The school year has just started a month ago and with University students now about to start back as well it’s important to look at how you’re going to plan your year.
Studying any discipline takes a different skill set to working. For one, it’s about acquiring knowledge. When you’re working you can look up your reference books but you don’t have that luxury in an exam. So it’s important to start with a plan to acquire knowledge throughout the semester and/or term.
It’s also about understanding the principles you learn and to really understand them you need to practice them. So you have three things – knowledge, understanding and practice.
But if you really want to start the year successfully you need to have plans in place for how you are going to achieve this at the start.
In most courses, you are given a study schedule with a set number of weeks for a number of different topics. lectures and tutorials then coincide with these weeks. The problem is not everyone needs the same amount of time for each topic. Maybe you’re struggling with depreciation but they go through it in a week and while you’re still struggling they’re already on to the next topic. Then you reach the revision period still unsure and try to cram 10 weeks worth of revision into 2 weeks which is a very hard to do!
A much better way is to make a plan to learn at your own pace while still attending your lectures and tutorials to support your study. Read your text books ahead of schedule and take notes on what you don’t understand. Then prepare yourself to ask as many questions as you need during that week’s topic. You can gain an advantage by starting to study a couple of weeks before semester begins.
Most books are available prior to the semester start date as well as the study schedule. So rather than waste this time relaxing and settling in make it a conscious effort to get a head start. This will also give you extra time in your schedule for when unexpected things occur during the semester and you can’t study like family emergencies or illness.
This way when week one starts you can hit the ground running and make sure you get the most out of this semester and your academic transcript is one you can truly be proud of.
Studying at the tertiary level relies mostly on your own initiative so don’t wait to be directed by your lecturers or tutors. By making a start now you can save a lot of stress at the end of the semester and more easily allocate more time to those difficult topics you find hard to understand.by