News and tips
Posted on Wednesday, 19th October 2016
Exams, coursework, assignments, can be an absolute pain, especially when you’re coming to the end of the year and all you want to do is sit back and just chill.
Here are top ten secrets on study technique so you’ll be the one celebrating the high grades in Encliffe Park or in the pub enjoying a few beers (or Pimm’s) and food.
Ten tips on how to succeed whilst at University;
Give yourself time to study
Don’t leave it until the last minute, at the beginning of the year put all your University exams and assignment deadlines into your mobile or email calendar, setting yourself notification alerts to reminders a month before, 2 weeks before, a week before and few days before the deadline, meaning that when everyone else is stressing last minute on not knowing what to write you’ll be the one who’ll have already handed it in and celebrating in one of Ecclesall Road’s pubs.
Review your notes before starting an assignment, look at the topic and the marking scheme throughout.
Read a few journals beforehand, search whether your lecturer or professor has written on the topic and include him as a reference, no point starting badly and having to restart.
Maybe Sheffield Hallam’s; Adsetts or Sheffield Uni’s IC (Information Commons) is the simple solution, as feeling under the pressure of everyone else writing away you don’t feel that you can get away with being on your phone or Facebook.
However if you can’t seem to study in the library, and prefer studying in your house or flat; so you don’t keep on checking it every 5 minutes hide your phone, put it in another room, give it to a flatmate (make sure you have set a password or you might find that you get Fraped).
Or get a friend (that you trust) to change your password, asking them to log you in once a day to chance up with social media reality.
An alternative are Apps specifically designed to control the hours you send on Social media a day, as suggested in Studying App article.
Listen to music without lyrics,
In the University Libraries you seem to see everyone with headphone this is because music can help you isolate yourself from the conversations, noisy environment and even day to day thoughts however lyricless music is a must when picking what you’re going to listen to as unconsciously if you have lyrics your mind tries to cognitively process the words of the song, which will make it more difficult to focus and concentrate on your University assignment.
Youtube, Spotify, Google Play have thousands of millions of playlists of songs without lyrics, recommended song to listen to:
Songs that are meant to help concentration and improve focus to help Brain Power
If you want something harder core: Chill dubstep songs
Advice if you're studying in silent areas of Adsetts or IC, make sure you have good headphones so that you don’t awkwardly get told by the person next to you that your annoying everyone there as every can hear your music.
Choose to eat special types of food high in; Omega-3 fatty acids, Whole Grains, Phytonutrients, Antioxidants and Folic acids
I know you don’t have much time but eating healthy helps the brain. Try to keep away from unhealthy junk food! Even if you don’t have time to cook, what you eat can really have an impact on your grade (and junk food won’t help your energy and focus levels). Instead keep your brain and body fuelled with nutritional foods. It has been proven that many foods can help concentration and memory. Such as those high in Omega-3 fatty acids (fish, nuts, seeds), Whole Grains, Folic acids (Leafy Greens; Spinach) and Phytonutrients and Antioxidants (Berries).
Have breaks; give yourself a break every few hours,
While you may think that it’s better to revise or study for a long period of time, this can actually be counterproductive. It has been shown that taking regular breaks really helps long-term retention of knowledge, and for clear thinking. Make sure you get out of your study environment to clear your head and give your brain a break for 10 to 30 minutes every hour and a half. However remember that everyone’s different, so develop your OWN study routine that works best for you.
Don’t be scared to ask your tutor or course mates for help or advice.
If you don’t understand something, don’t be scared to ask your friends, family, tutor, professor, student advice centre, well-being centres, they are always there to help and at the end of the day they’re there to help.
University work load can easily pile up, and at times feels undoable; causing you to stress, it’s not healthy to stress, however don’t worry it is perfectly normal reaction whilst at University, it might also be due to other reasons such as change of environment, life, relationships and independence. The effect can cause memory problems, inability to concentrate, poor judgment, negativity and nausea.
Therefore, it is crucial to be able to control it, there is nothing wrong with accepting that you are stressed; just have a plan on how to respond to it.
The following are methods that our tenants have recommended to breathe and have solutions such as adapt routine, create a schedule of the week with tasks you have to do, including relaxation time / methods as such meditation, exercise, sleep and diet. Idea to control work load and not becoming overwhelmed, have motivational quotes that you can quickly refer to when you feel under the weather, give yourself a goal at the beginning of the week, with a reward and if you achieve it, treat yourself, this will help you focus and motivated to keep on studying and not give up.
Sleep is crucial for the brain; a short, quick nap of 20-30 minutes can be the perfect solution for study success. Reason being is due to the following benefits; relaxation, reduced fatigue, increased alertness, improved mood, improved performance, including quicker reaction time, better memory and less confusion. A few famous nappers that believed in the importance of napping are; Winston Churchill, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, Napoleon, Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison and George W. Bush.
Finally; Drink lots of water
Last but not least, being well hydrated is essential for your brain to work at its best. You may think that Coffee is the answer however lots of coffee will promote the release of the stress hormones. Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water when you are studying, and also on the exam day, and during the exam, however make sure you don’t go stupid meaning you have to go to the bathroom every 5 minutes.
If you’re not at home, both Sheffield Hallam and Sheffield University both have lots of water fountains and vending machines.
If you only want exam revision tips, check out our previous article on Revision Tips