By Suliman Sattar, 3rd year MSci Computer Science
Everyone wants to do well at university, but that won’t happen without studying. Here are my top five tips to help you to get the most out of your course and set you on the path to get that top grade.
- Read, Read, and Read
Although a lot of textbooks may only be optional, it is great to read through them to gain a better understanding and help prepare notes for revision. You may be wondering why you may need to read the textbook for a programming module, but the textbook will have lots of exercises to help you practice. Reading the textbook before attending the lecture will also help you get ahead and let you focus on the more difficult concepts.
It’s also great to read around your subject too. You’re lucky that computer science regularly has new developments and there is always something happening in the world of tech. Finding out what is happening in the world will help you to apply what you have learnt in your degree and have a better understanding of what you are learning.
- Make Friends
You might be wondering why this is a study tip. Making friends will not only help you to relax and have fun when spending time with them, helping you to feel more at ease when studying, but gives great opportunities to form study buddy groups where you can compare notes and mark each other’s practice exam papers where the questions may be open, or you don’t have access to the mark schemes. If you are unsure of a certain topic or even just unsure of what you need to do from your next class, having a friend to ask will make your life much easier. When it comes to coursework, being in a group with your friends can be helpful to know each other’s works styles and schedules already and be able to skip past the awkward introductions.
- Practice makes perfect
Programming can’t be learnt without actually programming. Learning how to deal with errors and understanding why certain things happen with different code can only happen through doing it yourself.
The same advice applies outside of programming with theoretical modules. Only by doing the exercise will you be able to understand how to do it, especially when you might have to do it without any notes. Being able to quickly do something will also help you in exams where you will have a limited amount of time to remember how to answer the question and do it by applying what you know to whatever context or values are given.
- Attend all classes
Sometimes you don’t feel like attending a class, especially when it’s 9am in the morning and you have to bear the tube in rush hour, or maybe you haven’t looked over all the materials for that week. No matter what, attending lectures and tutorials will help you to understand the material, re-enforcing what is available on Keats, and give you the opportunity to interact with others to ask questions and make new friends. There may even be additional content or hints for the exam that you would miss out on by not being there.
- Time Management
Being organised is one of the best things you can do to help you study. Organising your time across your modules will make sure that you will dedicate the right amount of time to each. Why not create a to-do list to help you keep a track of what needs to be done, or why not schedule time into your calendar to make sure you know what to dedicate that time to? Time management will also help you get to your lectures on time, making sure you don’t feel like you are disrupting, and being early helps you to be settled and get a chance to meet your course mates. Coursework will be worth a percentage of your grade so it’s important to do well by making sure you’ve set enough time aside for it when you won’t be distracted.
Those were my top 5 tips to help you succeed in your studies. Take a look at what you can tick off from the list already and with those left, implement them gradually until they become regular habits.