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June 22, 2011 / uniexpectations

First semester survival guide

Week 1

The first week of university can be a time of ‘information overload’. Students meet tutors and classmates, and get course information booklets which detail assessments, due dates and course objectives.

Tip: Course information booklets are crucial to success at university! Read them!


Time management  

The biggest obstacle many students face is time management. Juggling work, family and sporting commitments can be stressful and difficult. Most assessments are due at the end of semester and there is a tendency to start the one that’s due first but there may be two bigger, more complex assessments due the day after. If you do not have a plan, you’ll have too much to do all at once.

Tip: Make a study plan! Write down the due dates and double check them!


Read and Research 

Assessments probably cause the most anxiety in students. Some students submit a beautifully written, well-researched assignment but receive a poor grade because they failed to address the required task. Read the assignment task very carefully. Also read the marking criteria, very carefully. If you have met all criteria in both, you will do well.

Tip: underline key words, and address the entire task as well as the marking criteria and ensure you have met all requirements.


Resources and referencing 

Finding appropriate resources efficiently is a skill all professionals need. While Wikipedia and Google may provide useful information in some cases, resources published by experts in the profession are far more valid! Using journal articles and other peer reviewed articles, referenced correctly, is essential.

Tip: Ask the library for help – they have tours and tutorials for internal and external students about using all resources, including databases. This will save time and be far more appropriate!


Ask for help

Finally, if it is a struggle ask a peer, a tutor, or go to campus central or the university’s website. The university will have a Teaching and Learning Unit (or equivalent) for assistance with computer use, study plans, assignment writing, university policies and financial and social support.

Tip: Don’t wait til the due date to ask for help!

 The university wants to create graduates with excellent abilities. If you ask for help you will be surprised at what is available. Good luck!


Author: Tess Smith, Dip App Sci (Nuclear Medicine), Grad Dip Med Rad, Tutor, Lecturer,University of South Australia


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