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Here 10 Tips to help you on your study journey!

Determine your study goals!

What is your learning strategy? Have you already thought about what would you like to achieve throught your higher education course? No matter what are you studying the core principles remain the ones of meeting your personal and professional goals. The first step to succeed in that is to create a plan!

Set up your own plan based on a to-do list that ends up to with the reaching of your objectives. By doing this you will be able to understand what to prioritize and clarify what is truly important for your studies. Remember the importance of setting goals and having something to work for. Personal goals are the biggest motivator.

Routine is key

A professional footballer would not stuff all of his training into a one-hour block per week, so why would you approach study in this way? Having a fixed routine or schedule for studying is more effective – try studying for one-hour bursts per day. 

Cramming may help you pass, but your aim is not merely to tick a box; you want to learn and retain information to add value to your professional life. It is crucial to understand (and reassuring to know) that the stepping stones to success are so much more than packing revision into every waking hour. Routinely studying, on the other hand, means that you retain information and genuinely learn it, which is what this is all about.

The phrase ‘work smarter, not harder’ may be a little bit of a cliché, but it is an accurate one. Studying is all about making smart choices, and how you learn and remember information rather than simply memorizing your notes. Working too hard to stop enjoying your course, or lose sights of why are you doing it in the first place is something that you don’t want to do…

Get in touch

Don’t be scared of asking for help. You are unsure about a topic, or simply need to ask a question, don’t assume just go for it! The Q&A forums on the VLE (Virtual Learning platform) are the ideal place where to ask questions not only to your program director but as well to your peers, to exchange opinions and information. You might discover that someone else share your same concerns or fears and so it is always a smart move to discuss them with your fellow students.

Keep an eye out for useful updates and assessment tips from your tutor. Use social media and online student support groups. Studying online doesn’t mean doing it alone. It means to be collaborative, more connected from everywhere to everywhere.

Test yourself

Testing yourself is an excellent way to prove all the new information that you have learnt. 

Use analytical skills to identify the right moment where to apply your knowledges and then test their efficacy far from the theory, on real situations. You should find a way to engage with your material and remember it. Practice is one of the best shortcuts to fix information in your mind. You will never forget and experience it will automatically remain in your blood.

Find your study method

There are so many study methodologies, different one to each other and is not meant that if one works for you it has to be working as well for your colleagues. It is important therefore that you find something that works for you and helps to keep you motivated during your educational experience. Here you can find 3 examples of study methods that you can find.

1 Mind Maps

After you have been taking notes, usually in a hurry, organize them in some mind maps. You can use colors as well to make them remarkable, the visual learning methodology is proving to be a real effective way of studying.

2 Flashcards. 

The visual way of learning is proven to be an effective way of studying. Write into some small cards the key elements that you want to remind. Once you’ve finished read them any time that you want. Lunch time, after lunch break time, before going to sleep…they are small and very well organized so you won’t feel it heavy or boring to take them out and give them “another look!”

Bite-sized chunks of information can easily be digested to help on your study journey. This is a great example of working smarter.

3 Bring the subject to life.

It goes without saying that studying is a paper-based activity. There will be books, articles, documentaries and a vast amount of material that you can consume that are indirectly related to your course material that will maximize your studying potential and give you a lot of scope and background information. Do not restrict your reading and research just to the ICA manual. Undertake your own research – it will help you understand the subject better.

Studying may seem somewhat overwhelming, but using the right study methods (and a mixing it up to keep your studying fresh) can see you embrace your new learning journey.

4 Do not panic. 

We have all had that moment when we looked at an assignment/exam question and thought ‘I don’t have any clue on how to approach to this!’. When you feel overwhelmed break it down into smaller components.

If it is an assignment question and you still feel confused about it, get in touch with your tutor who will be more than happy to guide you and explain you what you are missing.

Don’t waste your time panicking, move quickly to the next question and come back to the ones that you feel uncertain about later. You can also discover that looking at different questions or subjects unlocked your memory and now you are better able to focus and go back to tackle your difficult question.

5 Divide. 

Our brain effectively absorbs information from the first and last 15 minutes of studying. Break down a big assignment, material into small parts of information to be learned some at a time. Set specific goals for each study session to keep you directed while you study and focused on each single task. Consider to use the initial few minutes of studying to create a to do list and notice all of the task that require your attention for that one sitting. Set yourself with short-term goals each time you start study, reduce procrastination and increase your motivation to get to work.

6 Prioritize important tasks. 

You will likely find that your busy schedule consists of a range of homework tasks and revision exercises that vary in their level of urgency and importance. Although you might still be ticking off your long list of ‘to-dos’ during your study sessions.

Giving the right priority to your tasks is extremely important, since you definitely don’t want to be structuring your precious study time around unnecessary or unimportant tasks! 

Prioritising tasks is an excellent way to ensure you dedicate the majority of your time to the most important tasks that will likely have the greatest impact on your overall performance and grades. Consider using a priority matrix to assist you in re-organising your tasks and prioritising those that are both urgent and important.

7 Find your peak energy period. 

Organising your study sessions effectively also means scheduling them during your peak-energy periods of the day. Try to not allow your study sessions to be influenced by your peers, friends or siblings, as each and every one of us tends to study best at different times of the day. Some students feel most alert and focused early in the morning, while others find that they are most productive and prefer to work in the afternoon or late at night when there are fewer distractions. Just make sure that if you do prefer to study late at night, that you are still getting plenty of sleep so you can focus the next day!

With this little introduction and tips to improve your study session.

We will wish you a great start and…

Have fun!