6 study tips for the aspiring HD student

I’m not a HD student for every piece of assessment, unfortunately, but I have received a few HD’s for assessments in my time at university, and just got a fancy letter telling me that I received a HD overall for my favourite class last semester – hooray! I did also receive a Band 6 ( > 90%) in High School for Ancient History in my end of High School exams (HSC). So I’m not saying I’m an expert in how to get perfect results at university but pretty much, this is what I do to achieve the best marks possible.

Step 1. Go to class –  I know these days you can watch most of your lectures online but not many tutorials are posted online so make a hard core effort to get to your tutorials people! I don’t understand people who pay thousands of dollars a semester to attend university, but never actually go? Maybe those people are actually all smarter than me and already know everything? Who knows. Tutorials also give you that more in-depth one on one time with your tutors to get the best information and support.

Step 2. Write notes – I’m the Queeeeeeen of note taking and study card making! I learn best from making study cards. For my upcoming Pathophysiology exam I’ve written notes on every chapter of pre-readings, lecture material and lab material. It’s so much writing and I’ve just spent the entire first day of study week at the library writing notes on just ONE weeks worth, but in my experience – no one does well if you don’t take notes. Study Cards are the best idea as well! You can use them as quick references when reviewing and it’s often easier to read smaller study cards than a big long A4 page of notes.

Step 3. Do your pre-readings  – Although this semester I’ve had less time than what I usually like to do such a thing, the past 4 semesters I have read every reading given to me – without fail. I mean I’m not paying $3000+/semester for nothing right? It’s where you learn stuff – like things you’ll need to know to become who you want to be!

Step 4. Make a BIG effort with assignments – Especially if you have an end of semester exam. Learn how to reference (properly!) and you will not regret it! Personally, I think these things they call assignments are way easier than 2 hour exams. The more marks you gain in stuff you can check over for the next 2 days or stuff you can get other people to look over to help you, the more marks you’ll get and the less stress you’ll be under come exam time when it’s your last chance to get these all important marks.

Step 5. Chill the heck out – I recently received some not so good marks for an assessment piece which really stressed me out. I’m a high achiever, always have been, always will be – so this threw me a little bit. I had another assessment coming up not long after I received those marks so I was under more pressure than usual to perform. After a ‘little’ meltdown, I treated myself to a cup of tea and ate some chocolate. So I advise the same for anyone else who feels a little overwhelmed and stressed. You’ve got to keep your head in the game (thanks Zac Efron, throwing it back to those High School Musical days) – so relax. Take a half a day off, go get some delicious food for dinner, watch a movie, go for a walk – whatever chills you out. You won’t do well if you spend the whole time stressing!

Step 6. Don’t forget a pencil – First year, first ever uni exam I forgot the only requirement for a multiple-choice exam – a pencil. You’ll most likely need it, probably bring an eraser too! Better to be over prepared than under prepared. Don’t forget to check over your paper as well! I always do and make sure I do it thoroughly – I’m convinced the papers are designed sometimes to subtly help you out with previous answers so reading over your answers can actually help.

I hope this helps all my fellow students! May the odds be ever in your favour (queue Katniss Everdeen confidence pose).

“I’m a greater believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it”
― Thomas Jefferson

by Elsie Ley – Study Sunshine Coast Student Ambassador


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