notable alumni of University College London– Otto Hahn (Radioactivity pioneer), John Stuart Mill (Philosopher), Christopher Nolan ( Film Director), Alexander Graham Bell (Scientist), etc.


  1. London School of Economics and Political Science

Since its establishment in 1895, the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) has been a pioneer in social sciences, emerging as a hotspot for STEM fields.

LSE is the fourth highest-ranked University in London, ranking 49th in the world in 2020. It’s regarded even higher when it comes to certain individual subject rankings, exhibiting its role as a world leader in subjects such as politics, sociology, anthropology, law and accounting.

LSE’s educational facilities comprise over 200 research centers, including the Centre for Women, Peace and Security, and the Centre for Economic Performance. LSE is also one of the biggest multicultural institutions, with over 100 languages spoken on its campus.

The University’s location in the vicinity of the city centre makes it a great spot for students. With the rise of Purposely built student accommodation (PBSA), you wouldn’t have to worry about finding a student property near the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Throughout its history, LSE has had students from around 140 countries worldwide and has produced nearly 40 members of the House of Lords, 30 members of the House of Common, and 16 Nobel Prize winners amongst its alumni.

Most Notable alumni of London School of Economics and Political Science –  James O’Brien (Author/Journalist), Sir William Arthur Lewis (Economist), Sir Mick Jagger (Musician), Angelina Jolie (Actress), etc.


  1. King’s College London


The King’s College London was founded in 1829 with a declaration by King George IV and the Duke of Wellington. King’s College London continues to add to its reputation as one of the most honored higher education universities in the UK and globally- ranked at 7th in the UK and 31st in the world.

The University is one of the most ancient in England. It is one of the most culturally diverse UK universities, with more than 27,600 students from 150 countries worldwide and a massive staff of 6,800.

King’s has a special status for world-class education and groundbreaking research. King’s was listed 6th nationally in the ‘power’ ranking of 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), which counts both the quantity and quality of research project and 7th for quality according to Times Higher Education rankings.

It has an exceptional reputation for law and the sciences, humanities, including health sciences. King’s College London has five campuses across London- cited as the most central university in London- four of which are especially close together by the River Thames. As a result, it’s near iconic structures such as Tower Bridge, the London Eye and Big Ben. You can explore and pick the best private student halls near King’s College London without much hassle and live a comfortable academic life.

Most notable alumni of King’s College London – John Keats (Poet), Rosalind Franklin (Chemist), Florence Nightingale (Social reformer), Virginia Woolf (Author), etc.


  1. Queen Mary University of London

Youngest of the top 5 universities in London, Queen Mary University (QMUL), was founded in 1989, but you can track its origins back to 1785. Queen Mary was established through the progressive merger of four medical colleges; The Royal Hospital of St Bartholomew, London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary College and Westfield College.

Queen Mary is ranked 5 in London and 114th in the world in 2021. QMUL offers degrees and research across several subjects, including medicine and dentistry at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry. Of QMUL’s 27,000 students, about 4,000 are completing collaborative programs abroad in France, China, and Greece.

Queen Mary’s principal campus is located in East London. The location is close to some of the notable landmarks, including Spitalfields Market and Brick Lane. Due to its proximity to the city’s unique features, you can experience a good time while studying here. In addition, you can easily locate the best and affordable student accommodation near Queen Mary University.

Most notable alumni of Queen Mary University– Roy Strong (Art historian), Sir Malcolm Bradbury (Author), Jay Sean (Singer), Hugh Watkins (Cardiologist), etc.




Author Name – Suvrahadip Ghosh

  Bio – “Suvrahadip Ghosh is a civil engineer turned writer whose work has been published in many books, including one with Durjoy Dutta. Dubbed as ‘the man of metaphors’, he published his debut poetry book on a global scale- ‘RUINS.’ Weaving magic with words became easier for him as he accumulated experience working with major web companies like Terribly Tiny Tales and The Scribbled Stories. He has also been named amongst the top 50 national wingword poetry competition. He’s currently providing his services to AmberStudent as a content manager and copywriter.”

The Top Things You Can Do in Liverpool as a Student!

The United Kingdom is widely recognized as one of the best countries for studying due to its superb level of teaching, diverse range of courses, and excellent employment opportunities. As for cities, one of the best options that you can consider is Liverpool. This city is home to four world-class universities and it is very much tailored to student living. International students are welcomed with open arms here and Liverpool offers so much when it comes to making the most of a student lifestyle.

