Anonymous blogger who would still like to share their experiences.
I undertook a science-related degree, so not all my tips may not be transferable to all course types, however I believe at least one of these may be useful to different student’s studies.
This may be the most obvious suggestion, however the correlation between the amount of reading I did around a subject and my grades were closely linked. My suggestion is to always go further than the suggested reading materials lecturers provide and always see if you can find papers from the last year. Look at your lecturer’s papers/research and see what they have studied, as they will often have similar work on the modules taught. If you are struggling to find material around a subject because it’s new/understudied, then ask for suggestions from your professors!
There were too important aspects that references helped me with: more accurate references = better grades and references from other papers led to more and wider reading. When studying a subject, you’ll find that may papers will often reference the same authors, which is great way to find the lead authors in that field.
3. Ask for help
My lecturers were more than accommodating to help me with anything I couldn’t grasp, if I would make time to set a meeting with them. If anything could be sent over email, then that would be their preference. Most of my questions were easily resolved through email, but I would always plan a meeting to go through more thorough/complex ideas. This is great way to show your enthusiasm for the subject, your willingness to reach out for help, and is also great practice for how a dissertation is conducted.
4. Get Creative
The most positive feedback I have received over my 4 years of University have been when I have been creative in describing/analysing/presenting my work, even if the way in which it was executed wasn’t perfect. These included creating my own diagrams/maps/images that often took references from multiple pieces of work and studies. I also found this helped solidify any ideas that I was finding hard to comprehend by putting them into my own understandable ways.
5. Help Others
Carrying on from point 4, one of the best ways to help strengthen my understanding as well as memory on different ideas was to help others understand those concepts. Too many times at University did I see those in a position to help other students understand the content, not help because they were precious over their own grade and couldn’t see other students succeed. Helping other students achieve good grades will not affect your own grade and will actually help clarify anything you don’t’ understand yourself!