Topic Minerva Tutoring
Date August 3, 2017

Minerva Tutoring with Hugh Viney

Founded in 2014, Minerva has helped thousands of student develop the skills they need to succeed in the exam room and the world beyond. They have received nominations for two leading national education & business awards, and been described by the Good Schools Guide in 2016 as ‘The Innocent Drinks of the tutor world.’  Becoming one of the fastest growing education companies in the UK. 

On the 3rd of August 2017, Minerva’s founder Hugh Viney hosted a live 30 minute Q&A session on Goodwall answering questions and giving study tips to students all over the world.

"VISUALISATION IS KEY. For studies or revision or whatever. If you can see what you are 'conquering' it drives you to success and allows you to see that it’s never unassailable"

Would you recommend revise before and important exam? Or is it better to rest? —Bea

Always get a good night’s sleep before an exam, it’s way more important than cramming all night. Bad rest or sleep has a hugely detrimental effect on your brain recall facility.

How can we boost our productivity? —Eraani

It is important to have a good diet, exercise and sleep. But also getting away from your studies. Downtime/fun time can help you re focus when you need to.

I have this method of study where I have a particular game to improve my focus and spatial memory. So I study intensively days before the exam, revise one day before the exam and have a nice sleep. On the exam day, I prefer not to study, only basic revision if needed. On the exam day, I play that game, especially 1-2 hours before the exam. I seem to be getting good results, but is this the right method? Is there any way I can improve on it? —Avik

That’s a great technique! Want to come work for us?

I have trouble focusing on revision for more than 20 mins. How do I work on that? —Maya

That’s totally fine. Everyone has their own way. Don’t force yourself to be different. Do 20 mins intense, 10 minute break; 20 mins intense 30 min break. We teach that to a bunch of our students who struggle with revision!

What is the best studying environment? —Shivar

Natural light – make sure there’s natural light!

So there's always times during the year when there's just a ridiculous amount of work. For example, the last two weeks of this year I still had to do 5 reports, these big papers, take tests every day and prepare for the final test week. How can I deal with that kind of work load? Getting more than 6 hours a night is really hard at that point, and it's hard to concentrate on studying. So basically, how can I cram a lot of work into a short amount of time, while still doing it well? —Mattie

You really need to organise / plan with that sort of schedule. Like day by day, hour by hour. Fully planning the next 5 weeks. And them it gives you peace of mind while you tick off your days. and that sense of accomplishment drives you. Have all your days and hours planned out on the wall of your study room.

What are some good time management techniques? I'm finding it difficult to balance school and revision, hobbies and university prep? —Amelia

If you have to cut some things then do – but it is important to have a schedule for your day to day activities. Have your hours and days planned out on the wall of your study room.

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Do you offer your services in the San Gabriel Valley area? —Nada

Our tutors reach everyone via our online tuition portal, they are based all over the world.

What's the best way to revise for language exams? —Maya

Listening to the language being spoken to get your brain ‘in the zone’. So for our spanish students for example, we get them to listen to Spanish radio. It gets your brain thinking in that language. For the moments right before the exam, read, listen, watch the language. We even do this with Latin students!

Is it possible to do 2-3 A levels in one year? —Mariyam

Yes it is possible to do 2-3 A levels but it requires a lot of work – recommended teaching time per A level is 180 hours, and that’s not including self study time.


How do I improve on procrastination? Sometimes, I just am unable to study, so is there any way or technique to get interested? —Avik

That’s a classic. Find something useful to do when you are procrastinating. So even when you are it means that you are doing something helpful. Like instead of just tidying your room or playing computer games, read a newspaper or watch interesting articles online.

For university applications, is it more important to have exceptional grades or to have many extracurricular involvements? —Emma

More and more extracurricular activities are being valued because of grade inflation.

What's the best way to remain motivated and productive throughout the whole school year? —Amelia

Honestly focus on well being and you’ll see the rewards in your studies. Check out this blog with some more detail:

I can't handle school projects, scientific research, homework or finish them on time . In here, we study from 7a.m-4:30 p.m everyday, then we have extra academic lessons until 9:30 p.m, because of that, I always sleep late to do projects as well as report our research and the homework for tomorrow classes. Deadlines keep coming but I can't manage my time well so I can't ever be on time. Especially on the days of Final Term Exams, I have to learn by heart 13 subjects, practice billions of lessons and the hardest thing is to work on those scientific research and projects at the same time (because they are counted as grades too). Can you give me some advice? —Minh

Someone asked for the best way to memorise quotes -Writing down over and over. Recording them and listening to them over and over, flash cards
or having someone else test you.

I need advice on studying math because I am a slow learner and can’t really focus on the subject. I am more of an audio learner. —Danelly

That’s one of the tougher ones for Maths! But don’t worry. Everyone can learn math, just need to access your intrinsic motivation. You need to look at the WHY not the HOW. Why should we all learn maths? Because its one of the most useful subjects in real life? This should motivate you. But then HOW comes next and we always say the approach of going back to basics works.

How many major subjects should you focus on in one day? —Amber

Great question! No more than 2! Variety in revision really helps but instead of changing subjects too many times, change topics.

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What would say sets Minerva Tutoring apart from other services. Is there a technique you use? —Adam

Our tutors are full time tutors. they do this as their job, they aren’t just using tuition to supplement their other artistic careers, or start ups or whatever. They are dedicated to tuition.

Can panic lower focus on exams and how to stop panicking and being scared? —Tereza

Exam Tips: in subjects like English/history  resist the temptation to try and answer the question you wish they’d asked. Answer the question they’ve given and make specific reference to the question in your answer. Don’t go into the exam with one or two pre prepared or planned essays in your head because chances are those won’t come up and you’ll end up trying to force the question to fit your answer, not your answer to fit the question.
Also, most students don’t read examiners reports, it’s worth doing, they’ll tell you exactly what style of answer they want for each question and discuss how other people have done well/badly. It’s a good way to tailor responses to what they’re looking for.
If a question completely stumps you move on and come back to it, it’s not worth wasting 15 minutes in a panic staring at it, do the ones you’re most confident in first and then reattempt difficult ones, it stops you wasting time and losing marks by not finishing questions you could have done well on.

Revision:  figure out how you learn things best by paying attention to what sorts of details sink in when you learn in class. Is it things you’ve talked through with someone? Things you’ve done visually, things you’ve watched done ect. There are loads of things you can do for revision which aren’t reading notes (this is wildly inefficient) some good ones are teaching your family the topic, many people learn by talking and having to teach something to someone else let’s you know anything you’re missing. Ie. if at the end of you explaining the Norman conquest your sister doesn’t get why they won. Maybe you haven’t made this clear enough and need to revise it or watch out for clearly explaining it in an essay. For languages or history and geography recordings yourself saying facts and vocabulary you just need to memorise is helpful, you can listen to it on the bus or train on the way to school.


Stress: do other things!! And don’t compare yourself to other people who say they’re doing four hours a night/ did nine exam papers yesterday. People work differently and lots of people exaggerate. Just focus on yourself and staying calm. Get out, exercise, life doesn’t stop with exams! Fix a time you won’t work after each night. If you’re not at school during the revision period/ it’s a weekend and you’re working during the day, I’d stop at supper time, if it’s a school night I’d work earlier in the evening and stop by 8 30. Give yourself at least an hour then to relax and do something you enjoy. It will help you hold steady and not be overwhelmed and burn out. Mental health and happiness is key.

Topic Minerva Tutoring
Date August 3, 2017