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 subject. This means that if your subject has 1 lecture hour and 2 tutorial hours per week, you need to spend at least 7 extra hours per week on self-study. Create a weekly study schedule to keep on top of this.
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 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. Taking 5-15-minute breaks every hour to do something that allows your brain to relax can equate to higher productivity when you do work.
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.
Maintain a weekly summary of each unit/module, using your own words if possible (this can help you understand the content better). Make sure it includes all the key information that was taught each 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 are a great reference when it is time to study for final exams.
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.
References and Additional External Resources
La Trobe University. (n.d.). Strategies for exam preparation. https://www.latrobe.edu.au/students/study-resources/learning/achieve/exam-prep
University of New South Wales. (2022, April 01). Exam Preparation Study Tips. https://www.student.unsw.edu.au/exam-preparation
University of New South Wales. (n.d.). Guide to exams with less stress. https://student.unsw.edu.au/exam/stress
University of Sydney. (2022, October 27). Preparing for exams. https://www.sydney.edu.au/students/preparing-for-exams.html