16 study tips for success

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To motivate students in the lead-up to exams Swinburne Online has looked to Facebook to encourage students to share their ideas. The innovative approach has seen dozens of ideas flooding through social media with students keen to give their best study tips and get some handy advice. Here’s a list of the most shared tips:

1. I have a checklist for each week so I clearly know what readings, activities or assignment needs to be completed for that week. I then tick them off as I go along. It gives you a lot of satisfaction ticking off tasks.

2. Try to study the same material in different areas. For example, I go to the library one day and study at home the next. Even changing rooms in your house counts, like going from the kitchen to the bedroom. I find this helps my brain form new connections with the same material giving me a stronger memory.

3. I break a unit into thirds to complete reading and summaries. You achieve big things quickly! That way when you hit exam prep time, you have three blocks of what you have condensed to review.

4. Find out what reference style you will be using and read up on it, download examples and familiarise yourself with the terms used.

5. When I am writing an essay, I take huge sheets of butcher’s paper and write down all my notes into a map so I can clearly see all the information and where it needs to be. Each criterion is colour coded to make it easier for me to see.

6. I'm a massive procrastinator, so I use apps to help me stay on task. One of my favourites lets you select the websites that distract you and blocks access during your selected hours, it’s so good. No Facebooking or online shopping to distract me now!

7. Familiarise yourself with the Swinburne Online web pages, blackboard and your unit before studying online as this is your virtual university. And make sure you check out the student toolbox.

8. Focus on the HD criteria of the marking guidelines. You might not get a HD but you're still likely to get a decent mark if you aim to fulfil all the criteria.

9. For each subject I have a key concepts document. When I take notes each week, I copy the notes I think are most important, or that follow the key concepts outlined in learning materials, onto that document. Then during consolidation week and the week before the exams I refine them down and voila! I have the perfect 'cheat sheet' document to practice with before my exams.

10. Find a point of interest. You've chosen your course so there must be something that interests you about it. Find the connection with every assignment so that it's not just work, it's interesting to you.

11. Use a course specific Facebook group to talk about information and make it more interactive. Yes, it's important to log out sometimes and really focus, but the connections can be invaluable and helping others or discussing with others can really get the ideas flowing.

12. Get clever with referencing. Follow the research trail to find original sources, don't just do a search, look at the sources your source has used and go from there. This often finds some great references for backing up ideas in assignments.

13. Make a list or add to your contacts the phone numbers and email addresses you may need. Include the Students Liaison Officers number - 1300 937 765 - and your eLearning Advisors and fellow students’ email addresses.

14. Share your opinions and thoughts on subjects with your peers. It increases your knowledge tenfold.

15. Be aware that you need to be a good self-learner with high self-motivation, willing to give up free time and social activities. Look at your week ahead and schedule study into your life.

16. Don't stress! Studying is not the end of the world, it's the beginning of a new one.

For more information on studying online, click here

* This article has been written by a Fairfax Media journalist as part of a commercial agreement between Fairfax Media and Swinburne Online.

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