How to Study at University

Practical tips and general thoughts on how to study at a Western university

My one hundredth

Point: A few thoughts on life This is my one hundredth post. So I’m going to go a little crazy and celebrate. And the way I am going to celebrate is to have a few big thoughts. Crazy, eh! Perhaps I should get a life. In academia we spend so much time looking at details […]

Understanding understanding

Point: Understand relationships to help you to remember Do you remember things easily? You remember some things but not others, right? That’s natural. It’s often said – possibly even by you – that people remember the things that interest them most. And forget the things that don’t. So you remember who is in your favourite […]

Your forgetory

 Point: Your brain is designed to remember I had this wierd thought the other day: Our brain has a forgetory, not a memory. Here is how I arrived at the thought. Things enter our brain through eyes, ears and other senses. The main job of a brain, therefore, is to sort out and then to forget […]

Passionate Souls

Point: Study what interests you Their clothes are untidy, ill-fitting, and possibly even smelly. Their hair is untidy, ill-fitting, and possibly even smelly. They are tall, short, or average height. S, M, or XXL. They may speak five languages fluently, or only one, badly. They’ll know the past 10 leaders of Guatemala and their views […]

The simple life

Point: Know what people really want, then give it to them Let me simplify your life for you. (You didn’t know it needed simplifying, did you?) At university you only have to do one thing. That’s right. Only one. All the other things you do – going to lectures, researching, calculating, sitting exams, writing essays, […]

The medium picture – Part 2

Point: Be clear about the goal of each module you are studying So, following on from Part 1, can you see the medium picture of each of your modules? Do you know why you are studying them? Can you say I am studying X in order to understand …? Knowing why you are studying X […]

The medium picture – Part 1

Point: Be clear about the goal of each module you are studying Do you know why you are studying each of your subjects? I don’t mean your whole course – your degree or diploma – and I don’t mean each field or discipline – Business or Medicine or Geography. I mean each subject. (Different universities […]

Make a habit of habits

Point: Form good study habits An important part of becoming a good student is to form good habits. Good habits for a student are things like – planning your exam essay before starting to write it; – noting down the full reference details of each source you read; – doing your required reading well in […]

You’re not alone, so don’t be – Part 2

Point: Study groups can really help you succeed at university In Part 1 on this topic, I hope I planted the idea of study groups in your head. Perhaps you’ve already discussed it with some friends. Perhaps you’ve even decided to start one. Great!  Let’s talk a bit more about them now. It’s not a love thing […]

You’re not alone, so don’t be – Part 1

Point: Study groups can really help you succeed at university When you think of some of the best, happiest, most successful times in your life, were you generally with other people, or alone? What about your worst and unhappiest times? Were you with other people, or alone?  Of course, both happy and sad times can […]

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