The first term can normally be a period of adjustment. People are trying to find their footing, or experimenting with revision and exam techniques to see what works. Term 2 is the best time to really figure out what works and excel in those summer exams. Whether you’re trying to bounce back from the break, or want to a fresh start to the new academic term, here are some tips that can help speed up that process!
Build on Your Strengths, but Focus on Your Weaknesses
It’s always easier to focus on what we know we’re good at, whether that’s a particular subject or skill. However, try putting more time into the things that you found were your weak points last term. If for example you found essay writing difficult or did not do as well as you hoped in your written assignments, try attending a workshop like Introduction to Academic Writing (search the myAdvantage event listings). What’s even better, these workshops are completely free and offer great feedback. Working on those harder areas can really make a difference in getting that result you want.
Ask For Help
Your tutor and fellow classmates are an indispensable resource. If something is confusing or hard to understand always ask someone else to get clarification. Additionally, tutors may be able to offer more personalised feedback and may even offer hints and tips on how to do better in exams. What about setting up a study group? It may help boost your grades, as it’s been shown that teaching someone else a concept helps reinforce the idea in your own mind.
It will be incredibly rare that you’ll have a term where you only need to focus on one thing. Multiple modules, extracurriculars and everything else in between can really make it difficult to stay on track and can make you feel overwhelmed. Try establishing a timetable or schedule that works for you. If there is a particular assignment due first, prioritise it over an assignment that you may have weeks or months to complete. If you know you have a commitment on a certain day, work your revision schedule around that so that you don’t lose any precious time. Setting up a schedule can really help dissipate any anxiety and can help you stay focused throughout the year.
Try New Ways to Learn
While most people will tell you that writing notes by hand is the most effective way to learn, this may not be the case for you. You might be a visual learner and therefore mind maps and posters may be more effective. Or you might be an auditory learner and may want to record yourself reading your notes
to listen to later. You may find that you’re more of a night owl and have more energy and take in more information in the evenings.
Look at the way you revised or prepared for exams previously and see what could be tweaked. Revision and learning should be dynamic and personalised to the way that works best for you.
Keep Free Time Sacred
While academics are an important part of university, it is always important to look out for yourself and keep yourself healthy (both physically and mentally) and that means making sure you have other pursuits that ensure you don’t suffer from burnout. Take advantage of a yoga class on campus or check in with your tutor or wellbeing counsellor if you’re feeling worried about something. If you have a sport or society you’re passionate about, make time for it as it will give you an outlet to think about something else other than just work. Try some of these tips on how to have a break while you’re in the library!
Do you have any tips that you’re going to be using in 2020? Leave them in the comments below!