City Explorer is one of Liverpool’s best sightseeing tour buses. Visiting 14 of the city’s most iconic destinations, this hop on hop off bus is the perfect way to explore Liverpool’s lively activities, incredible culture, and stunning architecture. City Explorer have collated a guide on the top things to do in Liverpool and they have provided us with a summary of some of the best attractions for students.

Baltic Triangle

The quirky and eccentric Baltic Triangle district is at the very heart of Liverpool’s creative and digital outlook. This area has seen dramatic regeneration within the past decade and is a popular destination for young people. The Baltic Triangle is home to several creative spaces and is the headquarters for many of Liverpool’s digital-led businesses, photographers, musicians and artists. For food, you’ll want to head to the Baltic Market to sample some of the best street food around. Liverpool’s most well-known annual festivals usually take place at the Baltic Triangle, including Sound City, Positive Vibration and The Baltic Weekender. Make sure you stop by the famous Liverpool Wings artwork for a photo op!

Liverpool One

It’s hard to imagine Liverpool without its incredible shopping centre, but until 2008, that was a reality. Being crowned European Capital of Culture allowed the city to spearhead several development projects and there was perhaps none bigger than Liverpool One. This complex is the best place in the city for shopping, leisure and dining opportunities. Liverpool One is home to some of the world’s best shopping brands, including adidas, H. Samuel, New Look, Ted Baker, Zara, and many more. Your restaurant options include everything from mouth-watering Brazilian dining to burritos, burgers and pizza – not to forget a cheeky Nando’s! You can even catch the latest blockbuster films at the ODEON Liverpool One, one of the country’s biggest state-of-the-art cinemas. If you own a dog, you can have a day for yourself without feeling guilty about leaving them behind simply by booking them into Liverpool doggy day care.

Fun Activities

We all need to relax and unwind from studying at some point, so you’ll be glad to know that Liverpool is a city that never sleeps where entertainment is concerned. For fans of crazy golf, you have two options with Ghetto Golf and Junkyard Golf. These adults-only venues offer eccentric-themed courses and fun cocktails as you play. Your options for bowling include Lane7, Hollywood Bowl and PINS Social Club, the latter of which also includes pool tables, beer pong and shuffleboards. VR Here is the place to be for trying out the latest virtual reality technology while the new NQ64 bar allows you to re-visit some of the best classic consoles and retro arcade games.

The Royal Albert Dock Liverpool

The Royal Albert Dock Liverpool is arguably one of Liverpool’s most iconic spots and we highly recommend that you visit it as soon as possible! On a hot sunny day, there’s no better place in the city. You can wander around the historical buildings and watch a range of live performances and water shows while enjoying the refreshing breeze. There are several independent stores where you can treat yourself to a gift, along with various restaurants where you can replenish your energy. The Adventure Dock is nearby which offers several water sport activities including inflatable slides and trampolines.

Student Nightlife

Are you really a student if you don’t make the most of the student nightlife? Well you’ll be happy to know that Liverpool is one of the most exciting and safest cities when it comes to nightlife entertainment. Not to mention, the city is relatively cheap and should cater to your budget with ease. The city centre is the ideal hotspot for nightlife activity with many individual districts. To the east of the centre is the Ropewalks district where you can find lively bars like Brooklyn Mixer, The Raz and Revolution. At the opposite end is Mathew Street, an area dominated by energetic venues such as the iconic Cavern Club, Legends Sports Bar and McCooley’s.

Museums & Galleries

Liverpool is a city that doesn’t shy away from history, culture or art. Whether you have a keen interest in this topic or are you seeking inspiration as part of your studies, there are several museums and galleries that you can visit. The National Museums Liverpool operates a range of museums and for the most part, admission is free. The Museum of Liverpool focusses on the history of the city while the World Museum hosts a range of exhibitions covering everything from archaeology to natural and physical sciences – there’s even a planetarium! The biggest art galleries in the city include the Walker Art Gallery, Tate Liverpool and Open Eye Gallery. On a similar note, make sure you pay a visit to the Liverpool Cathedral and Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral – their stunning architecture and contrasting styles are not to be missed!

Liverpool truly is a one-of-a-kind city and it’s no surprise that the city is often recognized as being built for students. We hope that this article has provided some excellent pointers on the best things that you can do in Liverpool as a student. The world-class attractions combined with prestigious universities and excellent accommodation is what makes Liverpool a special place to study.

Top 5 most affordable UK cities to study abroad in 2021

The UK is now one of the most famous study abroad destinations in the world. However, choosing a city to settle in and another city for the studies can be a difficult choice. Every UK city has its traditions, history, and way of life. Nonetheless, every city is enticing, and the options seem to be endless.

