There are a variety of strategies to try when it comes to developing good study techniques. It is important to find the most effective study method for you. Think about the ways in which you learn best and find your best study routines.
If you need more personal help with your studies, you are welcome to contact the Student and Career Counsellors by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where do you get things done?
Arrange a good place to study. Some students find it better to study at home; others need to get away from home in order to avoid being distracted by everyday life. If you are of the latter kind, the university's library or Study support center can be a good place for you to study.
Create a functional schedule
When you create your new study schedule, start by adding food, sleep and exercise. Then you can add in study times when you are most energetic and well rested.
Allow enough time for studies
Full-time studies typically involve 40 hours of study per week according to CSN's (the Swedish Board of Student Finance) definition. At certain times, you may need to study even more than that. In a lot of courses a small part of those 40 hours are actual lectures or seminars, the rest of time you are expected to plan yourself.
There are different ways to approach your course literature. Here are some tips for making the most of your time - and where you can go wrong:
Effective reading strategies
- When I read a text, I discuss the content with someone else
- As I read through the text, I highlight the most important sentences
- I summarize the text in my own words
Less effective reading strategies
- If I want to write a summary, I read the text as many times as possible
- If I want to learn a text I quickly read it through twice
- I concentrate on the parts of the text that are easy to understand
Do you find yourself drifting away in other thoughts or have difficulties getting started? There are many things you can do that will make it easier to focus.
- Determine two times of the day when you read and respond to email
- Train yourself in managing interruptions
- Facebook, Twitter and other distractions are only allowed during breaks
- Turn off the TV
- Distinguish between acute and important
- Visualize your day beforehand (make a schedule)
- Clear the digital clutter. Remove distractions on the computer desk
- Focus on one thing at a time
- Keep calm and at a slower pace
- Start small, just having started the task gives satisfaction
- Create a healthy morning routine
- Make sure you sleep sufficiently and regularly
Pomodoro is a good technique if you have a hard time getting started with a task, or if you easily lose your concentration. The basics is that you work on a single task for 25 minutes at a time using the timer on your mobile, an egg clock or by downloading available apps.
Full instructions on the pomodoro technique: francescocirillo.com/pages/pomodoro-technique
More on study skills
Tips on books to help you succeed in your studies:
A large collection of study skills information from big universities, divided in sections: www.howtostudy.org
Tips on how to study: lsc.cornell.edu/study-skills/study-skills-videos/how-to-study/
Tips for reading a research article:
Tips on note taking
- How to take Cornell notes (at learnline.cdu.edu.au)
- Note making strategies (at learnline.cdu.edu.au)