Approaching Your Studies

Approaching Your Studies

Many people approach each course of study in the same way. They might use the same strategies (or avoidance techniques) as they used in secondary school. However, being an adult learner studying a higher education course that you are paying for (or accumulating debt for) is very different to being in school as a teenager.

Why not try some new and creative study strategies? By using a variety of techniques, you will be less bored and disengaged when studying. Maybe pick a new one from the list below to try each week, then remember which ones are most effective for you and keep using them.

  • Consider the senses that you use in learning: Do you focus better with quiet music playing? Does the smell of coffee make you feel alert? Do bright lights help or hinder your concentration?
  • Look at your study space: Is your phone within reach so it can distract you? Is there fresh air and good light? Do you have a comfortable chair and space to spread your notes out?
  • Do something that makes you happy: Do you prefer different coloured pens, rather than black or blue? Do you have a favourite cosy jumper (or other clothing) you could wear?
  • Reward yourself: What do you wish you were doing instead of studying? How could you give yourself some time to do something fun once you've finished your study to-do list?
  • Have a laugh: How could you make your content funny or engaging? Could you relate it to something else you know, maybe in a strange, memorable way? Could you read your notes or assignment aloud in a silly voice or to the tune of a song?
  • Draw pictures: How could you turn your notes into drawings or cartoons? Are you better at remembering images rather than lines of text?
  • IOU: Why not ask yourself how the information you are studying is inspirational or useful
  • Pomodoro Technique: Have you tried breaking your study time into short, focused sessions? Want to know more about this technique? Click here

Look at the brief descriptions below. Since it is common for people to use a variety of learning styles, think about which strengths you could tap into for each unit. You could be a more effective learner by understanding how you can apply different strategies in different situations.