Prepare - Academic Journey
Get ready to enjoy new learning challenges. Set up a study space and desk at home. It helps to have access to a computer and the internet. Take a look at your course outlines before classes start. Perhaps you'll have some ideas about how you'd like to keep your notes for each course.
Allow yourself time to adjust to new ways of teaching and learning at uni. Uni is different from school. You're expected to organise your own timetable and study schedule. This includes when to do your readings, download lecture notes and plan assignments. It's your decision whether to attend lectures but tutorials are usually compulsory. You'll receive guidance about essay writing and referencing in some of your early lectures. We know from research that students who attend lectures and tutorials tend to get better results.
In terms of your results, it doesn't matter if it's been a while since you've studied or you didn't do so well at school. It's what you do next that counts. If you devote time to study and seek help from your tutors/lecturers and Learning Development you can develop your academic skills and improve your grades. Good students are made not born!
Know yourself as a learner
You can get to know yourself better as a learner. You might like to write a paragraph about how you learn best. Note at point 3 in your travel diary how you learn best.
Common expectations about study
The university academic journey is a challenging one for most students because it's new. Many students don't know what to expect or may have misconceptions about university study.
Common expectations about study include that:
- Learning would not differ too much from that experienced in high school
- Compared to the HSC uni would be much easier
- The semesters are shorter, only 13 weeks and I only have to turn up for 12 hours
- Class sizes would be much the same as classes at school
- Lecturers and teachers are pretty similar and lecturers will be available anytime
Information about expectations.
You can develop your sense of capability by learning more about your role as a student and about how you learn and study.
"I wasn't expecting there would be so much reading."
"I felt excited about the new learning challenges."
Student Tip: Get ready to learn
"Be prepared. Get onto the school's website and read up on the course as much as possible."
"Ask heaps of questions when picking lectures and tutorials. Register for tutes early."
"Schedule breaks into your timetable."
"Make sure you read your course outline."
"Get a semester planner and a diary and write down all the new and important information."
"It's important to attend lectures on a regular basis to that you don't miss out on advice about assignments, studying and exams."
"The strongest predictor of student academic success is regular attendance in lectures and tutorials (especially important are the first two weeks) and time spent each studying each week."
"Get into the habit of reading ahead for lectures, they will make more sense."
"May sure you know the difference between a prescribed textbook (one you should buy and read) and a recommended textbook (one you should read)."
"Be prepared. Learn all you can about the University of Newcastle before you arrive."