“You’re the one that’s going to have to study in whatever way works for you…”

Joe Kennedy, your UCC SU Education Officer, provides his top study tip, and it may surprise you.

I’m probably not the best person to give study advice. Everyone says don’t cram – I’m a crammer. We’re told to sit in a comfy chair – I study standing up. People say take neat notes – I’ve childlike scribbles on scraps of paper.

But I’ve managed to finish a degree and this is my second year as Education Officer so I tend to get asked for study tips. So my one piece of advice is: do some study.

Do some study and it doesn’t matter what way once it works for you. There’s no one size fits all approach and that’s why I don’t have a top 10 list of tips. Some people take notes on laptops, some on paper. Some students like mind-maps, others need to speak their notes aloud. Many say highlighting is a waste of time and ink while others swear by it. And I can probably find an expert and a report who’ll support each of those study methods and more who’ll oppose them.

But when it comes down to it you’re going to be the one sitting at a small table, leg shaking, pen in hand, watching the second hand complete its lap so you can flip the exam paper and see what’s there. You’re the one who has to sign into your portal and check your results. So you’re the one that’s going to have to study in whatever way works for you.

By all means read the top 10 tips, see what your friends are doing, go to study skills seminars and experiment. In 2nd year my notes were a collection for crude drawings because I read that if you drew the facts of a case you’d remember it better. It didn’t work for me – I guess I’m not a visual learner. But I’m glad I tried it (even if my niece is annoyed I stole her colouring pencils).

I do know for definite one method that doesn’t work and that’s not studying at all.
So whether you want to speak notes aloud, draw pictures, make mind maps, use paper or laptop, study standing up or sitting down, in the library or at home, find out what works for you and then do it.


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