Go for gold!

The Winter Olympics start this week, the same as Orientation Week here at QUT. What a coincidence! Just like the Winter Olympians, to succeed at university you must prepare and work hard. QUT Library is offering several Library 101 workshops so you can prepare yourself for the upcoming semester. Practice your referencing, polish your searching skills and discover all of the services and resources available at QUT Library.

If you are aiming for a gold medal this semester, you can also have a look at study skills workshops and library tours. These will help you develop your study skills and, you guessed it, prepare yourself for getting the most out of your classes and assignments.

Preparing for university, and the Olympics, also means thinking about your health and wellbeing. QUT Library’s video streaming service, Kanopy, has over 300 videos related to sport and fitness. Plus you can watch Dr. Anna Baranowsky explain How to create a wellness mind map or find The Secret of Life Wellness.

You can also contact HiQ to get assistance as you (just like the Winter Olympians!) strive for gold this semester!

Library orientation – Need help?

For help with library services check out the Need help? section of the QUT Library website.

Here you will find information about visiting and contacting the library.

Visit HiQ on campus for library support, including help accessing information, referencing and using library materials.

You can also Chat online with a librarian to have your questions about QUT Library services answered.

Need more help?
Here there are links to Study skills workshops, including library workshops on referencing and researching. For individual assistance with your academic study you can book a Study Solutions consultation.


Make resolutions you can stick to

 BazaarBizarreSF "New Year's Resolution Coasters by Lucky Bee Press" By  BazaarBizarreSF (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

“New Year’s Resolution Coasters by Lucky Bee Press” By BazaarBizarreSF
(CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

So it’s a brand new year, all shiny and full of hope and good intentions.

Setting New Year’s goals is a tradition supported by academic research on independent learning (see Harvey & Chickie-Wolfe, 2007, Ch.1). Setting goals and maintaining goal-directed behaviour can improve study effectiveness (Harvey & Chickie-Wolfe, 2007).

If you are thinking of setting goals for 2015, Here are eight ways to make goals stick (modified from Wilson and Dobson, 2008, Ch.1):

  1. Write down your goals.
  2. Make goals achievable.
  3. Describe your goals in specific, measurable terms.
  4. Visualise both the pathway to your goals and the goals themselves.
  5. Look for potential problems that might keep you from achieving your goals.
  6. Take action to remove or minimise potential problems.
  7. Regularly review progress towards achieving your goals.
  8. Know the personal rewards of achieving your goals.

For more advice, QUT Library has a great range of videos and books on how to set effective goals.


Harvey, V. S., & Chickie-Wolfe, L. A. (2007). Fostering independent learning: Practical strategies to promote student success. New York: Guilford Publications. Retrieved from http://www.eblib.com.

Wilson, S. B., & Dobson, M. S. (2008). Goal setting: How to create an action plan and achieve your goals. New York: American Management Association. Retrieved from http://www.eblib.com.

How to help exam insomnia

Sink into sleep by Judith Davidson Insomnia and Anxiety by Colleen E. Carney and Jack D. Edinger

Students studying intensely can struggle to fall asleep or wake up in the middle of the night with their minds racing. Here are three techniques to help exam insomnia.

  1. Take an observer’s stance. Notice where your mind is going and jot down your observations and problem-solving thoughts on a notepad.
  2. Calm yourself by slowing your breaths down to 4-6 per minute and count 10 of them.
  3. Do not try to sleep, instead create bedtime conditions where your body falls asleep.

Conditions that tell your body it is bedtime include: exercise during the day (but a few hours before bedtime), get up at the same time each day, create an evening wind-down ritual and a bedroom with soft lighting.

For other tips on improving your sleep, check out these books in the QUT Library catalogue or visit QUT counselling Services for a private, confidential counselling session.

Reading for exams

Exam preparation

Copyright QUT Library CC-BY

The end of the semester is approaching and you might be feeling a little overwhelmed by your looming exams. Remember this mantra: “It is never too late for a good decision”. Most students get to this stage in the semester and they are behind in some (if not most) their reading. It is easy to fall behind when you are focussed on getting assignments submitted and keeping up date with lectures. Try not to give yourself a hard time for the work you haven’t done, but to think rationally about what reading you can achieve between now and the exam.

10 steps to get the best exam result possible from where you are now:

  1.  Set a time table for the exam preparation week (28th October to 1st November). Here is a guide: allot 13hrs per subject (1 hr x 13 weeks).
  2. Decide the best use of your time based on the sort of exam you have. E.g. if you have a multiple choice exam, only read what you need to write and answer your own multiple choice questions.
  3. Learn how to skim read. Now is not the time to read everything. Now is the time to read strategically to pass.
  4. Divide each hour of study time into two 25 minute segments.
  5. Decide on a manageable task for each segment beforehand, e.g.,

    Segment 1: Skim-read the PowerPoint slides for Week 3 lecture and write 1-2 pages of notes on what you are confident will be on the exam.

    Segment 2: Skim-read the key reading for Week 3 and write 1-2 pages of notes on what you are confident will be on the exam.

  6. Put the timer on when you read and make notes. Do not get distracted for those 25 minutes.
  7. Get up and move around when you take a break. Stretch. Get a cuppa. Pat the cat. Do some yoga
  8. By the end of the exam preparation week you should have 20-40 pages of notes for each subject. Use these new notes to guide your study until the exam.
  9. Focus your energies on the areas you are most unsure about.
  10. On the day of the exam, write out a single page of notes on the things you absolutely must not forget and memorize these.

Remember: You have a limited amount of time and energy. Use both strategically and let go of perfectionist standards as much as you can.

Like this? Check out these other QUT Library Blog posts on exams

Quick TipsExam ChecklistThe A, B, C, D of Multiple Choice, Exam Study Planner