One of the most incredible benefits of studying abroad is the opportunity to engage with and learn about other cultures and languages. It’s not only a chance to cross items off the bucket list; it’s also an incentive to develop in ways you never could. All of this will be a watershed moment in your life and a mind-blowing experience.


 Cardiff is one of the most sought-after destinations for international students. So if studying in a fantastic, jaw-dropping city isn’t enough to persuade you, we thought we’d give you some insight into this lovely place. When you study in Cardiff, you will be in the heart of the essential sites to guide your educational needs. There are numerous libraries, local businesses, and assistance networks that could help you as you pursue your education.

Finding suitable student accommodation in Cardiff can be tedious, but it should not be taken lightly. Several student halls in Cardiff offer uber affordable facilities. In addition, many of the world’s most prestigious universities, like, Cardiff and Vale College, the University of Wales and Cardiff University, etc, have student hostels in Central Cardiff.


 Sheffield is the third-largest city in the United Kingdom by population and is situated in South Yorkshire. Sheffield also serves as a regional center for both manufacturing and other commercial endeavors. Manufacturing and education are some of the most important industries in the region. The city is home for- Sheffield University and Sheffield Hallam University, two of the world’s most well-known universities.

Each year, approximately 6,500 students from all over the globe attend both of these universities. Laycock Studios, Sheffield, and Mary Page House, Sheffield are two places in Sheffield where you can find inexpensive student housing. Sheffield student housing is clean, inexpensive, and convenient.

Student Accommodation in Sheffield offers a wide range of spacious, luxury, and budget-friendly en-suites, condos, and shared apartments for students to select. Student apartments in Sheffield cost between £80 and £200 a week, including all expenses.

Students may also choose from university-provided student houses or student halls in Sheffield. However, these student residences are very costly, and they can lack the features and other student perks that private student accommodation in Sheffield provides. So do your homework to find the student housing in Sheffield that you like.


 Nottingham is in the East Midlands, 206 kilometers north of London, 72 kilometers northeast of Birmingham, and 90 kilometers southeast of Manchester. Nottingham is known for its variety of tourist destinations in addition to its rich heritage and culture. The City of Caves and Highfields Parks are two of the most well-known tourist destinations in the United Kingdom, attracting thousands of visitors each year. In 2015, UNESCO designated Nottingham as the “City of Literature.”

Nottingham Trent University and the University of Nottingham are among the finest universities in the UK, enticing undergraduate and postgraduate students to the city every year. Student living options in Nottingham are very safe, affordable, and luxurious.

Students in Nottingham should not have to worry about finding a place to stay because there is a wide variety of high-end and affordable student studios in Nottingham.

Nottingham student accommodation includes:

  • Opulent, spacious, and cost-effective non-suites.
  • En-suites.
  • Condos.
  • Communal apartments.

All of the rooms have been built with the students’ convenience and wellbeing in mind. Private student housing in Nottingham is generally in higher demand because it has many lucrative discounts and offers for students’ good, and it is often more affordable.

The student life in the city is rich in music, entertainment, shopping streets, restaurants, nightlife, architecture, and cafes. From screaming your heart out at the Glee Club or Just the Tonic Comedy Club to partying your heart out at the Rose & Crown or Mooch, there’s plenty for everybody.

Nottingham also has a diverse variety of dining choices to choose from. From foreign franchises and fast food stores and shops, there’s plenty for everybody. So go to Bramleys Brasser or Sanchans and treat your taste buds to some authentic Thai cuisine! Grab a few fantastic bargains at the city’s bustling shopping district, or take in several shows at Nottingham.


 Bristol, one of England’s burgeoning cities, the city’s ushering in a new age in aerospace innovation, electronics, advertising, and communication. It’s a city that straddles the line between urban architecture and historical artifacts. There are several world-renowned educational institutions in the region, including the University of Bristol and the University of West England, to name a few. These universities are well-known, with an average enrollment of around 5000-6000 overall students through various degrees. The city remains a major market center with a few key locations with affordable and private student housing.

You need not worry about searching for student accommodations in Bristol. Many private rentals in Bristol are available in the city of Bristol. Finding suitable student housing in Bristol can be a challenge, but it is not impossible. Bristol’s student accommodation is inexpensive in the UK, with options such as Hotwells House, Bristol, Centre Gate, and The Colston.

The University of Bristol and the University of West England are also close by, to these private student housing properties. Furthermore, the city center is just a few bus stops away from these student residences. There are several en-suites, condos, and apartments available, all of which are comfortable, convenient, and affordable.

