My study tips for new students

Jade Day

Faculty: Health, Social Care & Education
Department: School of Nursing and Midwifery
Course: BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing
Category: Nursing and midwifery

27 May 2014

Hey again! This time I thought I’d discuss some of the study skills that have been helping me out these last few weeks.

Untitled PageStarting out as a university student is definitely overwhelming, so getting yourself into good habits at the start is much better than taking it easy and trying to break bad habits further down the line.

Sort yourself out a good filing system
Both on your computer in folder form and physically in ring-binders. I have set up a university folder on my laptop which in turn has a folder for each one of my modules, and they have folders containing different aspects of that module so I can easily find anything I need at the click of a few buttons. I have a ring-binder for my lecture notes and the accompanying presentations, a separate one for bioscience notes and lectures (as any nursing student will tell you bioscience is very hefty on its own), and a final one for all my essay notes, drafts, etc.

I also make sure I back everything up on my computer, my email, my uni computer and a memory stick so it’s impossible for me to lose anything!

Get a dictaphone
If you can afford the expense, dictaphones are the way to go! I have one with accompanying software which means I can listen back to all my lectures at leisure and edit out any unnecessary parts, move bits around, cut out silences and background noise, etc. This has been wonderful as I can then export these into iTunes and pop them onto my iPod to listen to in the car or while I’m out.

Get creative!
Grab yourself some stationery and get creative! I love a poster or two, it really reinforces information into your memory when you have to sit and draw things (especially for us nursing students with system structures), and it’s relaxing and fun. I pop mine in corresponding places around my house so I can picture them and recall them more easily, e.g. urinary system on the wall opposite the toilet!

Type up notes while they’re still fresh
Handwrite your notes in lectures and type them up that night when you get home – or go to the library while the information is still fresh in your head. Your notes will make much more sense the second time around as you have time to process what you have written and it will sink in just that bit better.

Also, don’t just copy what is written on the presentations. They are available to you on the virtual learning environment (VLE) to look at when you need them, so try to concentrate on the extra information the lecturer is giving as this can be easily missed or forgotten.

Join a study group
Try and arrange getting together in little, regular study groups. You will find that everybody has different strengths, has picked up different bits of information or has previous experience somewhere along the line. The more you all share your knowledge and information, the better all of you will be. You’ll have much more chance of success together than apart. Everybody remembers that tutors are there to help but don’t forget your peers, or for that matter, the student services and library staff. They are absolutely amazing!

Everyone will have different study techniques that work well for them, and different times of day that they flourish but these are just a few of my helpful hints. Maybe they can be of help to some of you along the way!

Jade Day is a first year Adult Nursing student studying at our Chelmsford campus. She also has her own personal blog at http://studentnursejrd.tumblr.com/  Follow us on Twitter for more blog updates @FHSCE_ARU
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