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Mini-module 1: What to Expect from Higher Education

Helping you to prepare for study at LSBU

Organisation

Link to homepage of Skills for LearningOrganisation Page 4 of 7

The key points to cover are time management, study habits, thinking ahead, choosing and organising a place to study, and setting realistic goals. 

 

 


Time Management

 

Plan ahead - 

How much time will you need for studying? Be realistic.

Know yourself - 

What time of day are you most efficient? What kind of thing takes you longer?

Deadlines - 

Plan well in advance. Budget in a safety margin (because something will always slow you down!)

Things can get complicated - 

For example, you are very likely to have two assignments at the same time, so good time management will be essential for doing your best in both.

Pace yourself - 

Plan to take regular breaks. Try the Pomodoro Technique - see video below.

 

Be adaptable - 

Plans are essential, but be prepared to adapt your plans to changing situations.  if time is short, prioritise.

Develop habits - 

Habits make it easier to keep to a regular schedule. You don't need so much willpower if you have a routine. 

Goals -

Part of getting organised is setting goals and targets. This is important because they give you a destination to which you can plan the route and so plan your time effectively. 

Make them realistic achievable goals, so be honest with yourself. You should have long-, medium- and short-term goals, for example:

  • Long - what class of degree do you want?
  • Medium - what do you want to achieve this term?
  • Short - what can you study in a one-hour revision session?

Prioritise -

Keep alert to what you are planning and doing - step back and think, "Is this really what I need to be doing?".

Try this interactive activity to get you thinking about prioritising. Drag the circles in the "Order" column into the right places on the grid.

 

Chunk! -

Divide jobs into smaller parts and tackle each part individually. Plan time for each chunk. Try mixing different types of study (reading, listening, etc.) and different topics to keep your mind fresh and your motivation up.

Reviewing notes -

Your notes should be a process - don't just put them on a shelf and wait for an exam. 
Make it a regular habit to review and rework your notes. This will keep them fresh in your memory, and it will allow your ideas to develop as you learn new things in your course. 

Rework your notes, and as you get more familiar with them you can distil them down to key words and then finally you can memorise those key words. These will trigger your memory and bring all the connected ideas back to you. Include this in your plans.

Planning revision -

 

Plan ahead for revision: 

  • Be selective – you can’t and shouldn't revise everything. 
  • Plan two revision blocks each day – AM and PM. 
  • Divide the blocks by the number of topics, and 
  • Allocate topics to sessions. 
  • Plan periods before the exam for timed practice.

Study place

Do you have a good place to study. You should avoid distractions (TV, people, other tasks, smartphone, social media). Organise your paper, books, and the files on your computer.

IT skills

Don't rely on a smartphone for everything. It will slow you down and make it harder to organise. Laptops are available to everyone at LSBU and many courses have tablets.

Be Prepared!Animation showing letters arranging into the words get organised

Don't be last minute. Be future-orientated - always be looking ahead. For example, prepare for your next lecture by reading up on the subject, making some notes, and writing some questions. Most of your learning will be outside lectures. Contact time with teachers is precious, so be prepared!
Keep your wits and common sense about you – think ahead e.g. bring a pen and paper with you. 

If anything is not clear, ask.

One way to stay organised is just to carry everything with you - have a study bag that you keep stocked up and that you can just pick up on your way out. It will have a pen and paper, spare battery, glasses - whatever you might need. 

Summary

Try this interactive activity to review what you've seen on this page. 

 

 

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