When I talk students through their weekly timetable, one of the questions I ask them is “how much homework do you have each day?”. Would you have an answer to this question, or is it just ‘lots’? I know how easily work can creep up before we realise how much of our days, weeks, and months we are giving to them. Homeworks is important, but should be time-bound in order to make sure there is time each week for work, rest, and play. So how much homework should students be doing in year 11?

How much homework should I be doing in year 11?
How much homework should I be doing in year 11?

Set goals for your homework

You of course want to do well, and are obviously a good student who doesn’t want to disagree with the teachers. But putting unnecessary pressure on yourself through an already stressful year is only going to make it harder to reach your goals.

If you haven’t set specific goals for yourself yet, I’d recommend you do. It helps you to focus on the things that give you the best chance of success, and therefore make the best use of your limited time this year.

If you’re not sure how to set goals, check out https://greentutors.co.uk/goal-setting/.

Prioritise your homework

Students don’t just get work from one direction. There are several demands on their time. This is how I tell my students with a homework and revision schedule to prioritise their study time.

  1. First do the homework on the timetable.
  2. Then do the revision on your schedule.
  3. And only then do any additional homework you have time for.

Every school approaches homework slightly differently but generally there is a schedule to the way homework is set, so you shouldn’t have work for every subject on every day. And some pieces of work are more than can be completed in an evening (like coursework) and would be spread out over a longer time period.

Make a homework agreement

Some schools have an agreement on how much homework students should be doing in year 11. Students with additional needs may have a specific arrangement on this. If you don’t have one, I would encourage you to aim for one. Ideally homework should be no more than 1-2 hours per evening, and in year 11 it is likely that a significant part of that would come under ‘revision’ anyway.

If this doesn’t match up with the work you are being set, speak to your teacher, form tutor, or head of year to see how they can help you with it. The work is set to help you rather than to burn you out, and in most cases they will be happy to offer advice and support.

If you encounter any challenges, share this with your parents/guardian. The teacher can speak to them to confirm the amount of time you’ve spent doing homework. Any pushback is likely to be based on the need to encourage students to work. If you can show that is what you are doing, that should be all that is required.

Get a homework study buddy

If you find homework challenging, try working with someone else in your class. This can often make the work less daunting, and actually more beneficial. You could use break and form time to work together, or perhaps work together after school.

I often do this for the work I find most challenging even now. It helps me to overcome any mind blocks I encounter. It also adds some accountability if you’ve arranged a time to work together. You’re less likely to both lose motivation at the same time. You get the work done faster and have more fun doing it.

Make time for rest and play

I think teachers sometimes forget just how many plates you’re balancing in year 11. They’re balancing a great deal themselves, and it is very easy to forget the challenges of being a teenager. If you are finding you need a break, you can’t focus any more, or you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s time to step away from the books and do something for your wellbeing.

Rest time can be sleep, reading, spending time with family and friends, meditation, walking, stretching, listening to music, or anything that recharges you.

Play time can be sports, social events, gaming, crafts, or anything that inspires you and makes you feel joy.

Making time for these even when you have lots of work to do is actually beneficial. They help you to recharge. Our minds and bodies need a balance and none of us can work all of the time. Check out this blog for more details on why.

If you’re regularly overwhelmed, I’d recommend the steps in https://greentutors.co.uk/beat-overwhelm/.

If you would like to make better use of the days, weeks, and months leading up to your exams, you can get a copy of The Ultimate Guide to Exam Preparation completely free at subscribepage.io/greentutors. And if you’d like help implementing a schedule that works, you can sign up for a revision workshop with me at https://calendly.com/greentutors/revision-masterclass.