The way you revise at university is most likely going to be different than how you revised in school and at college. This is due to a number of reasons; first being that you may be studying a subject vastly different to what you revised for before. Secondly, the way in which university degrees are assessed, graded and carried out vary from course to course; some subjects are lecture focused, while others may be all about seminars and workshops. All your study routines and familiar note taking habits may not work for this new stage of education you’ve stepped into and that’s ok! Today I am going to share with you how to revise at university with the ability to tailor it to your specific needs depending on what you’re studying and what type of learner you are (see more on this here!)
Review your assessment requirements
In order to start revising at university, you need to know exactly what you’re revising for. Head over to the module handbook for each area of your course (usually available on platforms such as Canvas) and read the assessment information. Make a list of all the upcoming assessments you have for that semester and what form of assessment they are such as assignments, exams, presentations etc. Have a look at the learning outcomes for each module; these points are what your assessor is expecting to see in your work, to prove you’ve learned what was taught in the
module. Now that you know what you need to learn, you can make the next step in learning how to revise at university.
Understand how you learn best in order to know how to revise at university
When learning how to revise at university, it’s important to first understand what type of learner you are as this can have a big impact on the quality of your revision and how much information you can actually absorb in this way. If your course is lecture based, you can use apps such as Jamworks to record the key parts of the lecture to then listen back to during your revision time. This app is ideal for auditory learners as well as visual learners as you can record with both audio and video with Jamworks. If your go-to note taking method in school was using flashcards, the Jamworks Quiz feature is a helpful tool to use to adapt the key points from your lecture into a virtual flashcard-style quiz for you to test your knowledge. For students whose courses are more seminar and workshop based, it is ideal to pay attention to PowerPoint slides to capture key information to include in assignments and presentations.
Create a Revision Routine
The key to learning how to revise at university is creating a revision routine. Repeated patterns can help your brain to retain information, so having a set study routine will encourage you to absorb content more easily. It can be difficult to develop and stick to a study routine at university because unlike school where things are very scheduled, often lecture times and days can change on timetables, and aside from this the life of a student is often chaotic and busy with society events and meetings taking up a lot of time. A useful way to do this is instead of having a specific time and day set aside to study a specific topic, divide the content you need to revise across the 12 weeks (or however long you have before your assessments are due) and then slot the content to be revised for during that week into spaces where you know you have some free time. This way you know that as long as you stick to ticking off each chunk of content on its assigned week, you will have met all of your revision requirements by the time assessment week rolls around.
Schedule breaks into your life
We are students, not robots and we need regular breaks and rests. In the same way that someone running a marathon needs to take rest breaks for their body, us students need our brains to take breaks from concentration. I’ve seen my fair share of students during my time at university who have left work until the last minute and then spent the final week trying to write back-to-back essays until they pass out. It’s not healthy; you’re most likely going to develop headaches, have poorer levels of sleep and increase your anxiety levels. Even if it feels like you don’t have time to take breaks between now and your deadline, I promise you that those extra few hours of sleep or that hour break to cook a meal and fuel your body will help to boost the quality of your work in the long run.
Re-watch your lecture content
The benefit of university over school is that you have the ability to record your lectures. Some universities may already do this for you, or alternatively you can use note-taking software such as the Jamworks app. When learning how to revise at university, you must understand that just because you have attended a lecture doesn’t mean you have necessarily taken in any information. The lecture is the opportunity for the lecturer to provide you with elements of necessary learning to use in your assessments, so it is especially effective for university students to review this content more than just once to analyse the key details being taught. Rewatching your lecture content gives you the chance to update your notes with any points you may have previously missed. Maybe you make it to your weekly 9am lectures but your brain isn’t quite 100% alert until 11am; that’s two hours of content that’s most likely just gone over your head. It’s okay if you’re not a morning person though because apps like Jamworks are here to help you capture the important points without having to type a single sentence!
One of the best ways on how to revise at university is to utilise digital notetaking technology. There are many great (and free) apps available for taking notes at university to suit a wide range of individual needs, so students need to be availing of these tools and benefits to boost their grades. Going digital is an ideal way to revise at university because you can use a selection of different apps in different ways so that your brain is actively recalling the same information but through a variety of formats. Students can capture the key points of their lectures with software such as Jamworks, write up the content with an app such as Notability and plan out revision schedules with Notion.
Learning how to revise at university can be hard. Students who have just finished A-Levels will be set in their ways with a certain learning style and adapting to new habits whilst also adjusting to everything else that comes with moving to university can seem like a lot. These tips and tricks will hopefully help you get to grips with how to get started on your academic journey and remember that if it’s all a bit too complicated, open up your Jamworks app, let it take your notes for you while you have a well-deserved break!
Learn how to revise at university today with Jamworks to build better grades and take better notes! – Get started here today.