tips to succeed in study
Adjust your expectations
. The Dutch educational culture and ways of interacting may be quite different from what you were used to at home. The Introduction Programme provides a good opportunity to learn about how things work in Leiden. Getting to understand the new culture will be part of your everyday experiences.Try to be open to new attitudes and ways of doing things. If you come from a different educational culture, give yourself time to get used to the new approach.
. If you are not sure about something, ASK! Dont be shy about asking. The Dutch are usually very willing to help, but they expect that if you want help, you will ask.
General study information
. There is a designated contact person study adviser in every faculty department to advise, help, answer questions and provide information. Make sure you find out who this is for your course.
. Residence permits, information sessions, registration and fee payment for high fee students: Contact your International Programmes Officer at the department of Student and Educational Affairs, via email or make an appointment via 071 527 8011.Finances, administration after registration, registration and fee payment home fee students and deregistration: Visit or contact the Plexus Student Centre Information Desk.
Attend workshops at Plexus
. Study skills workshops are given regularly in Plexus for international students. These workshops are useful for developing new skills and getting a smooth start! They cover topics such as the Dutch study system, strategic studying and time management.
Manage your time
. Time management is important for study success. Your study programme at Leiden University may be more or less intensive or structured than what you were used to, so you may need to manage your time differently. It is important to set priorities for a good balance between study and leisure. If it is your first experience of living away from home, dont forget to make time for cooking, shopping and household chores.
Build up social networks
. In an unfamiliar country it is important to have a network of friends and contacts for your social life as well as for your study. This may not happen by itself. You will need to actively build it up. Students with good support networks tend to have a more enjoyable and successful stay.
Stay physically active
. Staying physically active keeps you fit and healthy. It helps you stay happy as well, as activity stimulates your body to produce endorphins happy hormones .
Give yourself time to adjust
. The initial period of settling in to a new culture can be quite stressful. The unfamiliar physical surroundings combined with the different values, attitudes and ways of behaving can be confusing. It is usual to feel uncertain about yourself, more tired than usual and to miss home. This can result in something referred to as culture shock.
Make time to enjoy yourself and relax
. A good balance between study and leisure generally leads to better results! So feel free to enjoy yourself and make the most of your stay. Taking time off from study to relax with your friends relieves stress and keeps your energy levels topped up.
Understand your study topics in your own words
. Your teacher or lecturer can explain something to you, you can learn it from a text book, your friends can study with you, even your own notes can explain it to you but all these explanations are of little use if, by the end, you cant explain what you have learned to yourself. If you dont understand a study concept that you need to illustrate in an exam to get top exam results, then you wont be happy with your end exam result. To combat this, get
Dont be afraid to ask study questions
. Of course, depending on what youre studying, it may be quite difficult to get into a position to understand a concept,theory or other information you need to learn. This is where it is invaluable to ask questions of your teachers, lecturers or other educators. Dont be afraid of asking a stupid question there really is no such thing when it comes to study and learning! Embrace your curiosity, for as William Arthur Ward said: Curiosity is the wick
. Once you feel you understand a concept or a topic, it is important to test yourself on it. Try and replicate exam conditions as much as possible: turn your phone off, dont talk, time yourself etc. You can set yourself a study quiz or practice exam questions and, so long as you approach it with the right mindset, you can get a very good idea of how much you know. You gain a greater insight into where you stand in relation to what youve studied so
Get Creative with online study tools
. Dont feel obliged to just sit in front of a book with a highlighter; there are many different ways to study. You should pick whatever works for you. Try using as many study tools and techniques as possible to help you study better and find what works best for you. Perfect examples of such study tools would be online flashcards, mind maps, mnemonics, online study planners, video and audio resources. Login to your ExamTime account now to access you
Set your study goals
. In order to achieve exam success you need to know what you want to achieve. Thats why it is extremely important to set your Study Goals now and outline to yourself what you need to do. With your study goals in mind and your end of year exams weeks and months away it makes sense to have a flexible study plan as opposed to a rigid one. The closer you get to your exams the more concrete your study plan should be, but at this point it should be porou
Review your notes
. Successful students review what theyve learned during the week over the weekend. This way theyre well prepared to continue learning new concepts at the beginning of each week that build upon previous coursework and knowledge acquired the previous week.
