Your Guide to University Success | GRAD - page 37

Study
methods
Studying summarised: BRURRRR
5
Â
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B
ig picture run-through
Â
Â
R
ead, encircle, write questions and remarks
Â
Â
U
nderstand – explain in plain English or
think of an analogy
Â
Â
R
ecall
Â
Â
W
r
ite main ideas in detail and/or practise
methods deliberately
Â
Â
R
emember – make facts memorable
Â
Â
R
eview and mini-test yourself
Some time-honoured approaches and practices:
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Explain to me like I’m 10!
Whenever you
are struggling with a concept, explanatory
questioning and simple analogies can help
you to understand and memorise. Use an
analogy, like saying that the flow of elec-
tricity is like the flow of water. Don’t
just think your explanation – say it
out loud or write it down. The addi-
tional effort of speaking and writing
allows you to encode more deeply
(that is, convert it into neural memory struc-
tures) what you are learning.
You don’t have to do everything at once. First
find your feet. Learn to manage your time so
that you know what your priorities are and
structure your schedule accordingly. Once that
is in place, look around to see what else may
interest you. Every university has clubs and
societies in the academic, cultural, political,
religious and social fields – and if it doesn’t
exist you can start it! Think of debating, chess,
ballroom dancing, photography, fund-raising
for RAG (“Raising and Giving”), the university
radio station or newspaper, music, comedy,
drama. The list is endless – and we haven’t even
mentioned sports and games.
Another area of activity that will bring you
deep personal satisfaction as well as looking
good on your CV is volunteering for projects
that uplift and support society. Law faculties
usually have clinics, and so do medical faculties.
The community you come from will certainly
value your time and energy as a mentor and
role model for the young people that follow
after you. City universities are often close to
projects that work with street people. Look
around for a platform where you can contribute.
Don’t overload yourself but do participate.
You will develop your skills and learn new ones,
make friends (often for life) have a lot of fun
and acquire something for the day you have to
write your CV. Remember, when you go out
there to find a job your CV must stand out from
all the others. This kind of extra may just make
the difference.
5 Much of this information comes from the work of the Sasol Inzalo Foundation,
the Complete Study Course with Lucia Brand, and Barbara Oakley,
A mind for
numbers: how to excel at Math & Science (Even if you flunked Algebra).
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