Time-Saving Study Tips I Wish I Knew As A First-Year

Lists are your new best friend.

As much as we all want uni to be one endless party, the reality is that we’re here to learn. The holiday between finishing school and starting uni is ridiculously long, and it’s easy to forget all those study habits that were once engraved in our brains.

After three years of study and much experimenting, I like to think I’ve finally found the best study habits that make studying for uni a walk in the park. Here are some top tips to incorporate into your study routine to tackle your daunting uni workload.

Do The Readings

Let’s be honest, we’re all guilty of showing up to class and lying to our tutors about how much we learned from the weekly readings. Hell, most of us have never even bought the textbook.

I know the readings can be pretty dense, but there’s a reason your lecturer prescribes them. It’s much easier to pay attention in the lectures when you’ve done the readings beforehand because you already know what the lecturer is talking about. Take notes as you’re reading to keep yourself engaged. 

Set Goals For The Semester 

Setting goals is a great way to make sure you’re on track for the semester. Write out everything you want to achieve, stick it somewhere you look frequently (like above your desk or on the bathroom mirror), and write a tick beside every goal you complete.

Looking at your goals often will make you reflect on how you’re going and whether you might need to step up your game a little. It’ll feel great at the end of the semester looking at all the ticks beside your goals because it shows how much you’ve achieved.

Keep All Tutorial/Workshop Notes Together

It can be easy to assume that a new lecture or tutorial means it’s time to open a new document to take down your notes. This can be super frustrating when it comes to assignments and exams when you can’t remember which class covered which concepts.

Use one document or notebook per class to keep all your notes together. This way when you’re looking for something particular you can just command + F and find it instantly, instead of wasting time going through countless documents. 

Figure Out How You Study Best

It took me two years of continuously writing out exam notes before I realised that I don’t learn best by writing down information, but by actually reading it aloud to myself.

Everyone learns differently. In fact, there are actually seven styles of learning (visual, aural, verbal, physical, logical, social and solitary). Take some time figuring out which style works best for you and go from there. 

Invest In A Diary Or Wall Planner

A diary or a wall planner really helps you stay on top of all your assessment due dates. At the beginning of the semester, write out when all of your assignments are due and write out weekly reminders in the weeks leading up to your due dates.

As you cross each day off, you’ll know exactly how much time you have left to complete an assignment or study for an exam. It’ll really help your time management, and minimise those last minute late night, Red Bull-fuelled cramming sessions.

Learn To Love Lists

Lists are another great way to improve your time management. When it’s time to knuckle down, write out a list of everything you want to complete in this study session and cross off a task when it’s done.

Break down bigger tasks into smaller, more manageable chunks so that you have more stuff to cross of your list. It feels so good crossing stuff off your list that you’ll almost be sad when your study session is over (almost being the key word).

(Lead image: Community/NBC)