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๐Ÿ“˜ Study tips from a Computer Science student


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! โฌ‡๏ธ

My study tips โœ๏ธ

Make notes ๐Ÿ“
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 ๐Ÿ“„
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 ๐Ÿ“…
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 this๐Ÿ™‹โ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ™‹!).
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 ๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธ
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!๐Ÿ˜Œ

Reward yourself for your hard work โ˜•
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 there๐Ÿ™‚. Thank you for reading this post!

Top comments (12)

bbessa profile image
Bernardo Bessa

When you talk about the importance of having a plan, I would complement with the consideration of the right place to study. Of course, it depends from person to person, but a clean and focused workspace has lots of interest to avoid surronding "noise".
As a student too, I think your suggestions are very accurate and flexible to anyone.

yusufcodes profile image

This is a really good tip! Finding that perfect spot can make a difference. Thanks for adding on here :)

vicversa profile image
vicversa • Edited

Hi, Iโ€™m Victor, Iโ€™m a beginner. I hope to learn from the experts and also my fellow learners here!
Iโ€™m interested in Backend Dev and Cloud.
Thanks Yusuf for the insight. I wish to meet you one on one someday.

yusufcodes profile image

Hey Victor๐Ÿ‘‹๐Ÿฝ, thank you for reading my post๐Ÿ˜Š

murkrage profile image
Mike Ekkel

Wonderful read :). I recently got my bachelor's degree in UX / UI design and while there was a fair bit of studying to do, it mostly revolved around actually doing to learn the things you need. See with your own eyes what happens when you do X with Y etc.

After that I decided to capitalise on the technical side of my degree. I went the programming route, got my first front-end job a couple months back and decided to start learning something I've really wanted to learn for a good while on the side of my job: Swift.

I started using Notion for my note taking and, last week, started making a study schedule much like you've described. It's already helped me tons and I highly recommend planning in advance! Knowing how much time you've blocked out of your schedule to do X helps actually achieving it. I've definitely procrastinated because X was a lot more fun to read than Y.

On a personal note: My favorite spot to learn / study is a nice little coffee shop down the street from me. Most people there are either working or relaxing while drinking coffee which makes for a great ambiance. This is all personal of course, but I've found it helps me focus when there's just 'background' noise :). Also the coffee really helps!

yusufcodes profile image

What a journey man. Congratulations on landing a front end role! Great to read that you're also learning Swift too.

I also love working in coffee shops amongst other people who are working๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿฝ

bradley56700115 profile image
Bradley Thompson

I think these tips are suitable for students of almost any specialty. At least I study social media and adhere to the same way of learning. Lately, I really like to use as a source of information. Indeed, to some extent, free essay examples are already the result of processing several resources.

yusufcodes profile image

Thanks Bradley! For sure, my tips are pretty general. It's cool to see that you follow a similar way of learning.
Reading pre-written essays sounds like a good way to learn a lot of information๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿฝ

rajab512 profile image

Just wondering, Which university are you studying in ??

zarszz profile image
Ganjar Gingin Tahyudin

and don't forget to exercise with solve a programming problem..
I think 1 hour is not enough for exercise ..
well, everybody has a different learning style.

yusufcodes profile image

1 hour is just a block of study. For example, studying 1 hour, taking a quick break, then carrying on if you need. Hope this makes sense.