Study tips from a fellow student

Study tips from a fellow student

Finding the best approach to study sessions can take a bit of time to perfect. So, who better than a Master’s student to take us through some top tips for making it easier? Find out how to plan out your study sessions in this myView blog from Anna Heath and Te Taiako—Student Learning.

Master’s student and Te Taiako—Student Learning peer riter Anna Heath enjoying a sunny study break.

Kia ora, my name is Anna Heath. I’m working as a peer writer at Student Learning this year while I complete my Master in Political Science. I am going to share some classic visual/auditory methods for studying that will help you as we gear up for assessment, test, and exam season! 

A3 mind maps and note pages

Retaining large amounts of information in preparation for tests and exams can be overwhelming. It’s tempting to try to remember all the minor notes and details all at once, but first, it’s important to make sure you have the basic themes and ideas of your subject down pat. 

One method that has helped me in the past is getting an A3 pad and using a ruler to create six boxes on a page. I then go through my notes, lecture slides, and readings and try to summarise each section of the test/exam content concisely enough to fit into a box. This helps me evaluate what’s most important and focus on that. It also creates a hard-copy resource to refer back to.

Although the single page doesn’t allow me to fit all the information from a course or topic, it’s comforting to know that I’ve got basic coverage of what will be covered in the test or exam all on one page. I often take each section of this page to make additional pages, where I create another six boxes and organise that section’s details into each of them. 

An example of one of Anna’s mind maps—a great way to break bits of revision up into chunks.

Talking to yourself (and recording it!)

Leading up to a test or exam, I find that talking to myself about what I’m revising helpful, even if it feels a bit silly! Talking to friends, family, and flatmates helps too. Especially if you get them to ask questions so that you train yourself to think on your feet.

I have a friend that records themselves talking and listens back to these recordings later. This can also be super helpful, especially if you’re sick of reading paper notes or looking at your laptop screen. Having audio files at the ready when you’re walking, on the bus, or going to bed means that you can still work on retaining information while not necessarily having to sit down somewhere and switched on to study. 

Bookmarking YouTube videos

Accessing information through different types of media is always helpful for retaining knowledge for a test or exam. If I’m struggling to understand a particular concept while I’m studying, YouTube comes in handy because I’m able to learn about this concept visually and aurally at once. 

Look after yourself

It’s also important to make sure you look after yourself while preparing for tests and exams. It’s important to prioritise your health first and foremost. The University has heaps of great support services to refer to. If you need some help with managing workloads and revision techniques to ease the stress, Te Taiako—Student Learning is made up of many wonderful Learning Advisors and Peer Writers who are extremely happy to help.

Helpful links and resources

Anna Heath is studying for a Master of Political Science at the Wellington Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. She is a Peer Writer with Te Taiako—Student Learning.

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