Bristol is one of the best student living spots because of its vibrant atmosphere, stunning scenery, twisting highways, and outstanding education. Are you wondering who you’ll spend your college life in Bristol with? Don’t be concerned! Joining a group is a great way to meet new people while at university, and the University of Bristol has over 290 societies to choose from.

There’s still a club for you if you want to try your hand at cooking, dancing, or screenwriting. Bristol is a home for football fanatic. About 60 sports clubs are administered by the university, including team and individual sports like archery and darts.


 As the capital of the prosperous Yorkshire country, Leeds is unquestionably one of England’s most diverse and lively cities.

Private Student rooms in Leeds are ideal for students who want to keep their privacy while also having fun. Student flats in Leeds all come with a fully loaded kitchen, smart TV, bed, and en suite bathroom, so you’ll never have to share or conceal your food.

Bakery 164, located on Woodhouse Road, is a student favourite for a campus lunch and is within walking distance of both the University of Leeds and Leeds Beckett campuses.

Choose any sandwich filling; they’re all delicious, and it’s always worth the wait, no matter how busy it is. Dough Boys Pizza and Patty Smiths’ burger bar are located at Belgrave Music Hall, located farther into the city center.

Belgrave is a perfect spot for a chilled beer, some inexpensive and happy food (half-price pizza slices are available every day until the evenings), or a night out on their rooftop terrace. The Belgrave Feast, a street food market held every second Saturday of the month, is worth checking out.

How can Amberstudent help you?

 We at AmberStudent are committed to providing you with the best student accommodation experience and options available anywhere in the world since we recognize its importance. We have constantly been upgrading our COVID procedures and will be delighted to assist you with them.

Your Options After Completing Your Initial Occupational Therapy Qualification.

Once you have made the decision to pursue a career in Occupational Therapy, and completed your first course or degree, you may wonder what options are then available to you. This could involve getting straight into the thick of working in the sector, but might also involve you considering what you want to do next, including furthering your education or working elsewhere. By considering your options thoroughly prior to making a decision, you can allow yourself the opportunity to really make the most of your career path, in a way that is tailored to your personal interests and career development goals.

Continuing Education

Even though you could potentially begin your career by this point, you may want to consider undertaking more learning and gaining extra qualifications. Looking into a graduate occupational therapy program can help you to gain new skills, either in a classroom-based environment or through workplace training. The more qualifications that you hold, alongside the experience that you will undoubtedly garner while working, the more likely it is that you will be considered for higher positions, or able to successfully apply for jobs higher up the chain in the future. In addition to this, an increase in skills through a study/intern abroad experience can help with your performance in the role, allowing you to successfully try other methods, and work with a wider array of people, than the initial qualification may be able to afford you.

Moving into Work

While furthering your education can be something worth considering, it may not be something that you want to do right away. Instead, you might opt to build your resumé and start applying for roles immediately. This can allow you to gain valuable experience within the field, while the possibility of additional training can always be revisited later. You may also be in a position where earning money is crucial, such as for providing for a young family, and it may not necessarily be the right time to seek further training. In some cases, you might be able to advance your career based upon your interactions within the workplace, so moving into work straight away can sometimes be more beneficial.

Working Abroad

Although there may be career options available to you within the United States, this may not be something that appeals to you. Having a qualification can help to open doors for working abroad, especially if the country you want to travel to is requesting extra personnel within your field. To work abroad, you might need to apply for a specific type of visa that allows you to live and work in a foreign country, so it is always best to research the criteria prior to beginning to apply for roles.

It is always a good feeling to know you have achieved the first step towards your career goals, but that doesn’t mean you need to stop there. By considering where you would like to be in both the near future, as well as in 10 years’ time, you can come up with a career plan that works for you.

FDH Bank Launches a Scholarship Fund for Malawi University of Science and Technology

In 2017, FDH Bank pledged MK62.5 million in funding to support 10 students studying at the Malawi University for Science and Technology (MUST). William Mpinganjira, the bank’s Deputy Managing Director, explained that the financing would be used to support students throughout their studies at MUST.

William Mpinganjira pointed out that, aside from the scholarships, FDH bank had also provided 10 MUST students with internship opportunities. He said that the move demonstrated the bank’s commitment to supporting the government of Malawi in driving forward the education sector.

As a homegrown Malawian financial institution, FDH Bank prides itself on operating stringent corporate social responsibility strategies and giving back to local communities. William Mpinganjira urged the scheme’s beneficiaries to make the most of the important opportunity, striving for academic excellence. Mr Mpinganjira said he was confident that he would be returning in a few years’ time, joining with the students in their graduation celebrations.

