Emerging from isolation and not sure if you are ready to take on this semester?

Try these top study tips!

1. Create a routine and study space

When studying remotely it can be difficult to motivate yourself and stay organised. One way to ensure you are on top of your assessments is to break down the tasks and make a schedule. Don’t forget to include fun stuff too!

Tip: To help hold yourself accountable, select specific times on the same day each week to watch lectures, review content and have breaks.

One way to create a schedule is to follow the steps below.

  • Mark out all the fixed classes and commitments you have.
    • Allocate a colour for each item and one for free time/breaks and use a darker shade for assessment due dates.
  • Write down all the smaller tasks you will need to complete for each assessment.
    • For example: compile resources, first draft or practice exam.
  • Next, record approximately how long each task will take.
  • Add up how long you each full assessment item will take.
  • Begin to work these tasks into your schedule in 25 – 30 minute blocks.
    • Keep in mind the time they take and how much you have.
    • Try to add five minute breaks and make the study sessions consistent each week.
  • Don’t forget to look at the time you have for free time, relaxation and fun!

Tip: Another consideration is where you are going to work. The space you study can help your productivity, so ensure you book that specific room, go to your favourite café or keep your desk at home clear.

Read more: Styling your student accomodation

2. Learn Actively

Have you ever been watching a lecture and then suddenly realise you were staring blankly ahead for the last five minutes and have no idea what is going on?

Unfortunately for many of us our brains are prone to wandering.

Often this occurs when we are passively listening and trying to take in and remember information without any other assistance. By staying actively engaged and making efforts to record the information, you can stay on task more easily.

There are many ways you can do this and a good place to start is through an online quiz to help you determine what type of learner you are.

Depending on your style of learning there are a few things you can do to learn actively.

  • Visual learners
    • make a mind map or flow chart of ideas.
  • Auditory learners
    • take a few notes and record yourself presenting the lecture in your own words.
  • Tactile learners
    • write notes on flashcards to quiz yourself later.
  • Read/write learners
    • Take notes (even if you don’t think you will need them later).
3. Communicate

Just because your class isn’t face to face doesn’t mean you can’t stay in contact!

Make sure you contribute to discussion online and don’t be afraid to send a short and polite email with questions or comments you have to your tutors.

Tip: To stay in contact with classmates. Set up group chats and schedule zoom meetings when you can’t meet up.

4. Space out study

Leaving a major assignment or study for a test until the night before is horribly stressful, yet many of us (myself included) are repeat offenders.

With resources and lectures readily available online, this is an easy trap to fall into.

Tip: Create weekly or monthly revision sessions for yourself. This enables your brain to create and reinforce neural pathways and helps you retain information for a longer time.

The classic line that “diamonds are made under pressure” unfortunately doesn’t quite align with the research.

5. Set SMART goals

Similar to the idea of creating a routine, it’s easier to hold yourself accountable and manage your time if you break down tasks and give them a “due date.”

An easy way to do this is by checking off the SMART acronym.

Specific – What exactly do you want to accomplish and what steps/factors are involved?

Measurable – How will you know when the goal is accomplished?

Achievable – How can you accomplish the goal given constraints?

Relevant – Does this goal align and assist your other goals?

Time Bound – When is your target date?

Take control of this semester, even though it is online. Source: Meg Hobson

Good luck with this semester and let us know in the comments if any of these tips have been helpful!

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