Use study groups effectively
. Ever heard the phrase two heads are better than one Well this can be especially true when it comes to studying. Working in groups enables you to 1 get help from other students when youre struggling to understand a concept, 2 complete assignments more quickly, and 3 teach others whereby helping both the other student and yourselve to internalize the subject matter. However, study groups can become very ineffective if theyre not structured a
Starting an assigment
. Obviously, before you can review your notes you must first have notes. Always make sure to take good notes in class. Before you start each study session and before you start a particular assignment review your notes thoroughly to make sure you know how to complete the assignment correctly.
Start with the most difficult subject first
. As your most diffult assignment or subject will require the most effort and mental energy you should start with it first. Once youve completed the most difficult work it will be much easy to complete the rest of your work. Believe it or not, starting with the most difficult work will greatly improve the effectiveness of your study sessions and your academic performance.
Your planned study session
. Its very easy, and common, to put off your study session because of lack of interest in the subject, because you have other things you need to get done first or just because the assignment is hard. Successful students DO NOT procrastinate studying. If you procrastinate your study session, your studying will become much less effective and you may get everything accomplished that you need to. Procrastination also leads to rushing, and rushing is th
Study at the same time
. Not only is it important that you plan when youre going to study but that you also create a consistent, daily study routine. When you study at the same time each day and each week youre studying will become a regular part of your life. Youll be mentally and emotionally more prepared for each study session and each study session will become more productive.
Plan when youre going to study
. Successful students schedule specific times throughout the week when they are going to complete their studying and then they stick with their schedule. Students who study sporadically and whimsically typically do not perform as well as students who have a set study schedule.
Start studying when planned
. You may delay starting your studying because you dont like an assignment or think it is too hard. A delay in studying is called procrastination. If you procrastinate for any reason, you will find it difficult to get everything done when you need to. You may rush to make up the time you wasted getting started, resulting in careless work and errors.
Practice constant rehearsal of the matter
. This technique helps information to be moved from short term memory into long term memory storage.
Make use of mnemonics
. This involves using key alphabets to remember and retrieve large amounts of information.
. You need to love and have interest in the subject you want to study. Interest forms a magic elixir and motivates you to learn, and it will help change your wrong concept of studies as a mental torture
Change your study environment
. Recalling information becomes much easier when you attach significance to the surroundings you studied in. A new environment also breaks the routine and this makes learning more interesting.
Do not procrastinate
. When mentally tired or when laziness creeps into your study time, do yourself justice by simply reading through the subject material. Read with comprehension and understanding. This will help you tie up information on the day of exams.
Trust yourself and your memory
. Self doubt will set you back and these feelings will inhibit your study programme.
Try the verbal approach
. Read out loudly. This method utilizes two sensory systems. One is the audio hearing and the other is visual seeing. Another alternative is to let someone else recite the information out to you. This technique is very useful as you will associate the study material with a different voice at the back of your mind.
Study well in advance
. This will give you more control and enough time to tie up loose ends. Knowing that you have control over the situation, will ensure greater success. This will also avoid nervousness and unnecessary exam jitters.
Keep or stay away from other negative students
. Their constant self pity and complaints will do you no good and this will reduce your chances of passing.
. There are others out there feeling the same feelings, experiencing the same insecurities and having the same doubts as you.
Have a planner
. It doesnt matter whether you use a paper planner, your cell phone or a calendar on your computer, every student needs to have a central system to record what theyre supposed to be doing when, Dietzel said.