Address Malata, Vice Chancellor of MUST, expressed her gratitude to FDH Bank for the generous donation. She explained that it had saddened her greatly to see needy students falling behind due to a lack of funding for food and other basic necessities.

Speaking on behalf of the students, MUST Medical Microbiology student, Chisomo Kanthanga, praised FDH Bank for coming to the students’ aid. He promised that the group would work hard and behave responsibly throughout their studies at the Malawian university.

About the Malawi University of Science and Technology

MUST was established by a Malawian Act of Parliament in 2012 with the overall aim of promoting development, technological innovation, and application of science to support micro and macro-economic development throughout Malawi.

MUST was established with the vision of creating a world class centre of technological and scientific research, education, and entrepreneurship. MUST supports its students, providing a conducive environment for quality education, research, training, and entrepreneurship, as well as offering a comprehensive range of outreach activities

The first cohort of students to enrol at this leading Malawian university were admitted in April 2014, although it was not until the 24th October 2014 that the learning institution was officially opened by His Excellency, Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika, the former President of Malawi.

MUST comprises four operational schools:

  • Ndata School of Climate and Earth Sciences (NSCES)
  • Malawi Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • Bingu School of Culture and Heritage (BISCH)
  • Academy of Medical Sciences (AMS)

MUST welcomes international students. This leading higher education provider has aligned itself with the nation’s development aspirations. MUST partners with educational institutions and research centres within Malawi and internationally, enabling it to extend its reach far and wide.

The university stages extensive outreach and research activities. In 2016, MUST became the first Malawian university to stage an all-girls science camp. In terms of research, MUST students and staff have collaborated on numerous insightful projects, with papers published in renowned journals.

MUST’s moto is: Where Excellence Reigns. The university’s core values are commitment, integrity, professionalism, openness to diversity, competitiveness, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Through their studies at MUST, students are equipped with the applied skills and theoretical knowledge required to create innovative technologies at local, national, and global levels.

Overcoming Test Anxiety: How To Cope And Improve Your Performance

Test anxiety is a growing problem for university students, affecting about 16-20 percent of them, according to the American Test Anxieties Association. There are several causes of test anxiety – fear of failure, lack of preparation, and a poor test history –  but for international students, the main cause is usually the immense pressure to perform. Failing a test makes international students feel like a serious letdown to themselves, their families back home, and their sponsors in the case of those who are on scholarships. With exams just around the corner, it’s normal to be feeling some anxiety creeping in. There’s nothing wrong with a bit of edginess, as it can help you sharpen your focus come test time. But, if it morphs into full-blown test anxiety, it can affect your performance, grades, and even the trajectory of your life. To prevent this, here are a few great ways to cope with test anxiety.

Preparation is key 

Ensuring that you’re well prepared for a test will put your mind at ease and get rid of your anxiety when test day arrives. It’s no secret that studying is the key to test success, but many students still don’t know how to study well. First of all, studying does not mean cramming everything in your books a few days before your test. Last-minute cramming can actually lead to more test anxiety every time you forget a sentence or a word that you know is an integral part of the answer. If you want to be well prepared, you must develop good study habits throughout your school life. You can start by setting aside some time every day or every other day to go over your schoolwork while identifying the areas that you don’t understand very well so that you can work more on them and ask for help if necessary. Thanks to modern technology, you can also find various test prep products online that you can access on your laptop or smartphone, allowing you to study for tests anywhere. Lastly, find out everything you can about the test – types of questions and possible topics covered – to avoid last-minute surprises.

Following proper test day practices 

When test day finally arrives, there are a few things you can do to relieve any traces of test anxiety and increase your chances of success. On the night before your test, you want to ensure that you get the recommended 7-9 hours of quality sleep. This not only soothes your anxiety, but also ensures that your brain is fresh and operating at 100 percent during the test. You also want to start your day off with a healthy, nutritious breakfast free from high sugar foods that may lead to a sugar crash when you’re taking the test. If caffeine makes you feel jittery, skip the coffee or energy drinks before your test. After your meal, make your way to the test location well ahead of time so that you avoid the anxiety that comes from rushing in at the last minute or even losing a few valuable minutes through being late. Once you have the test in your hands, read the instructions carefully, budget your time, and get to work.

