By the time you reach university, you’ve given your fair share of exams and handed in countless assignments. But once you enter university, the nature of your work and study takes on a whole new dimension and it becomes important to try and figure out what study habits produce the best results for you.

Understanding what studying routine suits you best will help in preparing and creating better versions of your work. It will also make managing your workload a lot easier.  

The Three Types of Memorisation

Every one of us has had to struggle through exams. The pressure of memorising large amounts of information quickly and accurately is made worse when you’re using the wrong system. So try to fix that by changing your routine. There are three memorisation techniques: visual, which is simply using cue cards and plastering notes all over your work surfaces; auditory, which can be a recording yourself or finding audio tapes of books to listen to; and finally, oral repetition which most often is reading passages of the textbook out loud. It can also sometimes be a combination of one or two of these techniques.

As a trial run ask someone to test you on the topics you’re trying to learn, so you can see how much you can remember through each method.

Working Under Pressure and Prioritising Tasks

I’ve learnt that everyone handles student deadlines in different ways. I tend to work better under a little pressure and if you’re anything like me, then you have a tendency to leave things till the last-minute. But even with a habit to procrastinate there are ways I manage my workload.  

First, mark all your exams and/or deadlines on a calendar and put it up in your work space so you have a visual of it. This is so that you can remember dates and can visually see which tasks need to take priority.

Also try to start working on an assignment a minimum of a week before the due date. Sort through the pre-reading and secondary sources for the assignment, which are generally time-consuming tasks. Mark anything you might quote in your essay with post-it notes (even colour code them for different themes or topics for your essay!). Now when you sit down to write, it’ll be a lot easier because you’ll have done the groundwork.

Final Checks Before a Deadline

The most important step before handing in an essay is one most students seem rush through - editing. I admit, actually writing an assignment takes a lot of work but, you’ve already put in so much effort so make sure what you hand in is as close to perfect as possible!

Leave at least a day or two before your deadline for proofreading. You’ll most likely need time to give yourself a break and come back to your work with a fresh pair of eyes. Always try to print out drafts of your essays, rather than reading it on a screen, it makes it a lot easier for you to spot spelling and grammar mistakes. (If the library is too expensive for regular printing, then look into investing in a cheap printer for your room.)

I always found it helpful when I had someone else look at my work. So don’t be afraid to ask a roommate, someone on your course, or even your family members to read through your essays. It’s always better to have someone approach your work with a critical eye. People who are not experts on the subject you have written about, should be able to understand the point you are trying to argue in your essay.

For more studying tips, check out our earlier blogs: Managing your School Work and How to Study Effectively.

About the Author: Sadia Sajjad is an English graduate from Brunel University London. She’s always had a strong affinity for the arts and is never far away from her pen and paper. She is currently interning in Dubai.