Now you’ve got freshers out of the way, and university is in full swing, it’s time to sit down and consider how you’re going to study for the rest of the year. Although term has only just begun and the workload might seem light at the moment, as many students may already know, it can get intense pretty quickly. Staying on top of your study and sticking to your study plan can really help you tackle all that academic pressure, but there’s a few extra things that you can do to help you succeed this academic year. At Accommodation for students, we’ve put together some useful tips and tricks to help you stay in control of your study this academic year.
Do the reading – it makes a difference.
Although you might feel like everything being covered in your lectures, doing the recommended reading (even if it’s really long) can really help to solidify your knowledge and enhance your understanding of a topic. Your lecturer has likely discussed the highlights of the course textbook and covered some of the important angles, however if you really want to get ahead, and understand everything in depth, then doing the reading is definitely a good place to start. Moreover, when you begin to start your exam revision or your coursework preparation, if you’ve already done the required reading, then you’ll definitely be better positioned to begin. Doing the reading might be time consuming but it’s definitely a worthy investment.
Go to office hours – your lecturers are there to help.
If there’s anything that you’re ever unsure about, go and ask. Your lecturers are here to help you and they are often happy to discuss anything you might be struggling with. Even if you’ve only got something small to say, it is definitely worth bringing it up. If you’re writing an essay, go along to discuss your ideas and confirm that you’re on the right track, or for an exam, if you’re revising certain topics, check that there isn’t anything that you’re missing. Taking time to check your understanding and to discuss any areas of the course that you might be struggling with in more detail, can really help to boost your grades.
Take a note of all your deadlines
Taking note of all your deadlines is a great way to make sure that you stay on track. Write down when they all are, take note of how you’ll be assessed and consider how you will prepare for that assessment. Knowing when your deadlines are in advance can help to stop you from feeling overwhelmed later on in the semester.
Make a study plan
Once you know when your deadlines will be, take time to plan exactly when you’re going to study for them. Plan out when you’re going to go over your lecture content, when you’ll do your reading, and when you’ll start working on your assignments. It is often a good idea to plan to work on each module every week, even if you don’t have anything due in. This way, when you do have something due in, you’ll be more prepared for it.
Do active study
Although it is really important to do the class reading and to revisit content that you’re finding difficult, one of the best ways to ensure that you have understood something is to get active in your revision. Try answering practice questions on the content or making a quiz for you and your friends to go over. Sometimes even speaking the content out loud and pretending that you’re teaching it to someone else can be a great way to ensure that you’ve understood the content. Doing active study ensures that you are capable of understanding and applying the information that you’ve learnt.
Know the study cycle.
When you’re trying to learn something new or to revise for a test, there are multiple steps that you have to go through in order to take in the specific information. The steps of the study cycle are previewing, attending class, reviewing, studying and checking understanding. Although it may be temping to try and skip to the very end of the study cycle, try to take your time to really go step by step and follow the cycle.
Space out your study.
Although it is really important to revise the day before a test, try and make sure that you’ve spaced out your study. Doing small chunks each day is a great way to ensure that you’ve got a broad and deep understanding of a subject and can often increase the amount of information that you can retain over a long period of time.
Not only is exercise good for your physical health, but it has been shown to have short term benefits for increasing your concentration. Moreover, regular exercise can also positively influence your ability to handle stress, and may help your mental well being throughout university.
Take breaks .
Taking breaks is just as important as studying. It is vital that you give yourself time to relax. Whether this involves going out with your friends or just taking time to sit in and watch a film. It is really important to look after both your physical and mental well-being during university.
Staying on top of you study throughout the semester can often have its challenges. While sticking to these tips can definitely help, it’s not a one size fits all approach. Take time to really consider which study mechanisms work best for you and apply them as best as you can throughout the semester.