Ask for help 

If test anxiety becomes too much of a problem, don’t be afraid to ask for help from the tutors, instructors, and counselors in your school. In some cases, you may even qualify for various test-taking accommodations, such as additional time or getting a quiet room for yourself. It’s also a good idea to seek help from a psychiatrist or doctor to find out whether any underlying medical issues may be causing test anxiety. Talking about your anxieties with a medical professional may help diffuse their powerful hold on you. If necessary, the doctor may also prescribe medications to alleviate your anxiety.

Whether it’s a routine test or an important final, test anxiety can derail months or even years of hard work if you don’t deal with it. By implementing these coping strategies, you’ll be well on your way to stress and anxiety-free test-taking. However, always keep in mind that no single test can ever define you as a student or a person.

An Interview with Kate Foster: Student of the Semester!

CYA student Kate Foster has been making the most of her time in Greece.

A self-proclaimed mythology fan, Kate was attracted to Greece’s rich history long before she arrived here. For her, living in Athens has provided her the chance to explore various aspects of the country’s history. She has had the chance to visit famous ancient sites from the Acropolis to the temple at Delphi to the palace of Knossos. Just two weeks ago, Kate even ran the 5k race of the Athens Authentic Marathon. But these experiences are only one part of her study abroad experience.  

As a biology major, most of Kate’s classes here are aimed to fulfill her general education requirements back at her home institution of University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. However, she has been doing much more than just studying. When she’s not in class or on CYA field trips, she dedicates a lot of her time to volunteering in the local community. Every week, Kate has been shadowing well-known surgeon Doctor Spyros Smparounis at the Metropolitan General Hospital.

When the doctor has patients, Kate interacts with them firsthand, learning about their illness and how to treat them with the Doctor. Kate even had the opportunity to witness a surgery in the room! On less busy days, Dr. Smparounis gives Kate lessons about illnesses and medical emergencies and how to treat them. As an EMT, Kate was interested in the differences between the Greek and American healthcare systems. Here in Greece, there is a universal healthcare program as well as private options. Meanwhile, in America, healthcare is mainly private. This week, Kate will sit in on a lesson from Dr. Smparounis about the cutting edge da Vinci Robotic Surgery System. Getting the chance to work closely with a renowned surgeon and developing a friendship is “once in a lifetime” Kate declared.

When she’s not working with Dr. Smparounis at the hospital, Kate also been volunteering with an organization called Medical Volunteers International (MVI). MVI is a non-profit that provides medical assistance to refugees. Once a week, Kate goes to one of their women and children’s clinics and assists doctors as they see patients. On their busiest day, fourteen patients came through during the few hours she was there. She gets to work alongside the doctors as they listen to patients about their symptoms, ask follow-up questions, and determine a diagnosis.

Unlike at many internship and volunteering experiences in the US, at MVI Kate gets to provide real input and contributions to the doctors she works with. She says that this work has given her the chance to see “what’s actually going on and how the process occurs and to look at the symptoms and go ‘okay, I think it’s this.’” Every time she goes in, she gets another opportunity to put the skills and knowledge she has gained in the classroom to the test.

One of Kate’s favorite parts of her volunteer work is that she feels she’s been able to provide more continuity at the clinic than usual. The doctors she works with are volunteering their time and efforts, so they often stay for about two weeks before switching out with a new doctor. Kate, on the other hand, has been helping at the clinic every week since mid-September. Since she has been coming for weeks now, she feels confident helping doctors recognize recurring patients and checking on their previous problems before helping them with new ones.

This is far from Kate’s first time venturing out into the medical field. She is a certified EMT, has worked in a burn clinic and trauma center, and has shadowed a variety of different medical professionals already. But even with all this experience under her belt already, she feels that her experiences here in Greece have been unique. While shadowing in the US is just “watching,” she describes her work here shadowing and with the volunteer organization as more “interactive” and “involved.” She’s had the chance to speak up and give her opinion to real medical professionals in a way that she hasn’t had the chance to in the US. While she has loved the work she has done in the US previously, she admits that “it’s one thing to learn it in the classroom but its another to actually go and to see what you’re learning in class in action and to see the consequences of it.” In her volunteer work here in Greece, Kate has gotten to witness the healing impact her help has had on real people.

This healing impact is all the more meaningful because Medical Volunteers International assists refugees. For Kate, this has been different than caring for patients at a hospital back in the US. Without the work of organizations like MVI, it can be extremely difficult for refugees to find medical care. In countries like Greece, where so many refugees have arrived in the past few years, this kind of humanitarian aid is critical. By seeing up close the situations of these refugees, Kate has gained more than just medical experience from her volunteering – she feels that her work at MVI has “opened up a whole new realm of sympathy.”

