After completing the first two years of studying my bachelor's in Computer Science, achieving a first class so far, I thought I'd share a few tips which I feel have helped me. Note that people have different strategies to learning, but these are the things which I feel have helped me. Let's begin! ⬇️
Make notes 📝
Notetaking is something I do regularly, an example of my notes are in the header image of this post (no, they don't need to be super neat!). When I take notes, I feel like I'm taking the time to really understand what I'm trying to learn. I'm having to read some information, and process it by writing it into my own words. I can then read over these multiple times to help me retain the information.
Learn from multiple sources
Although the book that your lecturer strongly recommends is packed with information, there may be a topic which just doesn't make much sense to you. And that's ok. We're in an era where information can be easily accessed online - use this to your advantage. There's a high chance that searching online for the topic you're struggling with will yield a large amount of resources for you to try and learn from - more books, articles, videos, and anything else in between.
I'd often search for a secondary resource to supplement my university resources, even if my primary resource was completely fine. This enabled me to broaden my knowledge on the topic I was studying, sometimes outside the scope of my curriculum, but this can really help you understand the concepts you need to know better.
Practice with old examination papers 📄
Most curriculums will have past examination papers: exams which previous students have sat. These are helpful because they give you an idea of what the examination format will be like, for example, indicating the type of questions to expect and how you'll be expected to present your information (short answer questions, essay questions, etc.)
You can use this to aid you during your exam preparation, ensuring that you're able to take all the information you've been studying and apply it to the exam that you will be taking.
Make a study plan 📅
If I don't have a study plan in place, I just know I won't be able to study effectively. I'll either end up procrastinating or focusing on the topics which I like (raise your hand if you're guilty of doing this🙋♂️🙋!).
Below is a rough guide on how I'd plan out my studying:
Make a list of the topics you need to study
Having a list of the things you need to study will help you keep track of the topics you have covered and the topics which still need covering.
Gather the resources you plan on using to study these topics
This will make it easy for you to crack on with the studying rather than waste time trying to find those lectures and books you need!
Set a day that you'd like to study each topic, and state how long
Example: Monday 2PM to 3PM - study Big O Notation and Time Complexity. I tend to write plans for a couple days ahead at least.
Reflect on the things you learned
At the end of the day, I'd quickly confirm the topics which I felt OK at and more importantly, areas that still needed a bit of work. I could then amend any study plans I had in place to account for these weak areas. (Study plans can change - that's fine!)
Ask for help when needed 🗣️
A helping hand is always useful, whether it be from a fellow student or your lecturer. A quick explanation of something could solve that road block you're facing with a difficult topic!😌
Reward yourself for your hard work ☕
In that all important study plan we talked about earlier, set aside time to do things you like. The sort of thing you'd rather be doing than studying at times. Taking time off to relax will help you stay focused and motivated when you come back to studying again.
Like my other posts, I like to keep them short and sweet (so you don't get bored)!
I hope this condensed post helps you out in some way if you're looking for ways to make the most out of your studying. If you have any questions, comment down below or find me on Instagram or Twitter and contact me over there🙂. Thank you for reading this post!