Friday, May 4, 2018

Study Tips

Study Tips

With the summer exams drawing near here are a few study tips that are found useful when preparing for your exams!

Choosing your study space

Study in an area with no distractions and less likely to have traffic passing through. For example studying in your bedroom or a room that isn’t regularly used would be better that using a kitchen or sitting room for your study space.

Organize your study area

Make sure the area you have chosen has enough space for you to spread out your notes, past exam papers and textbooks. Ensure that there is sufficient lighting but not over powering and that you have a comfortable chair as you could be sitting in it for long periods of time!
From experience it is best to have your notes written out or printed and turn your computer or laptop off. Some people find it easier to study with a neat and tidy study space or some are more comfortable in a cluttered space, figure out what suits you best to help you achieve the most from your time studying.

Create a schedule

When studying it is recommended to create a schedule and try your best to stick to it. To start look at what dates your exams on and then figure out what order you would like to study your exam subjects in and how much time you would like to allocate to each subject. You could also allocate time to study for each subject based on your confidence of current knowledge of the subject or if an exam is worth a higher grade than another.

Creating notes/flow-charts/diagrams/mind maps

Looking over full subject notes can be overwhelming! Write out what you know and then see where you have gaps in your information and begin gathering and structuring that information. Take your subject notes, identified gaps of information and break then write them down in whatever way you think is best suited to your information retention – you could use:
  • Notes – points and information written in short hand as a memory aid.
  • Flow-charts – a diagram that shows a sequence of information involved in a topic.
  • Diagrams – a simple drawing showing information in a schematic representation.
  • Mind maps – is a diagram which is used to present information visually, around a topic.

Analyze past exam papers

An effective way of preparing for your exams is using past exam papers. Analyze what questions or topics repeatedly come up and how the questions are asked, as well as breaking down the marking scheme for each question so you can allocate the appropriate amount of time for the marks awarded. 

Analyzing past exam papers allows you to see the wording that lecturers use for their questions so you don’t waste time analyzing them in your exams.
*Ensure that you check with your lecturer if the same structure is being used for your exams as previous years and that it isn’t a different lecturer writing the paper.

T/Preach others

Use family members, friends or other halves as study aids! Give them sample questions to ask you and your notes to ensure you are giving them the right information back! By explain an answer to them it allows you to produce the information in the right order and in a way that makes sense to others. This method also shows areas that may need more attention and focus during your study time.

Saying information out loud means you’re absorbing it in two ways – by seeing it and hearing it!

Take breaks

Taking breaks during study sessions aids your brain in retaining information more effectively and can also help improve your concentration and motivation during study. Follow these simple steps during your study sessions to make them more effective:
  • Take a break every 35-40 minutes
  • Allocate the amount of time for your break (10 minutes is ideal)
  • Change your scenery when on your break
  • Use physical activity in your break – stretch, walk etc.
  • Know your procrastination habits – for example avoid social media till you are finished studying as you could let time slip by.

Nourish & hydrate your brain and body

Though it is best to nourish your brain and body with food this doesn’t mean any food. Avoid foods that have a high sugar content as your body and brain will crash an hour later! In take foods that have been proven to aid concentration and memory when studying, foods that are high in omegas such as oily fish, nuts and seeds. Eggs, vegetables and fruit are also good foods to intake during study and exam time.
On exam day make sure to have a good meal before your exam of foods that slowly release energy, in the morning you could have porridge or the afternoon you could have pasta or rice, once again make sure to avoid sugar!

It is vital during your study time and that during your exams that you stay well hydrated by drinking plenty of water so that the brain functions to the best of its ability. Some people drink coffee as a way of hydration and to keep more alert, however this affect varies between individuals and the amount of caffeine they intake.

Exam day

Ensure you are prepared for your exam by of course studying, but also ensuring you have the day planned out, by:
  • Planning your route and travel time
  • Checking all the rules and requirements of the exam
  • Location of your exam
  • Having all your pens and stationery prepared for the exam


You’ve done all that you can so during your exam there is no need to stress yourself out, so to stay calm and relaxed you could:
  • Practice positive self-talk - tell yourself you are prepared and you can do this, banish negative thoughts.
  • Don’t worry about others - don’t look around and worry what other people are doing, if needed close your eyes for a few seconds and take some deep breaths.
  • Comfortable clothes - remember your exam isn’t a fashion show, make sure you wear comfortable clothes on the day.
  • Posture - keep your feet grounded to avoid fidgeting, and ensure your arms and hands are relaxed and don’t clench your pen. Sit back in your chair and have your shoulders open to avoid a tense back from hunching over.

Good luck in all your exams and remember the library is open during exam time 
Mon to Thurs 8:30AM to 8:00PM and Fri 8:30AM to 5:00PM.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

"Need A Break" Competition Winners

“Need A Break” Competition Winners

We recently held a competition here in the library to create a comic book strip, to encourage creativity and for students to take study breaks during this busy time in the semester.

We would like to thank all the students who entered!

The WINNERS of the competition were Krzysztof and Kayode with this entry:

We would like to give a special mention to the entries we received from Our Daughters of Charity students, who put a lot of time and effort into their entries and the stories that accompanied them.  Please see their entries below.

Cian's entry place 2nd in the competition:

The following entries were runners-up:



Stephen Lee


The Daughters of Charity Students were very pleased when collecting their prizes this week!

Congratulations to all who entered and make sure to keep an eye on the blog and the library Facebook page for more competitions in the future!