When it comes to for future CYA student who are considering volunteering, Kate’s advice was simple: “don’t be hesitant… it’s going to be great.”

For her amazing work throughout her time at CYA, Kate has been named the Student of the Semester for fall ’19! Bravo Kate!

The University Costs You Need to Budget For

It does not matter what you choose to study at university, you need to make sure that you have the funding to do it. Everybody knows that you have to pay tuition fees when you attend university. This is something that is not a surprise. But a lot of students do not realize that there are other costs and expenses you need to budget for too. Let’s take a look at what you can expect so that you are financially prepared.

A Laptop and Other Technology

Heading off to university may mean that you have to update your technology for your studies. In particular, a lot of students need their own laptops in order to complete research, reading lists and take notes in classes. Of course, this can be a big expense that you have to make before your semester starts. In addition, you may want to invest in other technology to make your studying sessions easier, such as a printer. 


If you are studying in another state, you are going to have to move out of your family home and choose a dorm. This can be a very exciting experience and a great opportunity to make friends and grow as a person. But it does require a lot of money. Unfortunately, if your university is far from home, you do not have a choice. This is when you have to wring as much as you can from the money you have in your available budget

As an example, Dominique Broadway is an award-winning personal finance expert. She offers some excellent advice about where and how to source the best student loans, to help you manage your finances better by helping individuals make better and more informed financial decisions. 

Books and Learning Materials

Back in high school, a lot of learning materials and textbooks are provided for you. At university, the core reading materials for your course will not be the same. Some books may be available in your library. But most of them you will have to buy each semester. This can soon add up, especially if you buy them new. You may be able to get your hands on some used materials. Otherwise, you are going to have to budget for these if you want to pass your course.

The Graduation Ceremony

If you have just started university, you may not even be thinking about graduation yet. But there is one reason why you should and that is because of the cost. By the end of your education, you may be low on savings. Expenses can take their toll on your bank account. But you need to make sure that you have some money stored away so that you can properly celebrate your graduation. You have worked very hard over the years and finally gained your degree. You will need enough money for your gown and hat hire, as well as your tickets to graduation. There are usually two to four tickets for your loved ones and they all cost money. In addition, there are special mementos you can purchase and official photographs.

How to Teach Someone English

Being a native speaker of English is sometimes said to be ‘all you need’ to teach someone English. However, anyone with a TESOL qualification will tell you that there are vital skills you need to learn to become a good teacher. Even with a TESOL certificate, there are certain points you need to keep in mind when teaching someone English. If you want to know how to teach someone English, read our list of top tips to hone your teaching expertise.

Assess Their Level

Knowing your student’s level is a vital element to teaching appropriate and successful lessons. If you’re teaching for an online platform, they might have already assessed the student’s level before introducing you to them, and in both online and face-to-face classes of multiple learners, the students are often grouped together by level. However, if you’re teaching freelance or on a platform without a pre-class level check, you’ll have to do it yourself.

The best way to gage a student’s ability is to ascertain their CEFR level. CEFR stands for Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, and it’s a guideline for all language abilities (not just English) that’s used all over the world. Most schools and platforms will divide students by their CEFR level, as well as using their own in-house levels (particularly for young learners or beginners). A1 and A2 are beginner level (absolute beginner and elementary), B1 and B2 are independent users (intermediate and upper intermediate), while C1 and C2 are proficient users (advanced and mastery).

To give your student a placement test, look at various ‘can do’ statements from each level of the CEFR and see whether or not the student can produce the language for that level. For example, can they introduce themselves and ask introductory questions? (A1 ability). Can they describe hopes and ambitions, giving reasons and explanations? (B2 ability). Details of the CEFR levels and what questions to ask the student can be found online.

Knowing what your student’s level is will help you to tailor lesson content to their ability, check their progress over time, and ensure that their lessons are challenging enough without being too difficult. A good tip to remember is that a student should already know 70% of the language used in a class, with 30% new material. Too much new material and they won’t remember it, nor will they understand the classroom activities.

 Find Out Their Goals

Knowing a student’s ability is the most important, but a close second is finding out why they’re learning English. If a student has enrolled on a course hoping to learn Medical English and you teach them English for Tourism, the lessons will be useless to them. 

Students learn for all sorts of reasons, and there are a huge number of specialised courses and topics you might be asked to teach: Business English, English for Academic Purposes, English for Pilots, etc. Some students are working towards passing a certain exam, such as IELTS. But also remember that many students are learning English for fun, and have no specific goals other than to achieve an intermediate or advanced level. 

