The past year and a half has been challenging for everyone, but here at Lanterna we see the impact on students daily. Our tutors see first-hand how students around the world are struggling with coping with the impacts of COVID-19. To get a better understanding of exactly what you’re finding tough and how we can help, we conducted a survey of our students. Here we’re going to take you through the results. The key takeaway is that if you’re struggling with motivation, focus, or understanding concepts: you are not alone!
Problem – Motivation and Focus
If you’re finding studying amidst COVID-19, you’re not alone! 79% of students surveyed reported that COVID-19 has impacted their studies. Additionally, 84% said they feel they need more support in their studies as a result of COVID-19.
When asked about the specifics of how their studies have been impacted, responses focused heavily on motivation and focusing. One student described themselves as “unmotivated”. Another found that they are struggling with their “attention span” and a third student reported that they found it “hard to focus”.
Solution – Pomodoro Technique
Working at home is so different to working in a classroom! If you’re finding yourself in a similar situation and distracted by all the things around you that aren’t school related, try using the Pomodoro technique. This involves working for periods of 25 minutes followed by a 5 minute break. After 4 of these work periods, you take a longer 15-30 minute break. This can make focusing more manageable by giving your brain a designated time to get distracted by Instagram and TikTok!
Solution – Set Small Goals
If you’re struggling with motivation, try setting small goals for yourself throughout the day. The key here is to write them down and check them off when you’ve done them! Whether it’s ‘spend 20 minutes on chemistry past paper questions’ or ‘write an essay plan’, ticking things off a list can give you a sense of accomplishment. If you feel like you’re making progress (even if it’s small!), it will help build your motivation! Check this blog post on how to find motivation for a subject you don’t enjoy, another common cause of feeling unmotivated.
Problem – Challenges Engaging with Teachers
Another common issue mentioned was that there are fewer opportunities to get help from teachers and other students. One student said that it is “more challenging to fill gaps in knowledge since the teachers are less accessible”.
Solution – Gather Questions Together
If you’re having the same problem, try keeping a running list of questions for teachers. Make a Google Doc with a section for each subject or teacher. When you have a question and you can’t ask your teacher right away, add it to the doc! When you have a few questions gathered, send them an email or message on Teams with them written out. Teachers are super busy and gathering questions in one place can make it easier for them to reply!
Solution – Lanterna’s YouTube Channel
Sometimes, an email response won’t be enough to explain a concept to you. If this happens, try checking out our YouTube videos. We have loads of videos from our top tutors explaining the concepts that they get asked about most often! If you’re struggling with coursework, you can also check out our recent blog posts that go through our top tips for success for IAs, IOs, and the Extended Essay.
Solution – Tuition with Lanterna
If videos aren’t enough, check out the online private tuition that we offer. Our tutors are all recent IB graduates who understand what you’re going through! They have all scored 40+ points and attend top universities around the world. If you’re struggling with a concept, our ‘Starter Pack’ could be for you. It consists of 5 hours of one-on-one tuition which will allow you to dive deep into a topic and get lots of practice with past paper questions.
Problem – Feeling on Your Own
A few students reported that they “gave up because no one was checking on [them]”. Feeling like you’re on your own in tackling the IB is completely understandable when you’re isolated from your peers and teachers!
Solution – Long-term Tuition with Lanterna
Our tuition services can also help with this. Our ‘Core Pack’ and ‘Advanced Pack’ both allow you to set up regular sessions with a tutor throughout the semester and school year. Having an hour or two a week where you can check in with your tutor and ask all your questions will help you stay on track. They can also work with you to create a personalised study plan. If you fall behind on that plan, they’ll work with you to figure out what’s going wrong and how to overcome it.
The key takeaway from this survey is that students everywhere are struggling with maintaining motivation, tackling challenging concepts, and staying on track. If you are feeling the same way you are not alone! It’s really important to not suffer in silence. Talk to your parents about what you’re feeling and struggling with. If there is anything that we can do to help, get in touch with us here. We’re rooting for you!