Ok, I guess you know this already. University exams are excessively different from high school exams. Do you know what causes that?
Coming from high school to tertiary I quickly realised the importance between the two, the responsibility of my success or failure lies with me, and neither with my teacher, nor my parents. In high school I had my teachers who held my hand and guided me through my academic journey. Not to frighten you, you will need to adjust from the laid back, fun and easy life to a more structure dedicated study life style for you to succeed at university. Do not despair; UJ will support you through the PsyCaD services.
As a student, I made a mistake of sticking with my high school study technique. I realised that, unlike high school, university exams pushes critical thinking and theory application. I used to cram for my tests, I noticed that I should not rely on that technique alone. Yes there were times I was required to cram facts. However, unbelievably, most of the lecturers expect that you should follow the objectives for each chapter and lecture lesson. Now I had to master the art of finding those objectives and practice them. This is what helped me survive at university;
• Get to know your lectures and your tutors
Understanding the way that your lecturers teach their classes is critical! Keep in mind, there’s no more spoon-feeding! Many lecturers will simply hand out your list of assignments – that’s it, it’s all up to you to go to the library to find the resources you need, do the required reading and make sure your assignment are in on the due date!
● Quit cramming
Days of cramming lists and spitting them back onto a piece of paper to achieve success are sadly over. Varsity lectures are going to test your critical thinking and application skills in depth. They don’t want you to give them back what’s on the textbook. You’ll need to think your way through to the answer in many cases, upper level classes in your major.
● Make use of the library
Yes, we do live in a digital world where information is only a few clicks away, but sourcing information for your studies is not like reading up on celeb gossip. Your course outline normally has a list of books that you’ll need to use throughout the course and many of these can’t be found online. Find out where the library is first and then speak to the faculty librarians on duty if you need any help finding the required books.
● Stop procrastinating
When it is time to study for a test do so promptly, create a timetable to fit in your studies and social life. Create a strong balance between the two. Train yourself to deal with tasks even if you do not feel like it, this will help strengthen your flexibility, which is important for leadership skills.
Lastly, you made it this far because you are smart and strong enough to survive varsity. You can also handle the pressure while having fun. Make sure you meet new friends, but remember that your studies are your first priority hence they should be treated as such. Good Luck