CHARLOTTE’S TOP TIPS: STUDY ADVICE FROM A CURRENT STUDENT
Blog by Charlotte Stone | TuneFM team member
We’re reaching the pointy end of Trimester One and classes are going strong, with plenty of students now facing assignments and deadlines alike. With this in mind, I’ve decided to share my favourite tips and tricks to help you manage your study!
Get nice and familiar with your learning style
Before you even begin studying for that upcoming quiz, it might be important to consider what’s going to help you retain the most information. Everyone learns in very different ways – visual learners can retain more from graphic depictions, whilst auditory or aural learners find it easier to listen vocally. Some people learn via focusing on reading and writing in text-heavy sources, whilst others prefer the hands-on kinaesthetic approach.
Finding out which style of learner you are can make your study process a lot easier!
An easy way to discover which learning style best suits you, is by taking the quiz!
Don’t dive straight into the deep end
Assignments can get daunting, and I’ve often caught myself submitting a last-minute essay. My next study tip is not to bite off more than you can chew. When it comes to studying, your brain retains information a lot better in small chunks followed by small breaks on repeat, and if you fill it with too much information at once, you might find yourself getting overwhelmed when your next quiz comes around. Take small bites first and reward yourself with regular breaks to make the most out of your time! Our brains retain the most information when we study in 15-minute sessions.
Strike a balance
Personally, I find that placing too much pressure on constant study can give me unhealthy expectations of my results.
One of my biggest tips is to allow yourself time for other things amongst study. Keeping active is one of the strongest ways to clear your head; your brain releases endorphins (happy chemicals) when you exercise. Make time for your sport and other hobbies in between small bursts of study; keeping yourself happy and healthy tends to do wonders for your productivity and makes you happier to sit down and get work done when the time comes.
Get a bit of outside help
Whether you’re taking one or four units this Trimester, you’ll have a deadline to keep track of and assignments scattered throughout the months to organise. Use apps to help you track your upcoming classes, work, study, assignments, and exams in a calendar so you can stay on top of your workload and not miss any due dates. If you’re like me, nothing is more satisfying than crossing something off your to-do list and seeing a submission turn green. If you need help staying accountable, give the app ‘Forest’ a go! Forest is a useful tool that functions as an interactive timer, and won’t allow you to exit the app until you’ve completed your study time and have grown a virtual tree! If you prefer something a bit more physical, I recommend investing in a good yearly planner too! Writing due dates in a diary can often make deadlines feel more serious.
Get out of the house (or college!)
Lots of people have a dedicated study space where they’ll do all their work. This might be in your room, whether at college or a house of your own. In high school, I alternated between my desk and my bed when studying for my final exams but, before long, I fell into a dangerous loop. Spending so much time in one spot can get frustrating, you might quickly find yourself stuck in a kind of ‘Groundhog Day’ cycle of unproductiveness. Almost every student I know has experienced this at least once; no matter how hard we try, we can’t get a word on the page. My simple tip to help with this, is going somewhere fresh and new. It could be a cafe or Dixon Library, here at UNE.
Finding a calm place to work will clear your mind and help to reset the way you think about that scary assignment that’s been hanging over you.
When it comes to study, there are a million different approaches, so don’t be scared to try out new things until you find something that sticks. Some of these tips might work for you, and others may not, either way that’s totally okay.
Student Success also has confidential counselling for students, you can find them here.
If you need help with a tough unit, PASS@UNE is an academic assistance program. You can get in touch with them here.