Study Tips Every Student Needs to Know
After surviving three years at University, I’ve picked some strategies along the way. I thought I would share what I’ve picked up to help you study as efficiently as possible.
A study spot:
Find a study space that works for you and try to only study here! Go to a library or coffee shop or the desk in your room, wherever works for you, and be disciplined enough to use this place exclusively for your university work. I found that taking myself to the library with a packed lunch a few days a week, and every day during dissertation and exam season, forced me to get my work done. Just make sure this is a distraction free zone where you can stay for a good few hours.
Organising your work:
I found it especially difficult to balance my university work with my social life, gym, part-time jobs, societies and general adulting tasks. I learned to combat this by meticulously using Google calendar for everything each day so I knew I had exactly enough time to do everything I needed to. I would usually schedule in a block each day for time solely dedicated to studying in the library. This meant I could organise the rest of your week around it and know that I would get all my work done.
It is vital to how you’re going to be assessed and ensure you tailor your notes and study towards this. If you’ll have one essay to write, make sure most of your focus goes on the lecture that the essay is about. If you have an essay exam, ensure you include critical points in your notes with evidence which you’re able to learn and lift into an essay in an exam.
Make sure you know if your exams are online and open book or whether they’re closed book and in an exam hall because this will affect how you should study. If you’re open book you can get away with studying in more breadth because you don’t have to remember everything. I quite liked having a list of articles that could be relevant to potential essay questions and I would only actually read these during the exam if they were relevant (Command+F is very useful for this, thank me later). Whereas if you’re closed book you will need to read these articles before the exam and have some critical points you know you can discuss in essays before going into the exam
Use the learning objectives:
Essay questions tend to be based on learning objectives so ensure you have a full understanding of each and that you feel you can write an essay about them all. I used to like to make essay questions based on the learning objectives for the entire module and plan essays and critical points on these. Then when I was in an exam I could lift paragraphs into my essays with some minor tweaks.
Use your feedback!:
Look carefully at your feedback for your essays in accordance with the marking criteria. See where you went wrong/right and consciously make an effort to avoid/continue doing this in future essays. Ask your module leaders for more detailed feedback when you don’t do as well as you’d like. Some might even be open to reading improved essays after feedback so it’s always worth asking the question!
Hopefully this can help you ensure your studying is as efficient as possible so you can go out and enjoy university to its full potential outside your studies!