Schedule everything in
. Put everything in your planner, including your classes, library and study sessions and even breaks like exercise, relaxation and time with friends. This way you dont even need to contemplate your next step and possibly get distracted or interrupted .For instance, every Tuesday and Thursday, you already know that youre studying at the library for two hours. Eventually, your library sessions and other regular activities become as automatic as brus
Study in increments
. Cramming the night before a test isnt just stressful; its ineffective. Our brains arent meant to absorb and retain information [that we] reviewed at the last minute, Dietzel said. Thats because repetition is key to learning, and last minute stress can lead to anxiety that blocks our ability to readily understand and recall information. Instead, Dietzel suggests starting a week ahead and studying in 15 to 20 minute increments.
Take effective notes
. Learn how to save time and energy by using effective note taking strategies for both traditional and online classes. Explore ways to exercise good judgment when deciding what to write down. You can maximize your productivity by leveraging these tips for organizing and taking class notes.
Study smart before exams
. Discover proven tricks to help you recall information on test day. Youll find methods that work for different kinds of courses and exams. By using these memorization tips, youll cut down on your test prep time for each course and will be more likely to recall important information that will serve you in future courses, as well.
Maintain your studies
. See how you can retain and build on what youve learned in your courses. Dont let your knowledge and hard work go to waste. Explore ways to preserve valuable course materials and remain abreast of developments in your field.
Manage your stress
. Learn the different kinds of stress and the symptoms of detrimental stress. See how you can recognize your own common stress triggers. You can develop ways to create a buffer and be prepared both mentally and physically to handle stressful situations during your academic career.
Top ten resources
. Discover resources that can supplement your classroom study and boost your grades. Youll find free online resources designed specifically to help you in various college courses. You can also explore resources that help you manage your time and stress throughout your college experience.
Set your goal
. Read the course overview to understand what the course will cover and how it will be scored. Identify your goal in concrete terms and put it in writing to strengthen your resolve.
Identify your learning style
. Take a learning style assessment test and find out if you are a visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learner. This self knowledge can help you make more effective use of your time. Remember, your learning style may be quite different from that of family members and friends. Adapting your study method to suit your own natural style will enable you to produce powerful results in less time.
Develop a study plan
. For each course, figure out how much time you will need to spend outside of class, in order to keep up and in order to do well. Plan a study schedule that allows you to stay in control of the academic workload.
Keep up with reading
. Particularly in college or university, staying up to date in terms of your reading is critical to your success. When you attend a lecture without having completed the required reading, you lose a valuable opportunity to add to your understanding.
Create mind maps
. Mind maps are graphic organizers, developed by Tony Buzan, which can help you summarize vital information from lectures and textbooks. Each topic can be condensed onto a page; each chapter can be encapsulated onto a larger map. Eventually, you can develop a mind map to review the key sections of each course and get a broad view of how each topic relates to the others. Then, to review before an exam, see if you can reconstruct the map. In this way
Attend classes regularly
. Be an active learner. Attend lectures regularly and participate whenever possible. The interaction will help you to remember more than if you sit passively in class, dreaming of other things.
Surround yourself with learning
. Create a 24 hour learning environment by putting up review charts and points where you can see them daily on mirrors, doors, fridge, bathroom, television, or bedside table. If possible, purchase a white board and dry erase markers, so you can test your recall by reproducing the mind maps. Use bright colored markers, include images to trigger your memory and most of all, have fun.
Work with concentration
. Its in your interest! One hour of concentrated study is worth several hours of distracted study. If you learn how to work with concentration, you will achieve more than 95% of the population. This critical skill enables you to do more in less time and is one of the distinguishing features of super achievers around the world.
Apply memory techniques
. Take the time to learn different memory techniques and practice applying them in a variety of academic and professional contexts. Understand the basic memory principles upon which your brain works and learn some tips for improving your memory. The more you exercise your memory muscle, the stronger it will be and the more confidence you will have in your ability to recall information when you need it most.
Use all your intelligences
. Are you aware of the concept of multiple intelligences? Do you know it doesnt matter how smart you are but rather how you are smart? This concept was introduced by Howard Gardiner of Harvard University. It explains the number of different ways in which a human can have intelligence and how this self knowledge can help us live, work, and study more efficiently.