CORK student Alex Linehan has launched a novel online product that aims to help students to study and prepare for the Leaving Certificate.
The product, NextStepUni, aims to help students learn new study techniques and ensure they don’t require grinds, notes, and rote learning in the build-up to examinations.
It provides online sessions intended to help students learn how to utilise effective study techniques such as active recall and spaced repetition in their specific subjects.
Alex says it offers sessions grounded in neuroscience which enables students to learn how to learn.
The 19-year-old student is currently studying commerce and is a former student of Coláiste Éamann Rís.
He said he adapted these techniques for his Leaving Cert which enabled him to secure his course in UCC.
“When I got into fifth year I decided to read research papers on memory and different effective study techniques like active recall and spaced repetition that are not taught anywhere in school. It is not something that students know about. Through these techniques I was able to get into a high 65 capped course in UCC,” he said.
Alex said hopes these study techniques will help more students fulfill their potential.
“A lot of students in my year could have used something like this.”
He said that he feels that the information should be available to all students because many may not know how to learn.
“They are learning all the information about a week or two beforehand and scientifically this is the least efficient way to study. The best way to study is to use techniques such as active recall and spaced repetition. In the sessions, I basically walkthrough with the students how they can implement these techniques in their studies,” he added.
His main goals are to help reduce the stress levels for students and help students achieve better grades.
“The goal of the business is to help as many students as possible and reduce stress for them. At the moment, a lot of people don’t have a plan on how they will attack their studies.
“They are trained to study all their material the night before an exam. What happens when you do this is that it is stored in your short-term memory and after about a week that information is gone. It all comes down to how you are studying, creating a well-structured plan, and implementing these techniques to do better.”
Alex in particular wants to give back to students who attend Deis schools in Cork.
He has promised that for every session he gives, a free session will go to a young person in a Deis school.
Coláiste Éamann Rís will be the first school he will be working with as a Deis school.
“Coláiste Éamann Rís is a fantastic school.
“I particularly want to help people who are at a disadvantage. It is nice to give back to a kid who might not otherwise afford it.”
Alex is very excited about the potential of his new venture.
“I put in a couple of hundred hours over recent years reading the literature on learning. I am as fluent as I can possibly be.
“Setting up the website required a few months of work. It will be worth it in the end If I can help a few people.”
The online site is available for bookings at www.nextstepuni.com