It's true !
As much as you hate me and your parents saying it - starting early really does make the biggest difference.
No matter how much extra time or how good you think you are at cramming nothing will have more impact on your grades than how well you understand your subjects. If you KNOW something you write a much better argument or exam answer than if you have to waste time trying to REMEMBER it.
The good news is that there are now lots of fun ways to go about this.
Youtube and the rest of the internet are FULL of really quite informative and engaging videos that help provide information in a way that helps your memory.
That doesn't mean you don't have to practice pulling all that information back out of your head - or make a few lists of names and dates that you will have to really go over to be able to remember them. But a few different videos can help make a boring text more interesting or help give another opinion on a book that you hadn't thought about.
Here are some of my favorites
Lord of the Flies
or Macbeth (a bit rude so not for sensitive ears )
The summer holiday is a great time to relax but also to get ahead - you'd be surprised how many great books are on the reading lists and how many have been turned into brilliant films (Baz Luhrmann's Romeo and Juliet will always be one of my favorite films)
Just remember that for every little bit you do now - its a bit that you will feel slightly ahead on next year. You will go to them remembering things better and understanding them more. When we understand things we are able to look for the hidden meanings or the implications - all this makes it MUCH LESS BORING
its a win win