King Ceasor University
Make Yourself Successful in Your Studies
Many times, we keep without any study plan, so it is no wonder that we end up being frustrated and disappointed at the end of each term. We then ask ourselves, “why did I fail or why am I always the one failing?”
If you ever find yourself in such a situation. Start to think on how to make yourself a study plan to guide you. No one has ever made himself a plan to fail or become stupid. These things just come, when you do not have a plan. To understand this more clearly, just imagine you are a driver who wants to take a long journey and you want your journey to remain enjoyable and successful. In this situation, you have to make a plan before you start off. Planning before you start your journey is a way to keep your journey enjoyable because it will lessen the risk of things that may go wrong on the journey. It’s the same to you as a student – planning for your studies before the beginning of your term will make studying more enjoyable to you and will lessen the risk of things that would have gone during your term or semester. This is why I repeat this to you students; you must make a plan to guide you before the beginning of each term or semester.
Planning for your studies can begin by listing all the subjects or course units you have to study in each given term or semester. You can start by putting them on paper. This will make you have a better idea of the amount of work ahead of you.
After you’ve written down all of the subjects you need to study or revise during the term, then go ahead and specify how much time you want to give to each subject or course unit. Specifying the time can be per day, per week, or per month. This is very important because it will enable you as a student to know the time you have to attend classes and the time you have out of classes. More so, it will show you the best time you can use to revise.
To do this well, start by defining how many hours you devote each day to class work. Find out also, how many hours you devote each day to entertainment, or how many hours you need to spend with friends and family. Surprisingly, you may find that you spend a lot of time with friends. If so, reduce some of this time in case you need it for your revision. If this is not possible, do some quick math to see where you can cut time to get more time for the revision. This will enable you to create a revision study schedule with enough time without interfering with your classroom time. This is because classroom time is equally important to your becoming successful in your studies.
As you plan for your revision time, take also into account your learning style. Today we live in times where technology has made learning easy and, more so, revision is becoming more interesting because of the advances in technology. For example, today lecture presentations can be recorded and given to students in both video and audio forms. This was not the case during the old times. Remarkably also, many of the students at the university have acquired smartphones. Such smartphones can be used to make studying easier.
For instance, if you are a student and perhaps an auditory learner, you can record lectures on your smartphone. You can then listen to recorded lectures and information when walking or travelling to school or when working out in the gym or in your resting room. Travelling to school, working out in a gym, or doing home activities in your resting room can then become part of your revision time.
Secondly, you may be a visual learner. This means you enjoy to watch lecture video presentations during your revision. If so, take time to look out for good video presentations for each subject. Search for the good videos from YouTube and put them on your smartphone, flash disc or laptop. You can watch such videos, for example, when your lecturer delays to come, or does not come at all. This time that could be wasted can become part of your revision time.
Thirdly, if you are a discussion learner, this means you learn better when you are part of the discussion group. Have you ever heard the phrase, “two heads are better than one?” This is very true when it comes to discussing in groups. Working in groups enables you to (1) get help from others when you’re struggling to understand a concept, (2) complete assignments more quickly, and, (3) teach others, thereby helping both the other students and yourself to internalize the subject matter. So, if you are a discussion group learner, never forget to identify and spare some time to attend discussion groups for your revision. However, never forget this: Study groups can become very ineffective if they’re not structured, or if group members come unprepared or undisciplined. Know how to use the discussion groups more effectively.
Once you’ve got your revision time, your revision style and the subjects you need to revise each term or semester, you can now make a revision timetable. A basic revision timetable is essentially a calendar, but, instead of holidays and working days, it contains topics and subjects you need to revise on specific days.
To make a good time table, use the calendar. Use the monthly days to mark out the days you want to revise each subject. In a different color of ink, specify the amount of time given for each subject during your revision. You can revise two or three subjects per day, giving each of the subjects one or two hours. Also, in different ink colors, stipulate the learning style you want to use for each subject schedule in your daily planner, for instance, audio, video, group discussion, reading notes or text book. Doing this is very important for you because it will keep you on track to achieve your academic goals
While making your revision plan, never forget to reserve some time for family, friends, and rest. This is because you need other activities too, for good health. You will not be able to succeed at your studies unless you create a healthy balance between your personal and academic life.
Remember to reserve time for events you can’t reschedule, like your family reunion, visitings to the sick, or death of friends and relatives. Put also aside some time to have other commitments such as swim practice, family time, or religious services. Reserve plenty of time for rest, sleep, and exercise. If you have no time to revise before important exams, consider postponing or canceling regular social or extra-curricular activities and reschedule such activities for holidays.
Kaweesa Simon Peter,
Patron Writers Club,
King Ceasor University