planning for semester


How to plan your way to Academic Success

As a uni student, creating a study plan can be a crucial factor in achieving academic success. With the freedom and flexibility that comes with university life, it can be easy to fall into a pattern of procrastination or inconsistency. A well-structured study plan can help you stay on track and ensure you make the most of your time.

Here are some tips for creating a study plan that works for you:

Set clear goals

Start by identifying your goals for the semester. Do you want to achieve a certain GPA, finish your assignments ahead of time, or improve your study habits? Once you have a clear idea of what you want to achieve, you can begin to create a study plan that will help you reach those goals.

Make a schedule

A study plan is essentially a schedule that outlines when you will study and what you will study. Start by blocking out time in your schedule for classes, work, and other commitments. Then, allocate specific times for studying and make sure you stick to them.

Prioritise your tasks

When creating your study plan, it’s important to prioritise your tasks. Identify the most important assignments, readings, and projects and schedule them first. Make sure you allocate enough time to complete each task.

Break down larger tasks

If you have a large project or assignment, break it down into smaller, more manageable tasks. This will make it easier to schedule and complete.

Take breaks

It’s important to take regular breaks to avoid burnout and maintain focus. Schedule in short breaks throughout your study sessions to rest your mind and recharge.

Review and adjust

Your study plan should be a living document that you review and adjust as needed. If you find that you’re not sticking to your schedule or your goals are not being met, adjust your plan to match your reality.

Use technology

There are so many apps and tools available to help you create and manage your study plan. Try using a study app or planner to keep track of your tasks and deadlines.

A well-planned study schedule can help you stay organised and focused, leading to better academic performance. Remember to review and adjust your plan as needed and don’t be afraid to ask for help if you’re struggling. Make an appointment for success coaching.

With a solid study plan in place, you’ll be well on your way to achieving academic success.

Top 10 tips for being an active learner

Would you describe yourself as an active learner?
Active learning means participating in ways that actively engage your brain. Activities that require you to discuss, practise, and review new information are more effective than relying on passive strategies. This means you’re more likely to understand and remember what you do. You probably do this already in many ways but there’s always room for improvement. Check out these strategies for study success:

    1. Start by making a semester planner with due dates. Break this down further by creating a weekly timetable for your study.
    2. Create your own study guide for each subject using notes from lectures, textbooks, journals, and your reading. Regularly review your notes and organise them by theme or topic.
    3. Set aside time to review your notes every week. This will help you identify any weaknesses in your understanding and areas you need to focus more time on.
    4. Plan your study time as 30-60 minute blocks with a 5 to 10-minute break between each one.
    5. Design a mind map or knowledge tree for each subject with key topics or issues. Put it on a wall so you see it every day and add to it as your knowledge grows.
    6. Keep a copy of all the questions or scenarios from lectures, textbooks, and tutorials. Use these questions as exam revision.
    7. Try different approaches to study. Record a summary on your phone, explain a theory to someone, do a practice exam, try problem-solving, rewrite your notes, draw diagrams, use mnemonics and rhymes.
    8. Make or join a study group for your unit. Even studying with students from other courses will help keep you motivated and engaged.
    9. Review the feedback on your assessment tasks and try to understand why you received the grade you did.
    10. Take advantage of all the resources and support available to you at uni. Check out the Academic Help and Workshops avaialble for the semester and access the self-study resources.

Set yourself up for success

It’s the beginning of another new year and you might be feeling excited about what’s ahead or dreading the thought of getting back into study routine. Either way, it’s a good idea to start your preparations early and be ready for the approaching semester. There are a few things you can do to ease yourself back into your studies and successfully prepare for the year ahead.

Set realistic goals

Before you begin the new semester, set some goals to work towards for the year. Commit to things that you can realistically achieve and reflect on what you can improve on from last year. You might want to aim for a certain GPA, get better at planning assessment tasks, attend more workshops and support sessions or make more of an effort to meet people. To get started it can help to break down the year into quarters and focus on the first three months.

Make a budget and look for ways to save money

While the summer break is often a good opportunity to earn and save money, it can be challenging to manage finances during the semester. If you have to live on a student budget, now is a great time to start planning for the months ahead. Identify your busy periods and consider when you might be able to pick up some extra hours. Don’t forget to check out QUT’s financial help and support resources.

Check off all your admin tasks

Before you have to head back to campus or attend your first classes make sure you have completed as many administrative tasks as possible. Class registration usually opens about four weeks before semester starts so you have plenty of time to plan your timetable. Arranging your textbooks and course materials during the holidays can also give you time to source second-hand books or plan your budget. If you have access to unit outlines, you can even start noting down assessment due dates and plan for those busy periods in advance.

Look for ways to expand your learning

Not all learning happens in class and the holidays are a good time to think about how you can build your skills before your workload starts to increase. Reflect on areas for improvement and look for opportunities to develop academic skills such as reading articles, note-taking and academic writing. It’s also a good time to research potential internship and volunteering opportunities or ways to get more involved at uni. Don’t forget to refresh your résumé by adding any skills or new experience you’ve gained.

Organise your study space

The simple act of clearing and tidying your study area is a great way to get back into study mode and motivate yourself for the year ahead. This includes , as well as buying stationery and supplies so that you have everything you need for the semester. Creating good study habits relies on having a space in which you can be most productive. This may be somewhere quiet where you’re on your own or it may even be in a space where you are surrounded by people and noise. Whatever works for you. The key is to find your preferred space and stick with it so you can create a consistent study routine.