Many students spend hours preparing for final exams, proof reading essays, writing reports and working with other students on group assignments. The university workload can get intense at times, especially during mid-semester exams or final exam periods. Extracurricular activities and part-time work commitments often put even more pressure on students, as they struggle to find the time to meet all of their goals and commitments.
This is exactly why students should be studying SMART, not hard. Studying SMART is about setting realistic goals and prioritizing your time to meet them.
Below is a list of 5 ways to help you study SMART:
- Time management:
Time management skills are not only critical for your university degree, but also for the workforce. In order to manage your time more effectively, make a plan of action and map out how long each step will take. This will help you keep track of how long you are spending on one task or topic, and allow you to prioritise your time more easily.
- Prioritise goals:
If you are confronted with a large and overwhelming goal, such as completing a huge exam or writing a 3000 word report, then try breaking down this task into smaller and more achievable goals. This technique will help you to manage your work easier, and also allow you to track your progress in a systematic way. For example, you can break down the task of studying for a statistics final exam, into completing 2 chapters per day. In this way, your work will seem more manageable, especially during times of high stress.
- Create a study calendar: creating a study calendar is an effective way to manage your time, and prioritise the most important tasks first. It is recommended that students update their calendars daily to show all the tests, papers, presentations and assignments that are due in the coming weeks. This allows students to keep track of all their commitments, and plan ahead for busy periods.
- Find a time of the day that works: Every student studies differently, and this includes time of the day. Some students prefer to stay up late, while others feel more refreshed and energised in the morning. It is recommended that students optimise their study calendars to reflect the time of day that works best for them. For example: If you are a morning person, then try and get 1-2 hours of study in before university starts.
- Avoid cramming at the last minute: Cramming 12 weeks of content and theory into one or two days is not an effective way to prepare for exams. It has been proven that studying in 2 hour intervals is much more effective than cramming for 10 hours straight. It is recommended that students create a study plan to avoid leaving things to the last minute. Creating a study plan two weeks before finals is a fantastic way to get on top of your work early, and avoid the last minute panic. Just remember to prioritize your time and avoid procrastinations such as social media or Netflix.
If you are interested in learning more about studying SMART, then check out Uni-Mate Tutoring. They are an Australian tutoring company that provide students with online peer-to-peer tutoring services.