Tips for Staying on Top of Your Studying
I hope you are enjoying term 1! I appreciate that we are nearing reading week so I thought I would do a blog post about how to keep on top of your studies. Below I will share a few tips that I use but mainly have overheard:
· Draw Out A Timetable
Work out and physically draw out or type up a timetable of your week. Include set activities, such as: rehearsals, sports practices and training, lectures, seminars, regular work hours etc. It is useful to visually compute how much ‘free’ (we use this loosely) time you have to schedule reading, essay planning, lab work etc. Once you know where your usual free pockets of time are you can start building a framework whereby you plot times for studying that chronologically fit with impeding classes/ deadlines.
· Try to Read A Week Ahead
So much easier said than done, but will make a world of difference to your study life. Once you get into the habit it can ease pressure and also, if you do a humanities-based degree, can give you earlier insight into which topics you might want to consider for essays and presentations.
· When Reading Make Notes That Suit Yourself
You don’t need to share your notes with anyone so write for yourself. If you can understand your own vernacular shorthand- do it. If you stumble across a word you don’t understand make a note of it and its definition, you can use it yourself later. It is so important to familiarise yourself with academic literature. You should be challenged by your reading not intimidated by it. Remember if you’re struggling with something, someone else in your class is too. So ask for clarification, yourself and others, will thank you for it.
· Note Taking in Lectures
Something which I noticed hugely improve my note taking in lectures is paying particular attention to what the lecturer is saying as opposed to copying down lecture slides. More often than not, slideshow presentations are uploaded by lecturers on a weekly basis, so most of the time, you have easy access to all the information the slides entail. Also I personally understand a theory better through a verbal anecdote. Therefore, I prefer to scribe what the lecturer is saying as I find it easier to re-imagine when it comes to revision much later down the line.
I hope some of these tips are useful for your upcoming reading week and beyond.