Study Essentials

How do I study again?! | TOTUM Hacks

Emily CoatesOctober 18th

After weeks away from the books, and a whole semester’s worth of chillaxing, getting back into the routine of study may feel impossible. But I promise that with a little organisation, and a bit of willpower, you’ll be able to finish those assignments no problem!

Studying vs Socialising

Even though Freshers’ is over, there are still a tonne of social events to get tempted by, so set yourself up a calendar and allocate yourself some free time. Once you’ve scheduled your social events and lectures, you can start to dedicate time to assignments and study safe in the knowledge that you’ve got downtime planned in to look forward to. This should help you focus on your study when you need to, and good planning will help you avoid last-minute rushes to meet deadlines.

You don’t need a fancy set up for this - anything from the calendar app on your phone to a diary that you can pick up at a Freshers’ fair would work, or you can download my useful printable here.

What works for you

Aside from organisation, one of the other things that people commonly struggle with is figuring out the best way to study in order to retain the information. Your first term is the best time to try out a bunch of new study techniques to see what works for you. There’s no hard and fast rules to studying - some people prefer to make notes while others find that making Q&A flashcards is the most efficient way to learn.

Use this time to figure out whether you prefer to take paper notes or type during lectures (or maybe you prefer to just listen and then you write things up at home!) and to decide which way you prefer to tackle assignments. Don’t be afraid to try out a variety of different methods as you might just stumble across the perfect one!

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A helping hand

Be prepared to make mistakes when it comes to your first exams and essays. Universities commonly use a different marking style to the ones at college so don’t be surprised if it takes a while to figure out how to tackle the questions. Read through any feedback that you’re given carefully and chat with your tutors if you still don’t understand something. Persistence is key and eventually you’ll figure out the kind of structure that your tutors are looking for when marking assignments.

It’s important that you try to stay on top of things. If you feel like you’re really struggling to get to grips with your work, there’s usually an academic tutor who can help. Find someone to talk to if you feel like you need some extra support and try to look up things that you don’t understand (or ask your lecturer) rather than suffering in silence.

After all the hard work that goes into getting your results, and the downtime that follows, getting back into study can feel difficult. But don’t panic if it all feels a little daunting to begin with, the useful tips in this post should give you the kickstart you need to take on those assignments and master your lectures!

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