Study Skills

Making Use of Private Study

The way in which you study is a matter of individual preference and it is up to you to develop your own study skills. Do not be afraid to experiment with techniques. Ask your friends how they study and then select the ways which work best for you and stick to them.

The place you choose to study is also important. Some people prefer to work in absolute silence and others prefer to have people around them and a certain amount of background noise. Above all you must be comfortable, have minimal distractions, and have access to books and notes.

Length of study periods again is a matter for the individual but generally it is not a good idea to study for long periods without a break. Make sure that you have a short break between study sessions. It is surprising how many ideas come to you when you have taken a break for a cup of tea and your mind is relaxed.

Set yourself realistic goals within the time limit of your study session. For example, set yourself a chapter of a book to read and make notes on it. Do not try to do too much as this will only lead to frustration and a sense of panic.

Sometimes it helps to begin each session by making brief notes or go over in your mind what you know about the topic before your study session so that you can focus on aspects which need to be clarified or on issues of particular importance. If you have been reading or taking notes it is useful to summarise the new material before the end of the session. This acts as a revision exercise and will indicate directions for further study.