As you approach the end of semester you may find that most of your work is due at the same time. Yikes! Learning Skills Adviser Tami Castillo says not to worry, as there are many things that you can do to make study more fun and get through it.
Misery loves company
No one wants to be miserable alone. We say this in jest, but working with others who are in the same circumstance can make your studies less stressful, and more enjoyable. One thing you can do to be with like-minded people is to form a study group (see below for tips). Another good idea is to attend a library session on exam preparation, where we can share a few tips and strategies with you face-to-face. There are a few on offer and you can attend any session at any campus for free. Use the Library Class Booking System to see what’s available by searching using the keyword ‘exam’.
Form a study group
- Study at uni can be a lonely business. Why not reach out to some people in your tutorial and form a study group? Ideally, a study group consists of 4 or 5 members… any more than that, and you’re looking at a party! There are many benefits to study in a group. For instance:
- Improve your notes - compare lecture notes with group members and fill in any information or important concepts you didn’t quite understand.
- Share your talents - each of us approach learning in a different way, and many of us have different strengths and weaknesses. By studying as a group, members can share talents and insights, and learn from each other
- Provide a support system - forming a group is a great way to keep each other motivated and support one another. We are also more inclined to do our revision notes if group members are relying on you.
- Cover more material - group work allows you to focus on more concepts, as multiple people can review more material compared to a single person working alone. Spread the work around so each person reviews a topic, and then teaches it to the rest. And if you want to improve your understanding of a topic, the best method is to nominate yourself to be the one to teach it!
- It can make learning fun! - Studying with a group is a great way to liven up your study sessions. It can be very monotonous and draining to spend long hours alone. Studying in a group environment makes learning much more fulfilling and enjoyable.
Your study group will contain a wide range of personalities, skills and knowledge in your group - cool! This means any areas that individual members think are weaknesses for them can be overcome by the members who are strong in those areas. Your strengths are not just an advantage for you - your teammates can also reap the benefits. Put your skills to use reviewing course materials. Put your group to the test by working on past exam questions together.
Revision - turn a boring chore into clever fun
In the table below, have a look at the column on the left - If a statement describes you and the way you like to work, take advantage of it by giving the method in the column on the right a try!
I like setting and meeting goals
Use a to-do list
I work best against the clock
Try the Pomodoro technique
I like to draw or doodle
Use mind maps to outline how to solve a problem or draw a picture of a concept
I like music
I’m a night owl. I enjoy staying up late
Study when you are most alert and do mundane tasks when you are least alert
Solve questions from the textbook
If there are few questions, turn chapter titles into questions then practise answering them - for example…
(Robbins, Bergman, Stagg, & Coulter, 2012)