By Ruqaiya, BSc Chemistry
Studying can be overwhelming – we’ve all been there! I hope you find these tips useful:
1. BECOME FAMILIAR WITH THE LECTURE CONTENT
Attend the lectures where possible (pre-covid and hopefully post-covid). It’s important that you’ve watched the lectures and made notes/absorbed the information as this then gives you an idea of the content that is examinable. If you skip lectures or don’t go through them all then you will have gaps in your knowledge, and it will also be difficult for you to know what concepts are important as you had missed that content. Sometimes when you’re doing a lecture it can feel as though all of the words are going over your head, but don’t worry – as long as you’re trying to make notes during the lecture and recap the notes that you made for it, it usually is easier to absorb the information the second time around.
2. MAKE THE MOST OF WORKSHOPS AND TUTORIALS
A lot of students underestimate the benefit of attending and actively participating in workshops and tutorials. The question sets given for the workshops are really helpful in identifying what sort of questions are likely to be asked for a particular section of a module, and how to answer them. For example, in physical chemistry modules, although the lectures can seem awfully crowded with ‘theory and derivation’ based content, the workshops and exam questions are usually moreso focused on the ‘calculations’ part of the content. Therefore, participating in the workshops gives you a good indication of this and helps you link the theory and calculation sections of the content together. Sometimes the workshop questions are tweaked and included in your end of year exams – so it’s extremely helpful if you fully understand how to tackle the workshop questions!
3. DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK YOUR QUESTIONS
Another thing that a lot of students do not realise is the significance of asking their questions. When in doubt of something ask a friend. If you’re still unsure then ask your lecturers or the Graduate Teaching Assistants that run the workshop sessions. I’ve learnt that there is no such thing as a silly question, and asking to double-check is absolutely fine.You will find out as I have that the lecturers are quite pleased that someone is asking them questions and clearing their doubts. You can get help from lecturers during their office hours, Q&A sessions or even email them. Don’t underestimate how crucial your questions are to understanding your studies!
4. DO SOME PRACTICE QUESTIONS
As you complete modules and get closer to your exams, practicing past paper questions will allow you to test yourself on all of the topics in a module in a short period of time. It will also give you a good indication of how long you will have on each question to answer the paper in time. The more you practice, the easier it becomes to recall information and apply it to different situations. Going through the questions of the past few years can help you identify what topics certain lecturers like to ask questions about, which can be useful when planning your revision
5. TAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF
Studying is important but taking care of yourself is just as – if not more – important. Plan your days in such a way that you are able to have some ‘me’ time. This will allow your body and mind to relax, heal and rejuvenate. Studying continuously can be quite strenuous on you, therefore, it is crucial to take care of yourself. The last thing you would want to do is ‘burn out’ just before an important exam because of straining your body too much.
Most importantly, don’t forget that it will all work out in the end 🙂 Studying can be tough, but if you put in a bit of effort throughout the year it will all pay off.
YOU’VE GOT THIS!