11 Oct 2016
Plan ahead and pass with a distinction. Here are our top tips to plan and implement before you start studying.
Ensure that your family knows exactly what you are doing and why, as you will be changing your role in the household and may be unavailable for activities that you would have previously participated in. Make them aware that you intend to achieve study success.
You may be able to negotiate time off for study if your chosen qualification is work-related. Alternatively, you may just have to take on a reduced workload in order to have the necessary time to devote to studying.
Following on from point two, work out a realistic workload in terms of what you take on. Better to take a bit longer to complete your qualification than to crash and burn during the course.
Music can have positive and negative effects on studying, depending on the student and the music. For some students listening to music while studying relaxes them and allows them to focus on the work in front of them. However, for other students, it can be another distraction that makes studying more difficult.Typically, it's thought that if you are going to listen to music while studying, it's best to listen to soothing, instrumental music and sounds such as Mozart or nature sounds.
When studying, you need to ensure you are eating food that will help your brain hum with great ideas and long-term concentration rather than offer short bursts of energy. Some of the best snacks to eat while studying include:
Apples and cranberries
Low sugar cereals
Beans, peas and lentils
Following on from the previous point, draw up a study schedule that plays to your strengths as a morning person or a night person. Don’t forget to include breaks for your health’s sake.
Make sure that your friends, extended family and teammates (if you play organised sport) know that you may not be available at certain times and that they should not try to tempt you away from your routine.
Excellent pre-study preparation is to create a study area/room/nook for yourself that is free from distraction and where you can work with minimal interruption. Paying attention to what you are doing and minimising distractions will create a “sticky” study environment – meaning simply, you’ll be more likely to remember.
Make sure your computer meets any requirements that may have been specified by your education institute, e.g. operating system version, suitable web browser, appropriate document creation software etc.
It is extremely frustrating to have your internet access go down right when you are in the middle of something important or to find you have run out of bandwidth because of all the videos you have had to watch for a course. Do some research to ensure that you have the most reliable and suitable internet access you can afford.
Be aware of the avenues of assistance that your education institute makes available. Career advise and study counselling services are provided for you. Find out exactly what they offer and use them if you need them.
Your institution will have certain policies in place with regard to academic integrity. This will cover matters such as what constitutes plagiarism and its penalties and how cheating will be dealt with.
These study tips cover productive ways to prepare for study. Use the lead-up to the actual start of study time to set yourself up for success.
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