Some students have no set language goals but are learning for a purpose, such as to prepare for a holiday abroad or a university degree. Also, you might meet some students who have no goals because they don’t want to learn English. Some employers enrol their staff on language courses which are mandatory, and for these students who are learning by force rather than through passion, motivation can be an issue. If this is the case, try to keep lessons light-hearted and fun as well as covering the content set out by the employer.

Cater to All Skill Sets

People often focus on speaking when it comes to learning a language, but this is just one of several important skills. Reading, writing, listening, speaking, vocabulary and grammar practice are all important elements of the language lesson. Try to keep a good balance of activities that focus on different skills when you’re teaching someone English, even if the student wants to focus on one skill in particular.

Learning Style and Student Types

We all learn in different ways, a fact that can make it difficult to cater for individual learning styles when teaching group classes. There are four student types – visual, auditory, kinaesthetic and combination. Broadly speaking, we’re all combination learners, but from time to time you’ll meet students who are much more productive and motivated when doing certain tasks. 

Students who respond well to oral dictations are auditory learners. Those who flourish with gap-fill activities or picture matching will be visual. A kinaesthetic learner needs to be active, not just listening and taking notes, and might benefit from games that get them up and moving rather than stuck at the desk. Keeping different learning styles in mind will help you to create tailored lessons when teaching someone English.

Respect Their Cultural Quirks

When it comes to language learning, there’s no one-size-fits-all. If you teach students from different places around the world, you’ll soon see that there are general traits when it comes to your student’s attitudes and confidence. Chinese students will be mortified and clam up if you ask them to talk about relationships with their peers, whereas a chatty Spanish student will love dishing up the latest gossip. A Japanese student might be shy and not want to engage in creative or imaginative activities, whereas a passionate Italian will love a chance to use language fluently. While there are always those who buck the trend, as a TESOL teacher you need to anticipate how your students will react to certain activities and what’s appropriate when teaching them English.

Plan Student Centred Lessons

Each lesson you teach should have a clear goal, one that is completely focussed on the student and what you hope they’ll achieve. Each lesson plan you write should start with the words ‘By the end of the lesson, the student will be able to…’ This will help you to remember that the lesson isn’t about what you’re going to do (‘Cover page 34’ or ‘Talk about the past tense’) but what the students are going to do, and why they’re doing it. 

A warmer and introduction, an example of the language in use, an activity with closed questions followed by one with open questions, ending in a fluency exercise and a review – your activities should come in a carefully planned order to ensure that the students are building their knowledge step by step towards using the language independently. Keep the students in mind for each phase of the lesson and your classes will be engaging and purposeful.

Discover Their Weaknesses

We all like doing things we’re good at and shy away from things we’re bad at, but don’t let a student’s reluctance put you off certain activities. It’s nice to be praised for getting things right, but if the activity was easy for the student, the celebration is unfairly won. How much more rewarding is it to receive praise for something you struggled with and had to work hard at? Whether it’s a particular skill (like pronunciation or grammar) or a topic that a student really struggles with, make sure they’re challenged in every class.


When you teach someone English, whether it’s a short course of just a few weeks or a long-term client who you teach for years, it’s important to check in with their progress and see how they’re doing. A mini review at the end of a lesson, or the start of the next class, is a great way to see what’s stuck in their short-term memory. However, it’s important to see what they remember in the long-term, too. Quick review questions can help inform you if they’re committing what they’ve learnt to long term memory. Also, make sure that you’re reviewing how close they are to reaching their goals – are they now at the CEFR level they wanted to be at? Have their goals changed?

Push Them

Remember that rule about 70%/30%? It’s important to get that balance right continually, not just in the first lesson. It can be tricky to pitch things appropriately to a group of learners, but in a one-to-one class, content can really be tailored to the student. Make sure that you’re keeping tabs on how the student is advancing. Are the activities you planned for them weeks ago still challenging, or do they need something fresh to spark motivation?


It sounds like there’s a lot to keep in mind here, but don’t get stressed out. You’re not a doctor – if a lesson goes badly, no-one is going to die. This long list of considerations when learning how to teach someone English may seem insurmountable at the start, but with a few months of teaching practice, it will become second nature. 

Even seasoned teachers need reminding of these tips from time to time (when they get set in their ways and pick up bad habits!) so in the beginning just remember to be practical. Reflect on how your teaching has gone after a lesson and see how you can improve, remembering that one bad lesson isn’t going to ruin a student’s progress – every class is a baby step up the mountain that is language learning, and you’ll be there to guide them along the way.