The Ultimate study Guide for Students
If you follow these 3 rules you should never fail on any exam or assignment!
I have always been a good student with high grades without putting too much effort. High school and university were not academically stressful for me, not because I’m a genius, but because I followed some simple rules which greatly helped me to organise, study and manage my time effectively so that my personal life was well-balanced with my academic life.
Rule #1: Let’s see that syllabus
If you start studying for an exam or a paper one week before the deadline then you will fail or perform very poorly; geniuses aside. Your last week before submitting a paper or giving an exam, should be reserved for revisions and edits, rather than doing the bulk of the work. The only way to effectively tackle the pressure and workload is through some very basic organisation which starts with your class syllabus.
When that dreadful document is made available to you, start with writing down all the due dates for papers and exams. For each one of due dates, reserve some spots during that week only for revisions and last minute edits. For example, if you have a paper due in December you should reserve a couple of weeks in September to start planning the overall process. After you plan out what you will need, you should focus in October on only writing up your assignment and give yourself enough time in December for revisions and last minute edits.
It might sound strange to start planning for an assignment three months in advance but from my personal experiences, and those of my other uni friends, you need to start working on these assignments as soon as possible because they often have “hidden” difficulties or unexpected outcomes. Let’s say that you started working on your assignment in late October and halfway through writing it, you realise that the topic you selected is not working out and you need to change it with only a couple of weeks left for the deadline. It happens to the best of us, so by planning ahead you can minimise some of these unforeseen road-blocks.
Rule #2: Habits make the person
There’s a way to convert your massive university workload into short and painless weekly revisions. The main issue is that you have to cover a lot of material and process a lot of information throughout the semester from your various classes. If you leave studying and revision at the last minute you will forget a lot of info from your past classes.
I would highly suggest that at the end of every week, try to write a short summary of what you learned or did in class. This doesn’t have to be a three page essay, just focus on writing a paragraph or two in your own words about the topic you discussed, your thoughts on it and questions you might have. By adapting this weekly habit, you will better understand the subject matter, you will become more aware of the things you don’t know or don’t understand very well, and when that exam is coming up you will only need to do a series of short revisions rather than study everything from the beginning of the semester. This method is incredibly easy and helpful, but the most difficult part is starting out this habit.
Rule #3: Don’t memorise, learn instead
This can be a tricky one, depending on your field of study, but I’ve seen many students repeating the same mistakes over and over. They try to memorise information without understanding what it is they are memorising. For example, during my journalism degree I had a media law class where we had to learn about specific laws which were relevant to journalism. There’s a lot of theory and certain things that we had to memorise like the names of certain laws etc.
My first task was to understand what that piece of legislation was, why it existed and how it could affect a journalist practically. After I digested its purpose and function, it became engraved in my memory. If I didn’t remember exactly the name of the law it didn’t matter that much because I knew the full context and I could tell you all about it years after learning it.
Let us know in the comments below if you found this study rulebook helpful and if you would like us to see other study guides like this one. If you want to find someone to study with or help you organise, create an activity on our app and find like-minded people through common activities then download Vevivo!