With your first unit now well underway, you’re likely getting a sense of just how quick the pace of an accelerated program can be. It’s also probably clear whether your study schedule is working for you or not.
Rather than panicking in response to short deadlines and weekly study requirements, use these tips to take control of your study schedule and achieve your goals.
Reinvent your study planner
If you’re like many students, you began the teaching period with a study calendar that was optimistic, but may have abandoned it if you’ve struggled to keep up. A better plan is to review your schedule now and make realistic adjustments, because it’s certainly not too late.
First, check to see which major assignments and exams you have coming up. Also review your upcoming work schedule and social commitments. Based on what you notice, cut back on social obligations or increase your study time on days when you’ll have more free time.
Reflect on your strengths and weaknesses
When you’re part of an accelerated program, it can be hard to know what to prioritise, but it’s essential that you determine your priorities as quickly as possible.
Rather than launching blindly into all-night study sessions to catch up, take a few minutes to reflect on your strengths and weaknesses as a student.
If you’re doing well on papers but not as well on exams, how can you devote more time or resources to exam preparation? If you ace your exams but struggle to keep up on small assignments, how can you change this? If you’ve noticed that you’ve been allowing social commitments to get in the way of your studies, make a note of it.
Once you’ve reflected on your strengths and weaknesses, make an effort to devote more time to areas that need to be improved.
Make large tasks manageable
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your workload, try splitting large tasks into small, achievable chunks. Even if you have only 15 or 20 minutes free, you can make substantial progress.
For example, if you have a big paper due, try writing a paragraph each day during your lunch break or while commuting on public transport. Not only will this strategy make the project less intimidating, but you’ll feel a strong sense of progress as you gradually complete the task.
Get support from employers and family
The support and flexibility of your family, friends, and employer can be invaluable when you need to create additional study time. Don’t be afraid to ask your employer for a day or two off to prepare for exams, or ask your family to help with household tasks.
Whether you need encouragement, more quiet time and space to study, or something else, be specific about the support you need. If you communicate your needs in advance, your employer and loved ones will be prepared and more likely to offer support.
Seek out study resources
Even the most self-motivated graduate students can benefit from support from teachers, peers, and colleagues. If you’re struggling in a specific class, ask your lecturer how best to prepare for your final assessments.
If you’re having trouble staying motivated, create a weekly study group of enthusiastic and motivated peers in your course. You can also learn how to study more effectively with our helpful study skills resources or by getting in touch with your Student Success Advisor to create a tailored study plan.
Finally, if you have not been in touch with your Student Success Advisor, contact them on 1300 655 491 as soon as possible to get the help you need.