Many high school students wonder if the knowledge gained during their last years of education will be useful for them in adulthood, including during their UK university studies. Unfortunately, it varies, and much depends on the course of study you plan to pursue in the United Kingdom. One thing is certain, Polish schools don’t teach how to study effectively. The system of cramming, passing, and forgetting won’t be of much use at a UK university. Below are a few tips that will not only help you excel in your university exams but also enable you to truly acquire new knowledge and valuable skills.
Transition to academic learning.
Education at the high school level significantly differs from that at higher education institutions. First and foremost, in high school or vocational school, not to mention elementary school, we are constantly guided and supported every step of the way. Teachers follow the curriculum step by step, regularly assessing our knowledge through quizzes and other tests. And if we stumble, we can always retake the test to improve our grade. On the other hand, preparations for the final exams are preceded by a whole year of revisions. Students have no choice but to cram, cram, cram and not ask any questions.
Indeed, the higher education system, especially at UK universities, operates quite differently. In a way, we can describe it with the motto “You don’t have to do anything, you can do everything.” In the case of the vast majority of classes, you can forget about any exams, and even quizzes are rare. Larger exams or assignments take place at deadlines that may seem incredibly distant at first glance. The problem, however, is that greedily indulging in student life, we might wake up a week before the deadline, and no amount of coffee will help us then. And yet, you didn’t apply for studies in England, write a personal statement, or request references just to be kicked out of university with a bang after a few months of studying. Especially when you’ve secured a tuition fee loan, maintenance loan, or scholarship. So how do you make a smooth transition from high school learning to academic learning?
Learning independence and self-discipline
First and foremost, in university, no one will chase you to study or wake you up early to ensure you don’t miss your classes. And even though the temptation to skip classes will be strong, it’s not worth doing so. In university, self-discipline is extremely important, so if you don’t push yourself to attend classes, go to the library, or skip a party to read a few chapters of a textbook and take notes, your performance in your studies in the UK will be far from ideal. Especially since on many courses, to pass each module, you’ll have to complete a specific project or write an assignment. You shouldn’t count on being able to cheat or copy from a friend. Engaging in such behavior will simply lead you to say goodbye to your studies. On the other hand, a last-minute written assignment won’t bring you reasons to be proud either. Unless you are a genius. However, would you need studies then?
If you’ve already made the decision to study systematically, or at least decided not to leave everything for the last moment, it’s time to develop a method for faster, easier, and above all, effective learning.
Choosing the Right Study Environment
Each of us has our preferences when it comes to the conditions in which we like to study. Some people need complete silence for studying, while others enjoy playing music in the background. Some people can concentrate only at a desk and students, prefer to study in bed under a blanket. Others value studying outdoors, in the library, or at their favorite café.
However, regardless of where you like to study, always try to create the best possible conditions for yourself. If you enjoy silence but your roommate is extremely social and hospitable, you can move to the library or ask them to spend the evening at a friend’s place. On the other hand, if you prefer studying with music, you can put on headphones to avoid disturbing others.
However, remember that conditions for studying will rarely be ideal, so don’t use it as an excuse to avoid studying altogether. Especially since when the ideal circumstances do appear, either you won’t feel like studying, or something else will come up that needs your attention. Indeed, that’s the timeless law of studying in the UK, Europe, and around the world! 😊
Understanding is key to learning, not just reading. Exactly, taking notes while reading helps you process and retain information better. Summarizing the material in your own words helps you better understand and internalize the content. This will help you remember them better and it will be easier for you to repeat them.
And if you’re a visual learner, remember to take notes using different colors. You’ll find it much easier to recall a certain topic if you associate it with having highlighted it with a yellow marker.
Read a lot.
You might find it hard to believe, but unless you become a book reviewer in the future, you’ll never have as much time for reading as you will during your studies. That’s why you should dedicate your free moments to books and articles that will broaden your horizons. Don’t limit yourself only to the field you’re studying!
Find the best method for studying.
And what is the best way? One that gives you the best results in your case. If you’re a visual learner, focus on reading and highlighting with color. On the other hand, auditory learners can comfortably skip flipping through traditional books in favor of audiobooks or podcasts related to their field of interest.
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