Trying to keep on top of your workload can be a struggle. This applies to first year students who have little experience with independent studying to third year students who are still trying to streamline the process. Here are five simple tips to ensure you don’t fall behind, as well as to make writing essays and revising for exams easier!
1. Make a realistic plan!
Making a realistic plan for when to study can really help to ensure you’re on top of your workload and ensure that you have the time to relax too. Begin by writing down where and when your lectures, seminars and tutorials take place, as well as when you have any deadlines or exams. Next, write down any personal plans you have such as the next Law Matters Seminar, the Human Rights Society meeting etc. Then, any space that is left blank, between the hours of 9am-6pm*, is potential study time. Emphasis on the word potential as studying too much will not benefit you in the long run!
*This is just an example as this is the time-frame where lectures, seminars and tutorials are usually held and allows free time in the evening. Feel free to alter this to a time frame when you study best.
2. Complete the reading before the lecture
Completing the required and recommended reading beforehand is another way to keep on track. This allows you to familiarise yourself with the topic so you are aware of what might be mentioned in the lecture. Also, this way you can listen out for the answer to any questions you might have after completing the reading. However, if your question is still not answered by the end of the lecture, you can ask the lecturer themselves in person at the end, who is likely to give a much better response that is tailored to you rather than a general answer via email. You can find your reading list on TALIS, in your module outline, or your module directory.
3. Read through your notes after the lecture
Reading through your notes after a lecture helps to prevent any future confusion when it comes to writing assignments or revising for exams. This ensures that you understand everything that you wrote down. If there’s anything that you didn’t understand, now is the best time to ask your lecturer whilst it is fresh in both your mind and theirs. Also, if there is anything that you missed, make a note of it and again either ask a lecturer or a classmate about it or access listen again*. This means when it’s time to write an assignment or revise for exams that all the information is readily accessible.
*Do not rely on listen again as not all lectures are recorded, it is not 100% reliable, recordings stop after 50 minutes even if the lecturer continues and it can take at least 24 hours to be uploaded online.
4. Attempt any written exercises or tasks
If your lecturer has given you anything to practice, practice it! Now is the best time to practice whilst the information is fresh and it gives you time to ask for any help if you struggle. You will thank yourself for doing this when it comes round to writing assignments or revising. This is because you can repeat these exercises again and compare your current self to your past self which will either highlight the areas where you need to improve or show how much you have improved. Win, win!
5. Organise your notes
There is nothing worse than going to write an assignment or revise for exam and you can’t find your notes from Week 6. Keep either a folder on your laptop or a physical folder with all your notes inside. These notes should be dated, titled with the topic of the lecture and filed under the name of the module. It is easiest to start this at the beginning of term and file everything that you are given. However, no matter what time of year, it is still a good idea to organise your notes. Especially as this may highlight what notes you have misplaced and gives you time to find them or rewrite them, before they are needed for an assignment or revision. The earlier you start, the easier it become
One piece of advice from our Law Stars.
To help with your studies we asked our Law Stars, what piece of advice they wished they had when they started University.
The key message of this blog post is that planning ahead and organising yourself are essential to keeping on top of your workload. Not every tip will work for everyone because studying is personal. But, we hope these tips helped and if you have any other tips for students, please feel free to leave a reply in the comments.