8 Ways to Nail Your Approach to Student Study
8 steps to help you conquer the worry of study, get organised and stay on top of your learning in the new academic year!
It’s that time of year again.
You’re preparing to get back into student life, it’s exciting and nerve-racking at the same time. The opportunities that lay before you, the new topics you’ll learn and the experiences you’ll gain all seem so hopeful!
However, for a lot of us, the idea of studying, deadlines and revision can be a daunting prospect.
So, we’ve put together 8 steps to help you conquer those worries, get organised and stay on top of your learning!
There’s an infographic at the end too for you to download and take away 👍
1) Make a Pact with Yourself
Understand and realise that you will not be studying or working 100% of the time. Let’s get that straight right off the bat.
No one can work that hard, and by putting pressure on yourself to always be learning or studying will only be counter-productive to your studies.
Make a promise with yourself to work hard and play hard.
Get your term timetable and create a schedule around when you’ll study and when you wont. Ensuring you have line of sight on when you should be working and when you can comfortably take some downtime, will alleviate the stressful thoughts that “you should be working”.
Microsoft offer some good timetable templates to help you get organised.
Being organised is being in control
2) Prep Before Lectures
A quick hack to improve understanding is to take 15 minutes before every lecture to read up on the topic that will be in question.
It’s a technique that improves productivity and helps you absorb information. The brain is very malleable but if it’s jumping around different topics, it can lose focus and damage the way you take in knowledge.
Just give yourself the time over a coffee with a book on the topic before — get it scheduled into your timetable (above) too so you’re not rushing.
3) Mini-Debrief Post Lecture
Get your friends together over a coffee and throw around a few ideas about the topics you’ve just learned about, different perspectives and thoughts can be shared which will improve everyone’s understanding.
Plus, you know you’re not alone and you’ll be able to turn to your peers for advice and support on the more complex topics.
Go on, geek out a little bit 🤓 — it will really help.
4) Find your Study Vibe
Dorms and libraries are the typical places to get your head down, but actually, there may be better locations where you can free your mind of distractions to get your study on!
A quiet coffee shop in the morning, the park in the day, or perhaps the student lounge.
Hyper-charge your mind by figuring out the best combination of places you like to work, and take note of the time of day where you’re most productive. Consider this when you’re scheduling your timetable too.
5) A Personal Time Schedule
Point 4 leads nicely into point 5. Go at your own pace.
You may have Einstein’s in your class, you may have people you know just shouldn’t have come to Uni too.
Even if people seem to be motoring ahead, it’s important to allow yourself the time you need to study in the way that suits you best.
We’re all different and work to different paces, so don’t stress. Accept yourself and identify the approach that suits you to revising and studying.
6) Combine Different Ways of Studying
After you’ve completed the recommended reading or you’ve at least got a grasp on the topics you need to learn. Try a few different, more interactive routes, towards understanding the topic.
- Youtube — search for keywords, listen to thought leaders and see how they explain the topic. They may have interesting ways of articulating or demonstrating the theory/topic.
- Twitter & Instagram— use hashtags to identify other influencers and discussions online that may lead to interesting resources or even conversations.
Hubspot put together 5 steps to the perfect email outreach that could be useful when you want to make contact.
- Reddit — look for subreddits in your topic. This is a good way to find likeminded people who are passionate about your topic.
- Udemy — I know money’s tight, but there might be some good courses online for a tenner that could give you hours of interesting and interactive content.
With all these approaches always assess the content for credibility, poke holes in how reliable it may be and ping it around a few friends for a second/third opinion.
7) Take Regular Breaks
Music to your ears!?
It’s a scientific fact that the human brain is most productive in short bursts of concentrated work.
‘Cramming’ is where we spend hours and hours on trying to study something intensely. It becomes very stressful and ultimately is a very poor method for long term information retention 😵
You know who you are, last-minuters!
The Pomodoro technique is a very useful strategy. It’s about breaking down all of the tasks you have into 25 minute blocks.
Between each ‘block’ you give yourself a 5–10 minute break, and after every 3 or 4 Pomodoro blocks you take between 15–30 minute breaks.
More on that and another 11 ways to get productive here:
In the spirit of getting stuff done, let’s get on with it.hackernoon.com
8) Do NOT Be Afraid to Ask!
Last, but certainly not least, make sure you ask as many questions as you need to get clarity on anything you’re studying.
Students have a habit of asking important questions after an exam, like:
“Hey, what did you put for question 3?”
which is quickly followed by:
“Oh that’s not what I put” 🙊
We usually ask these questions because we haven’t got confidence of some areas of the topic, but by this point it’s too late!
We’re all human, so don’t be afraid or embarrassed if you don’t have a great understanding on something. Lecturers or fellow students can help you get this clarity and its always best to get comfortable and confident about your topic before you are assessed on it.
Communication — the human connection is key to personal and career success.
Download our infographic, along with some other useful tips and get a free invitation to our platform, WONDR, to help you with building knowledge, collecting online research and decluttering your browsers.