4.5 Study Skills
It is important to understand that university education is based on independent study. Lecture courses are very compressed. You will not learn everything from the lectures. You will need to spend time supplementing the lecture material, filling in the gaps, working through examples, and studying textbooks.
Each module has an associated CATS weighting which you can use as a guide: a CAT represents 10 hours notional work so a 12 CATS module may contain 30 hours of lectures, 60 hours of independent study and 30 hours of revision.
Here are some specific recommendations to think about:
- Plan to spend 35-40 hours per week on academic work in term-time. However be flexible in order to give more time to any core modules which you are finding difficult.
- Be prepared! Ensure that lecture notes are re-read/understood before the next lecture. Always consult the textbook(s).
- Attempt example sheets as soon as possible — easy questions check/aid comprehension, harder ones deepen it.
- Attempt to understand the direction of a module (read the Aims and Objectives) — try to write a brief narrative or commentary on your notes at the halfway mark and again at the end.
- Praise and reward yourself when you perform well or understand something difficult.
- A sufficient amount of sleep at night is important for maintaining your cognitive abilities for studying.