How to conquer your degree in 2017

New year, new you…right? This also means a brand new university term. More lectures to go to, more coursework to do and… the dreaded exams in May. Talk about the fun being over! But, if you follow these suggestions, I reckon 2017 will be your year and that you will ace your degree!

Studying Tips

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University of Essex Flickr

Get a diary: The best way to get organised for the new term is to get a diary or some sort of planner. This way you can plan your week to get all the work you need to get done!

Check your module outline: The module outline will explain how you are being assessed for that module. It will tell you when your coursework or coursework test is and how much % it is worth. Having this information is really essential for you to be able to plan.

Start coursework early: With the diary to write your coursework down and the dates from the module outline, you can start planning! Start coursework with plenty of time. Your best work is not going to be done in one all-nighter with a red bull in one hand and a pot noodle in the other!

Go over lecture notes:  The best way I have personally found to revise for exams is every week to re-write my lecture notes into some form of revision materials. It helps you go over the lecture content, get it into your head and then you’re already one step ahead of your exam revision!

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Start revision early: I do a psychology degree and lots of research has shown that it is better to revise over a longer period of time than cramming it in the night before. So, if you do 20 hours revision in a 6 week period this is better for you than doing 20 hours in 2 days!

It’s a good idea to start thinking about revision at the end of 2nd term. You’ll have a whole month off at Easter and that is a great opportunity to start some revision. You’ll thank yourself when the exams get closer!

Keep healthy and happy

Take breaks: The whole idea of starting coursework early and keeping up to date with lectures is so that you have time to take breaks and spread out your work load. You are allowed a night off! Make sure university doesn’t become your life and you give yourself plenty of breaks! Do a favourite hobby such as watching a film, playing a sport or going and socialising with friends!

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Exercise: I know I dropped the E word, but actually it’s not about keeping fit this time. Exercise can actually help your studying. Cardio activity helps to brain produce chemicals that increase the functioning of learning and memory. So get those running shoes on because it will help your studying!

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Think about your diet: There are a number of foods that are supposed to help you concentrate. These are green tea, water, fatty fish, blueberries, avocados, leafy greens, nuts, flax seeds and most surprisingly.. dark chocolate! Last exam season I got through 3 big bars of dark chocolate. I’m not sure if it helped with concentration, but having a couple pieces of chocolate kept me going!

And lastly.. get plenty of sleep!: Not only will getting the recommended 8 hours sleep a day make you feel ready for the day, it also has learning benefits too. During sleep our brain goes over information we have learnt over the day and that helps our memory. How can you expect to get that 2:1 when you show up to the exam on 2 hours sleep?!

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Conquering your degree this year is all about planning your time wisely and looking after yourself.  I hope these tips have helped!

 

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