We all know that we should study hard, but studying effectively is just as important. Follow the below tips to ensure your valuable time is used as productively as possible.
A Study Schedule
SITCM’s students are expected to spend at least 10 hours per week on each unit of study / module. This means that if a unit / module has 1 lecture hour and 2 tutorial hours per week, students are expected to spend at least 7 additional hours per week doing self-study for that unit / module. Use this information to prepare your own study schedule.
When to Study
At different times of day, our energy levels change. Pay attention to when your mind is most able to focus (it is different for each person). Your study schedule should take advantage of these productive times.
Try to study at the same time each day, as a regular schedule is the easiest to follow.
Many people find several hours of continuous study tiring. If you want to have a long study session, consider including short breaks which allow you to recover your energy and focus.
Where to Study
Study is more likely to be productive when done in a quiet environment that is away from distractions. As each person’s study needs are different, you need to find out where you study most productively – be it at home, on the SITCM campus, in a café, at a public library or somewhere else.
Some students learn more effectively in groups. If you find parts of the learning material difficult to understand, you may benefit from getting your classmates’ opinions. In such cases, you can ask some of your classmates if they would like to meet for a group study session sometime. Keep in mind that for a group study session to be successful, it needs to benefit all participants. Also remember that individual assignment tasks must be written by you alone.
Write a summary for each unit of study / module, using your own words if possible (this can help you understand the content better). Update it weekly and make sure it includes all the key information that was taught in that week.
Summaries have two benefits. Firstly, they ensure your understanding is always up to date, so you do not feel lost in class. Secondly, they allow you to study more effectively for final exams, as your summary will already contain all the key content from the unit / module.
Participating in Class
Many studies have found that students learn best when not only listening but also actively participating. When your lecturer, tutor or clinic supervisor gives you an opportunity to actively participate, seize it. It does not matter if you sometimes answer questions incorrectly – this is a natural part of learning.
You cannot study if you cannot focus. Make sure you eat healthy food, drink plenty of water, exercise and sleep enough throughout the semester – and particularly around exams.
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