Hi everyone,

Last week, I offered five study skills tips based on questions students frequently ask.  Here are another 5:

6) How can I read faster?

It’s more important to read well than to read faster.  However, if you really want to read faster, because you have a lot of reading to get through for your course try the following.

Tip: try reading only the first and last lines of each paragraph.  The theory is that the first line of a paragraph is the topic sentence, so contains the main point of the paragraph.  The last line is often a summary, or shows the link to the title.

7) How can I give good presentations?

Being well prepared makes you appear more confident and knowledgeable.

Tip: Plan the presentation really well and practice it, aloud, at least 4 times – ideally in front of a friend so that it feels like you have an audience.

8) How can I manage my time well?

Assignments and exams at university often come along at the same time.  This means you have to organise your time throughout the semester so that your work is not rushed.

Tip: invest in a diary and use it every day to keep control of all your appointments, lectures etc.  Also buy a large wall chart that you can write all your assignment dates on and you can see at a glance what you should be working on.  Use these things to plan when you will start and finish essays, as well as when you will make time to meet up with your friends.

9) How can I be confident in my listening skills?

There is a lot to take in and remember, especially when you first get to Newman.  Luckily you have your International Co-ordinator, Tina, to help clarify any issues, and also your lecturers are very kind and helpful.  The small classes mean that you get the chance to ask your tutors questions.

Tip: invest in a Dicataphone – a recording device that you can use in your lectures.  This way you can record your lectures and listen back at the end of the day to check your understanding.  You won’t have to take notes during the lecture as you can just sit and listen, and then write your notes later.  It means you’ve had the chance to hear the lecture twice.

10) How can I work best in groups?

You will be asked to work in groups to carry out research, presentations and projects.  It can be difficult to organise.

Tip: Meet up as soon as possible to make sure everyone has the same understanding of the task.  Divide the tasks as soon as you can to make sure everyone feels it’s fair.  Choose one person to tie everything up at the end – it’s often the end bit that takes the longest amount of time.

I hope that you’ve found these tips helpful for your preparation in coming to study in the UK, and I look forward to welcoming you to Newman, and doing all that I can to help you with your study skills.

Rhian will be back soon with a blog on what’s going on in  Birmingham and things to do there.  In the meantime, please visit our website where there is further information on a variety of subjects.