As a student support advisor I see students for a broad range of issues and concerns. Possibly the most common concerns students have relate to organisation, time-management and study skills. The funny thing is, most students feel that they are the only ones experiencing problems in this area and that all other uni students are organised, time-efficient masters of the study universe!
I loved being organised at uni. At the start of the semester I would organise myself so thoroughly that I would find myself weeks behind on the actual coursework… My study schedule however, was definitely HD material.
I was (mostly) aware that this was another procrastination technique, however it was a fairly helpful one when I stopped thinking about how I was going to study and actually started doing the work. Everyone is different and how you get organised and manage your time needs to work with your personality and learning style. For some people, using a Daily Planner can be helpful to plan tasks for each day. For others, a Weekly Planner can keep them on track. Semester Assessment Planners are another alternative to ensure you keep up to date with assessment items.
When I was a student (all those months ago), I found that daily or weekly planners didn’t work for me. I never stuck to them and would just feel bad about myself when I inevitably didn’t achieve anything in my study plan. I eventually worked out that a Detailed Semester Planner worked best for me and my learning style. I had everything I needed to complete for each subject in one document. I used to highlight things as I completed them so I could see what I was ahead on (it did happen sometimes!), and what I needed to catch up on. The highlighting also gave me a sense of achievement and a visual record that I was getting through the mountain of readings, lectures and assignments. You can find an example of a Detailed Semester Planner here. Again, everyone is different so play around with what works for you.
UON also has a range of helpful options for improving study skills including workshops and individual and e-consultations for assignment help. Some courses even have peer study sessions (PASS) to help you review course material, check here to see if your course offers PASS sessions. It is a really good idea to be proactive and brush up on your skills at the start of the semester, rather than panicking mid-semester or just before exams!