Studying differently for university


Is studying for University different to High School?
University is not like school and many students battle with this transition.  Statistics show that as many as 50% of first year student’s drop out of University.

One of the biggest changes between school and University or College is the way in which the work is done. There is no daily homework that needs to be checked and signed off by a parent. Students receive assignment and deadlines – which no one will chase them up on. Essentially students are no longer managed and need to take responsibility for their own learning.

Students will attend lectures, seminars and tutorials in a variety of different lecture halls, with lectures being the biggest proportion of teaching that is received, along with potentially a thousand other fellow students - depending on which faculty they are studying at. Unlike school where the classes were small and the average teaching period only 45 minutes, University lectures can continue for up to 2 hours long.

The exams at University cover much more work and student’s need to be sure they are adequately prepared.

Below are the most important study tips for University students:

  1. Make enough time for studying each subject; this cannot be left until the night before an exam.
  2. Ensure a well organised study area, which is for nothing else - to avoid distractions.
  3. Summarise the lecture notes into flow charts or diagrams and explain these to yourself – it is important to understand the concept and context, not just the facts, as this will ensure a better understanding and aid the long term learning process, some of the subject content is often very similar or related.
  4. The University usually makes previous exams available; practise these to learn and know the format of the paper.
  5. Arrange a study groups with fellow students.


You might want to read this article to find out if you are a study group type of student.