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Adjusting To University Level Study-00-5642

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Adjusting to University level study
Leaving behind a timetable of around 9am – 3pm, the Uni timetable may come as a surprise to you. With contact time being around 15 hours per week (though varying across courses and Universities themselves), there is a bigger emphasis on independent study. Getting used to this new way of studying is important, and there are a few things to be aware of...

Lectures and seminars
All degrees involve lectures and seminars. The aim is not to write down every word which comes out the tutor's mouth, but to jot down key points and topics and an overview of the area.
If there's something you need to go over, put an asterisk next to it to remind yourself to discuss at the seminar. Make sure you go prepared!

Study groups
If you're finding the transition tough, it’s worth seeing whether there are any mentoring schemes in your department. These are an informal way of discussing your worries with a second or third year student in your department. You could talk to them about anything ranging from where to go if you're having trouble getting hold of a book to which modules they would recommend. Getting hints and tips from a student who's already been through the same things can be really useful; their hindsight can be your benefit.

Universities try to help bridge the gap between the skills you come to University with and those you need to develop. One way they do this is by running workshops on things like study skills, learning methods, time management and writing an effective assignment. Far from dull, the professionals who run these give you advice on aspects of your course to help you gain the best grades possible.

Make use of the materials
Typically you get a reading list at the start of the year, with suggested reading materials. The best use for this is not to cushion the books in your bag, but to actually take a look at and get hold of some of the books. Essentially, the list is a way of tutors saying 'if you read this part of this book, it will help you understand what we're doing', so well worth using!

Goal setting
Note down all the dates assignments are due in or reading needs to be done by and aim to get them done a few days before. Setting goals like this will allow you to budget for unexpected issues, like leaving your USB in a classroom, not pressing save or realising you're looking at the wrong set of questions- all of which have been done before!

...It's your choice

You've chosen to go to University - help yourself to get the best grade. Everyone on the course gets given the same materials - the use you make of it is up to you...

About the Author:

This article was put together by Jo Killoughery of the Schools and Colleges Liaison team at Kaplan Business School who work with many institutions every year, helping students with their university applications, clearing and understanding more about university life and the career opportunities open to them upon graduation.

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