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Information » Education, Employment & Training » Study Skills » Homework

Homework

Homework is any kind of study exercise that you do in your own time. It is given to you by teachers as part of the course you are studying and is actually designed to help you learn. It compliments what you are learning in class and helps you to practice putting this knowledge into practice.

Not many people actually like doing homework, most see it as something they have to do rather than something they want to do.

Not doing your homework means you are simply reducing your chances of getting a qualification.

Homework can take many forms:

  • Writing essays
  • Mathematical calculations
  • Researching subjects
  • Artistic challenges
  • Watching educational TV shows
  • Completing interactive activities on your computer at home

How much homework should you do?

There are no set rules about this but as a rough guide you might expect to spend the following amount of time doing homework each night:

  • Years 7 & 8 (ages 11-13) - 45 - 90 minutes
  • Year 9 (ages 13-14) - 1 - 2 hours
  • Years 10 & 11 (ages 14-16) - 1.5 - 2.5 hours

Doing your homework

  • Find a quiet place to work with no distractions.
  • There are mixed views on whether listening to music helps you concentrate. If it works for you, keep it low and in the background so you‘re not distracted or tempted to sing along.
  • Keep a homework diary - so you have a note of what you need to do and when it must be handed in.
  • Make sure that you take regular breaks if you are studying for any length of time.
  • Presentation is important - try to write clearly and neatly.
  • If you find it difficult to organise your time to fit in homework, it might help to look for places away from home where you can do it. Some libraries in bigger towns may run homework clubs. Doing homework in a library helps to avoid the distractions that can come up at home and also encourages you to take an interest in the library and what it can offer.
  • Never be tempted to copy things word for word off the internet or from books. It‘ll be obvious that the work is not your own, so you‘re bound to be found out. It could result in you getting a zero mark for your work. Is it worth it?

Problems with homework

  • If you don‘t understand what you are being asked to do ASK your teacher. There is no shame in asking your teacher to explain something to you. They would rather you do this than not do your homework or waste time tackling it in the wrong way.
  • It is also important to speak to your teachers if you feel you are being given too much homework or not enough time in which to do it.
  • If there is a genuine reason why you can‘t do your do your homework by the right day then your teacher will probably let you hand it in at a later date, but if possible ask them before the due date.
  • Although you should always try to do your homework yourself, if the topic is a tricky one you may find it helps to talk it over with your parents or your friends first.

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