My top 5 study tips
This month I am doing something different: I will share two “Top 5” lists a week on various aspects of university life. If you have any ideas, please feel free to comment below!
Today’s top 5 list is on study tips!
1. Make to-do lists
With the huge independent learning that is expected of you at university, it is easy to fall into the trap of just not knowing where to start, so you don’t start at all… (We have all been there…)
Making to-do lists will help you plan your day/week so that you stay focused.
I prefer to make one broad list at the start of the week, and then a more detailed list in the evening ready for the next day. This also helps with time management because you know exactly what needs to be done at the start of the day.
I personally find “keepnotes” is the best way for me to store these lists since I can access them from both my phone and my laptop, and since they are typed, I can easily change them around. However, I know some people who don’t like having 24.7 access to their lists since it can cause further stress and prefer to use post-it notes or a notebook which they only have access to when studying or planning their studies.
2. Find what note-taking technique works best for you
This is really important. Taking efficient notes is most important for lectures, seminars and when doing your readings. Use your first year to experiment with different note-taking techniques so that you are well prepared in your second and third year.
Taking well-written and legible(!) notes will help you when writing your essays and revising for your exams.
I use “OneNote” to type and store my notes and then print out what is most relevant when revising/writing essays because I like to have the most important information printed out in front of me.
3. Teach the topic to somebody else
If you can’t teach the topic to somebody else, you don’t know it. Whether you do this by just randomly discussing your work with your flatmates/friends/family or more formally during organised study groups, teaching the topic to somebody else until they also understand it is a great way to study.
A day before my final exam this year, I decided to visit a friends house (all Computer Science students) in the evening for a short break. Somehow, it turned into a debate which linked really well to the topic I was revising an hour before and seeing how much information I was able to recall definitely eased my exam nerves and made me feel more confident.
4. Use apps like “Hold” to avoid procrastinating
“Hold” is an app (available on the app store and play store) which lets you collect points for not using your phone. These points can be used to redeem vouchers that you can then spend to treat yourself. (Note: the app cannot be used in the night, so no, you can’t just leave it on when sleeping!)
This is a really good motivator to actually study when you are supposed to study and ensure that you take regular study breaks between your work periods.
5. Make sure that you are staying healthy
This is probably the most important tip. If you aren’t eating well and exercising regularly, you will not be in your most productive state to study or make the most of your classes.
Drink enough water throughout the day, eat healthily (but some snacks throughout the day are okay too!) and make sure you exercise regularly. It is easy to fall into the trap of getting too focused on your studies especially during the exam season, at the detriment of exercising. Don’t do this! You will thank yourself for keeping up that healthy lifestyle. Even if it is just going for a short walk around campus before/between and/or after your studies- make sure you do something!
*My favourite study space: The Politics Common Room*
Shanita 🙂 xo