When you go to university, you may be surprised by the fact that your tasks become much more diverse than they’ve used to be. Some features of your higher education may remind you previous years. The difference the academic level. For example, you may notice that:
- Remembering is not as important as your ability to think critically and understand theory.
- Now you are more independent because you can choose when to study and what to focus on.
We decided to explain to you what things are most important for your success in academic studies so that you can understand what information to search for.
- First of all, it’s you who decides what and when to do things. Sometimes it turns out that you have same deadlines for several assignments, so you may need to plan your work in advance. Otherwise, you may find yourself rushing in panic. If you’re not sure how to cope with some assignments, there are many online sources and programs that can become your advisers. You also shouldn’t forget about your programmer tutor. If you want to get an advice, ask the Study Advice Team, or consider getting help from a personal tutor.
- Stay informed. Note and keep in mind such details of your education as guidelines, timetables, and locations of your classes. There is no one who could do it for you. If you don’t know where to find some information — check your programmer of study first of all. Ensure constant convenient access to all necessary schedules and materials.
- You can’t know everything. You would need to spend the whole life sitting in a library to read all sources devoted to some subject. It’s better to read a few texts with attention than to try read as much as you can, sacrificing the quality of such studying. If you cannot find some source in a library, ask for something equally valuable.
- Make your notes useful. Our previous advice is about your ability to focus on what is really important. The same applies to everything that your teacher says. Don’t try to write down everything that you hear. Select really important points and note all useful details. Just make sure that you’ve written what is necessary, and don’t be afraid to note your own thoughts that may help you in the future. However, you shouldn’t forget that these are your own thoughts.
- Develop your own ideas. Think about any subject and ask yourself, what do you think about it? After this, ask yourself what exactly made you take such a position regarding this subject? This is a good exercise that will help you learn how to develop arguments, understanding what evidence can support your point. Involve your logic, use your experience and use information that you’ve found in other sources. By practicing this way of thinking, you will always work with arguments using your own methods of analysis, so your arguments will be original and you won’t have problems with searching for evidence. Just follow a simple logic: what you want to say, why you think so, where you found the information that gave you such an idea, and how it works.
- Your education at university isn’t about how much knowledge you have, but about how you understand things that you know. Thus, you must know major issues and organize your thoughts in an appropriate context.
- Be critical about any information that you find, ask yourself why you agree with it or no. Don’t forget that if you found some idea in the book, or if your lecturer said that — it doesn’t mean that this opinion is correct.
- Use references correctly. You will need to cite many sources, writing bibliographies and supporting your arguments in academic papers. You must cite everything that you include as a direct quote or as a paraphrase, as well as when you just use someone else idea. Don’t make your quotes too long — short quotes work much better, and they are easier to read. Make sure that your quotes are really related to the topic of your paper. Use a citation style that is preferred by your department.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. When you go to university, it may be hard to get used to new subjects and schedule. Be honest with you and ask for help if you need it. An understanding of your strong and weak sides is a very useful and important skill that you will need in your future career. Ask your tutor to clarify everything you’re not sure about, or order professional help online.
- Improve your skills. As your skills and knowledge develop, your academic performance improves as well. Take into account what your tutors say, and work your way to success!