Your Guide to University Success | GRAD - page 18

I
t is easy to let the days slip by, especially at the beginning of the year,
without getting much done. Every day that passes is gone forever.
University courses are packed with content – far too much to cram
before a test or exam. Start working immediately.
Part of the reason why procrastination is so addictive lies in your
brain. When you have to do something that you don’t want to do, the
“pain spot” in your brain is stimulated. Thinking of something else
gives (temporary) relief, and so bad habits form. Research shows that
the same relief is experienced as soon as you start doing what you are
supposed to do!
study the subject in the same
colour.
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Spread the themes in each
subject over a number of days or
weeks, allowing enough time to
cover the content of each. In this
way it will be easy to see which
subjects and areas demand prior-
ity when planning your work
sessions for a particular day.
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To obtain an overview of all your
work, make a structured mind
map that includes all the chapters
and themes in your subjects. Put
this up on your notice board and
highlight what has been done as
you go along. The areas that still
need practice, summarising and/
or revising will be clearly visible.
You need to test yourself on the
same work at least three times
so as to have it available in your
long-term memory.
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As you revise, tick each theme on
your mind map – more difficult
areas need more ticks!
Using time wisely
Class time:
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Stay up to date with the work,
and prepare for the next class.
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Concentrate and take notes – try
to understand what the lecturer
is saying rather than remember-
ing it. Gaps in your summary
should be filled in that same day.
Tutorials:
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Tests are based on problems that
are similar to those addressed in
tutorials. Make sure you attend
every tutorial.
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Tutorial groups are smaller than
classes so it is easier to ask ques-
tions. Use that opportunity.
Study time:
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Use a monthly planner to write
down the due dates for all
projects, and highlight test and
exam dates.
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Use colours to differentiate be-
tween subjects on your calendar
and mark the days needed to
management
2
effective study
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