Studying at university | Tips and advice

23 March 2016

Staying on top of your work and meeting deadlines play a big part in having a good time at university. I studied History, so most of my studying was based around reading, analysing, writing and finding relevant sources. I've compiled a list of tips and advice on how to study best.

Take some time to learn about how you study best - look back to how you studied at school, when were you most efficient?

  • Do you need music to study or absolute silence? I have never been able to read and listen to music in headphones at the same time, I'd end up learning all the lyrics! Having the radio on quietly in the background got me through lots of my essays and dissertation. 
  • Do you concentrate more on your own or do you get more done in a group setting? If the latter then setting up a study group with course friends is always a good idea.
  • When do you study best, are you an early bird and like to get everything done in the day, or do you prefer staying up? 
All these things could change over the 3/4 years of your course but knowing yourself and being honest will always make life easier; there's no point setting up a study group at 10am when your brain functions best after lunch time.

Study where you feel comfortable  - but not too comfy because you don't want to end up having a nap!

  • I mainly worked on my desk in my room but I liked to change it up here and there because staring out of the same window for hours on end was not fun!
  • If you like the buzz of coffee shops then they're always great places to work; I loved going in to make notes, plan essays and blog posts, whilst having a little treat, or two.
  • Or maybe you work best in the university library, where you are (hopefully) encouraged by the rows of studious people around you. In my final year I found a few nice corner spots in the library and I always felt a great sense of accomplishment when I managed to do lots of work there.

Keep hydrated and snacks at the ready - this is the most important study tip in my opinion because food can become a big distraction.

  • I always had a bowl of grapes or popcorn on my desk just to reduce time spent procrastinating about food. 
  • And even better opt for brain foods like walnuts, almonds or a fruity smoothie. 
  • And obviously a tea or a coffee, whichever kick starts your day (it's a tea for me please).