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8 study strategies to help you succeed

You may still be reeling from the long hours of studying you clocked last semester. Or you may be feeling languid after hibernating during the cold mid-semester break or dreaming about your next holiday. The reality is, if it hasn’t sunk in, Semester 2 has started.

If you are serious about your academic performance, whether maintaining your excellent results or vowing to get better results this time, you have to get into the study groove.

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Image: Wikimedia Commons

Here are eight simple but effective study strategies. These were written by learning skills advisers and a  quick study guide version is available if you want to print it out.

1. Plan ahead – start planning early to help manage your time.

  • Short-term planning (daily to-do lists)
  • Mid-term planning (weekly plans including class times, revision times)
  • Long-term planning (semester plans including assignments and/or placements)
  • Set apart some time for study – develop a study timetable.
clock sunrise

Image: eflon/Creative Commons

2. Set goals – be S.M.A.R.T. when you set your goals.

  • Specific – identify precisely what you have to do.
  • Measurable – you need to break larger pieces of work down into smaller manageable chunks
  • Attainable – don’t set goals that are going to be difficult to achieve
  • Relevant – the goal is working towards something you want or have to do within this time frame
  • Timely – know when the goal needs to be achieved

3. Set apart a place for study. This should be private, free from noise and other distractions.

4. Prioritise your time. Take note of due dates and anything that needs more study time.

5. Keep up to date with your studies. Revise your notes constantly as new topics often require an understanding of earlier work.

6. Do tutorial exercises and work through examples. This often helps you highlight where additional effort needs to be made.

7. Work through past exam papers as it gets closer to exam time.

And you should add…

8. Use the Library. This extra strategy can make a huge difference. Find out the range of Library programs and activities designed to make your journey to graduation easier.

This is what the research says: Students who use the library have better results compared to students who do not use the library (Soria, Franken and Nackerud, 2013).

Best of luck this semester!

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