So, you’re back in the wonderful world of assignments, textbooks and tutorials. Even if you haven’t used a textbook for anything except a doorstop in the last decade, there’s no need to panic.
While some qualifications and study units might sound heavy duty in their titles, they’re all designed to be completed by people just like you. As long as you put in some regular work and stay organised, you’ll be qualified in no time.
If you’re feeling a bit nervous about getting back to study or you’ve already started studying and you need some advice, here’s 10 tried-and-true tips for getting on top of things.
- Have a look at the learning outcomes – These are normally in a course outline and they’re generally just a few dot points. They might seem like a minor detail but keeping the learning outcomes fresh in your mind will help you to prioritise important information when you’re studying.
- Get your textbook before the course starts – Is there a textbook as part of your course? If so, don’t wait until the program has begun before you buy it. Getting the textbook early gives you the chance to have a look through at some of the material you’ll be learning and gives you a good head start.
- Find all the course resources – Every unit and course is different, meaning the textbooks, course notes and resources you need to study will be structured differently. Make sure you gather all of these materials together before the course starts so you can get a grasp of which topics will require more time and effort than others. Reach out to your study provider ahead of time and ask if there is any pre-reading to get a head start.
- Make a timetable – Even if your teachers and course facilitators provide you with a timetable for which topics will be covered in each week, it’s still a good idea to create your own. Take into account any events or appointments you might have during the course and schedule your study time around these. Make special note of which weeks you’ll have assessments due as you’ll need to allocate appropriate time to complete these.
- Gather your references before you start writing an assignment – As great as your individual ideas are, you’ll frequently be asked to reference other information sources in your assessments. Don’t fall into the trap of writing an assignment and trying to squeeze references in afterwards. Find the information you need first, then structure your assignment around these references.
- Get to know your fellow students – You should have plenty of opportunities to talk to other students if you’re studying on-campus, so use these opportunities to ask them what they’re finding difficult and see if they have any advice for the problems you might be having. Even if you’re studying online, you should still have access to chat forums and discussion threads with other students where you can ask questions and help each other out.
- Use your time wisely – Do you catch public transport to school or work? To make that time fly by, set yourself a goal to get a certain amount of reading done on each trip (provided you don’t suffer from motion sickness). Try getting to school or work an hour earlier each day to get study done your desk. There’s plenty of moments during the week you can study which will save you a bit of time at night and on the weekends.
- Don’t freak out – If you get a bit behind in your study schedule, that’s okay, just don’t let that stop you. Often when we think we have too much to do, we avoid doing anything at all. If you’re avoiding study because you’re anxious about how much you need to do, start with one small task and then move onto the next one. Breaking your work up into bite-size chunks and knocking them off one at a time will have you back on track in no time. If you’re still struggling, speak up! Ask for help or an extension, your educator wants you to succeed as much as you do and they will be able to help.
- Do your study first before the housework – Every student knows the game of cleaning the house from top to bottom before settling down to do than study. This is procrastination 101 and will prevent you from getting your work done. Unless you have to physically put out a fire, everything else can wait until you get your study done first.
- Treat yourself – If you’ve followed all of the tips above, you should be well on top of your study program. When you have spare time, make the most of it by scheduling your favourite things, whether that’s catching up on your favourite TV show or meeting up with friends. By still being able to do the things you love, you’ll be relaxed and happier around the people you care about.
Now that you’ve got the right tips and strategies for being successful student, why not talk to us about a course or a career that could be perfect for you and your lifestyle? Get in touch with us today to find out how you can get started on a qualification that combines the latest theory with hands-on learning from industry work placement opportunities.