How to Take Maximum Benefit from Studying at University?
Success at university is normally measured in terms of excellent academic performance. The assumption is that studying hard is the key to attaining good grades. But what does hard work really entail?
The role of a university in today’s world is not just to dish out graduates that are all about the knowledge, but rather those with employable skills that can make the right decisions in the boardroom.
University assessments do not focus on what student knows. Rather, they concentrate more on how you’re able to develop and put across your ideas, or your ability to apply the theories that you’ve learned to solve current problems. Students normally worry about the number of words or references to include in a document, forgetting that it’s about the arguments and the evidence that help to prove the point.
In recent days, universities have equipped students with materials on good writing and studying skills that help them achieve success in their various academic disciplines.
All these techniques can be good for an average student; however, there are some that can be added to truly get the best out of your time at university.
Study In Bits
Academics at university is structured in such a way that there’s a studying period, then later, an exam follows. This means that students have ample time to study before an exam period begins.
However, research shows that it is most effective to study in bits throughout the semester. A student should consume the information they learn early on and review content on the final stretch to an exam. Discussions with friends and jotting down of notes should be done regularly and immediately after each class. This will prove to be more efficient as compared to time spent memorizing content days prior to the exams.
Participate In Active Study
Students are normally told that their main job is to read all they can on that topic or that course. Students should also be aware of the testing effect which has shown great promise throughout the decades. The phenomenon shows that the most effective way to study is through test questions and writing essay questions.
This kind of activity strengthens your memory as it is constantly bringing information to and from the memory and exercising your reasoning ability to come up with essay answers.
Another great way to use the testing effect is through teaching others verbally. Discuss the subject with classmates or with your group. You can even decide to be the crazy one and talk about your class work with your parents if you’re friends are not willing to listen. This kind of self-assessment should be done after reading the content. Do it while there are no books in sight.
Get Enough Sleep
Many students like doing things at the last minute. Cramming all they can in those dying moments before an exam. They stay up all night on the eve of an exam in hopes that the content will be fresh in their minds come morning.
A recent study shows that the mind gets tired when you subject it to learning new things this way. This means that all these night studies are bound to be counter-productive.
We know that for some students studying at university, their courses can be very intense and thus, they have to pull all-nighters due to the pressure. If this is the case, then you should consider napping during the day. Whenever you feel like you are dozing off, go on and take a nap. This will boost your concentration. Allowing yourself to take a slight break rather than pushing through with the studying gives you a chance to de-stress and relieves your mind.
Use Handouts Effectively
Most lecturers usually give out handouts before class begins. Students studying at university get the idea that they are to bring the handouts to class, but they don’t fully comprehend the purpose of this practice. Some students may even come to class with a handout and dismiss the idea of bringing a pen. In an experiment, students given handouts prior to class had a better memory recollection during a test of what the lecturer had covered.
This is because they did more listening rather than copying of notes during the lecture. They were also able to pen down additional information that couldn’t be found on the handout.
Keeping this in mind, it’s best for students to print out a handout and read it before a lecture as this will give them a better understanding of how a lecture will be structured and the important content to write down.
Attitude Over Talent
No matter how good or bad things may be going for a student, it’s important to have confidence when considering studying at university. It will have a great impact on your studies.
Self-efficacy does not bring about intelligence. Rather, it nurtures confidence and willingness to face hurdles. Students who view intelligence as something that can be acquired rather than something that’s found in genes are more likely to succeed. This means that your attitude towards success can be as vital as your ability.
Procrastination is usually a result of that guilty pleasure that you like so much. It’s a bad habit that catches up to us at one point or another. With long deadlines for assignments and lots of distractions, it can be easy to find yourself procrastinating.
It may come about when you find an assignment to be difficult or boring, as it is with most tasks that university students are given. An interesting point to note, however, is that some people are more prone to procrastination than others.
Both occasional and habitual procrastinators can make changes for the better. When faced with a task that you don’t really feel like undertaking, you can break it down into small challenges that have a reward at the end. You can also make them fun by including group activities.
People who procrastinate are easily distracted by their surroundings and find it hard to stay on the course. Therefore, create a distraction-free environment that has no TV/Radio and if possible, no Internet connection.
Conclusion regarding studying at university
We hope, these few pointers will help you get the most out of your university life. Don’t be afraid to study a little every day, do some active studying without having to sacrifice your sleep. Your rejuvenated self might just shock you as you will be able to write an unconventional personal statement or solve a difficult equation that may have challenged you before!
May you make the most out of your stay at university!