How to Study in University [General]

Studying in university is very different from studying in high school. Luckily, we have some practical advice to help you succeed!



Studying in university is very different from studying in high school. We’re well aware that you have probably heard this a thousand times, but it’s true. Maybe all you needed to do in high school was take notes, highlight a few things, and fantasize about studying briefly before doing something completely unrelated. That’s just not gonna cut it at this level. The courses you will take are going to be content heavy and get increasingly conceptually difficult as you progress in your degree. Doing these things the week before a midterm or final will definitely make your life difficult.


You cannot study for content heavy courses like general chemistry, general physics, etc. the week before the midterm or the final exam and hope to retain that information long term.The only cases where this will occur is if you have some special aptitude for the subject or a special predisposition towards learning which is quite rare.


Maybe all you needed to do in high school was take notes, highlight a few things, and fantasize about studying briefly before doing something completely unrelated. That’s just not gonna cut it at this level.

There are some practical things you can do as a student to ensure you’re setting yourself up for success:


  1. Take notes (don’t stop here).

  2. At the end of that day where you took notes, review the main ideas of the lecture and your notes.

  3. Keep doing that a little bit every day until the weekend. Review in different ways (e.g asking yourself questions out loud and answering them, re-reading notes and quizzing yourself along the way).

  4. On the weekend, test yourself. Do practice questions, write out your notes again (entirely from memory, as best as you can), talk to friends about the material, teach someone else.

  5. Determine what you are still struggling with/what your problem areas are.

  6. Go to tutorial/office hours and ask your questions and get the help you need (This step can also be done earlier as well - if you are struggling with something don’t wait! Get help as soon as possible!).

  7. Repeat!


Obviously, this is not easy, it requires a tremendous amount of discipline. You don’t just have lecture material to review but you also have assignments, personal commitments, etc. Still, you have to ask yourself what your goals are and whether you can balance out everything you want to do.

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