Top 5 tips for getting back into the swing of study

Notebook with ruler and plant

Whether you've been on an epic holiday or are starting university as a mature-aged student, long breaks from a classroom environment can make anyone feel a bit rusty. To help, we've compiled our top five tips for getting back into the swing of study.

1. Get organised

Regardless of whether you're in your last year of university or just starting high school, thanks to unit and subject outlines you'll likely know what exams and assignments you have for the foreseeable future.

Marking important dates and deadlines into a personal calendar or study plan will allow you to remain organised and set realistic revision and academic goals for the study period ahead.

A detailed study plan will also allow you to figure out what resources and help you'll need along the way, in addition to helping you juggle busy study periods around other work and life commitments.

2. Organise your study space

As the saying goes, an ordered desk equals an ordered mind. Researchers from Princeton University published a study which found working or studying in a cluttered environment can significantly limit your ability to focus and process information.

So, before you begin studying, ensure you take the time to clean and organise your study space, (including the not so obvious areas like your computer's desktop). When picking your perfect study space, it's recommend you choose an area that receives a lot of natural light and is free from distractions.

Don't be afraid to spice up your study space with things like posters, photos or even an indoor plant. After all, if your study space is nice, you'll be motivated to spend more time there.

3. Start with the basics

If it's been a while since you were at school or university, your study skills may be a bit rusty. The best way to combat this is taking pressure off yourself, and starting it slow and easy.

If you're keen to enrol at uni after a long break, you can also look at courses like OnTrack or FlexiTrack provided by Murdoch.

A supportive, adult learning environment, OnTrack and FlexiTrack provide students with the academic skills, knowledge and understandings needed to study successfully at an undergraduate level.

Once completed, you can apply for any Murdoch course with a selection rank of 70.

4. Ask for help

If you're struggling to get back into the swing of studying - ask for help! School counsellors or library staff can be great help if you're in high school, while most universities will have support services you can utilise. 

Murdoch's Student Learning Support Services, for example, help students develop academic and study skills through free workshops on a range of topics from time management to essay writing, and help from other students who have performed well in similar study areas.

Taking advantage of the services you have available will not only help you to manage feelings of stress, it'll also assist you in staying committed to your studies.

You can find Murdoch's Learning Support team in the Centre for University Teaching & Learning, located in the South Street Campus Library.

International student Ayguel found the range of support services available helped her transition to life in a new country, while also ensuring she got the most out of her campus life.

“I felt very comfortable and got so much support in each area – my teachers and peers were very friendly at Murdoch. English isn’t my first language, but I felt confident to speak to them and learn from them.”

Discover more about becoming an international student at Murdoch.  

5. Set realistic expectations

While setting hard goals can motivate you to achieve, it's important to keep your goals realistic and achievable.

Putting needless pressure on yourself, especially when you've had a break from studying, can be detrimental to your progress.

Instead, be patient and give yourself time to get back into the swing of studying. Rather than judging yourself on your results, which may be disappoint you in the beginning, judge yourself on the amount of effort you're putting in. The results will follow. 

If you'd love to go to university, but think it’s been too long since you’ve been in a learning environment, why not check out our FlexiTrack andOnTrack courses?
Posted on:

21 Oct 2019

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