How to make the most of independent study and coursework

So, we’re right in the middle of independent study! You will either have coursework due soon or some upcoming exams so the next few weeks will be super important. A lot of students can sometimes find it hard to balance coursework deadlines with exam revision.

Create a schedule

If you are looking to arrange your time effectively, then creating a schedule is the best way to make the most of your time. Prioritise the things that you need to get done first or the things that you are struggling the most.

Be sure to schedule in free time so you can chill and reset.

Make use of the library and other study spaces

To make the most of your study time, you need to be productive. A lot of the time, if you try and work in your bedroom at home, you don’t have a different setting for your work and your breaks. So by going to the library you can make sure you are fully productive and then take a break by going home. When you are at the library, there will be lots of other people in your position hard at work so initially, it will hopefully make you feel like you need to get your work done.

Mute your phone

So, this tip can be a little bit hard for some people who are glued to their phone! But to maximise the most of your time, you need to put your phone down. This means there is no chance of you getting distracted and carried away. The worst thing is when you lose track of time and end up spending a couple of hours scrolling through TikTok instead of working!

A good idea is to leave your phone in your bag, so it is out of sight. Or if you’re worried about missing notifications, some phones have settings where you can silence your phone, but you can let it send through notifications from certain apps or people by selecting them.

Look forward to rewards

A lot of students struggle with getting started and finding the motivation, so a good way to combat this issue is to set yourself rewards so that you can get through your work. For example, set yourself a target, something like practise a 25-marker question. When you have completed this target, you can let yourself go out for some drinks with your friends.

Use effective revision techniques

The types of revision techniques you use are detrimental to making the most of your study. Jamworks offer a quizzing revision option which is great if flashcard are your kind of thing. They use your recorded lectures and use AI to create online question and answer flashcards with links to the video if you need to rewatch it. This is a great technique as you save so much time not having to create the flashcards yourself.

One of the other most popular revision methods is looking over past exam papers. This is the best way to pick up of themes that run through all the papers and to get a better idea of the style the papers are written in. This can also be seen as the more difficult way of revision to sit down and make your way through, but it is definitely worth it! As mentioned earlier, if you struggle sitting down and getting it down then set yourself goals and have treats after.

Take time off

One of the most important things to do is to take a break from all of your revision. Make time to go and see your friends and take your mind off anything that is stressing you out. Most of the time, after you have a break and come back to it with a fresh mind, you will be able to overcome any problems you were facing.

Balancing coursework with exam preparation

Figuring out the balance between getting on with your coursework and preparing for your exams can be slightly different at first. But with time you will be able to figure out what works for you.

Plan time

Instead of splitting your time evenly, split your time depending on which modules need the most attention by looking at your deadlines for coursework and your exam dates.

Occasionally, when revising for exams, you will not be able to cover every single topic that the exam will be on. So, it makes sense to prioritise the topics you understand the least.

Set targets

When you are working on your coursework, try setting a target of a certain number of words. Usually around 300 words an hour depending on if you have additional reading you need to make your way through to be able to write those sections.

For exam preparation, set targets of a topic per day, or half of a topic depending on how big your topics are and what you think is achievable.

Final Thoughts

The exam period can be a tough time for students, so it is important to make it as easy for yourself as possible but creating a plan and goals within that plan.

Of course, as mentioned before, always give yourself breaks and spend time with your friends and family to take your mind off things and de-stress. This will help make your time spent more effective when you come back to revision.

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