Tips for study success as a distance education student that will help you stay on track with study.
- Don't procrastinate- look through your study materials as soon as you get them and plan
- Get Started. Today. Now! Reading through the study guide, or re-visiting the assignment topic will be getting you somewhere. If you have any questions, contact the support staff at CSU to get some tips or guidance
- Get organised. Improve your time management skills and get yourself organised. This sometimes means changing the way you have done things in the past or how you go about the task
- Keep your tasks bite-sized. It is amazing how much you can achieve if you set aside one hour of time somewhere in each day. All those little bites make a meal out of study.
- For larger tasks, like assignments and set aside blocks of quality time without interruptions - perhaps at a library or even on campus
- Help yourself 'get in the zone' by creating a study atmosphere. Have a special place to study with all you need on hand, put on some quiet music or use aromatherapy to get yourself focused.
More about managing your study
- Let your friends and family know what you're doing and why. Let others know what you need in terms of time; renegotiate household tasks with partners and children; and let your friends know you won't be up for a big night out just before an assignment is due.
- Contact your lecturer if you have any difficulties with the interpretation of an assignment question or the academic content. Staff contact details and consultation times are included in your subject outline.
- Learning Skills Advisors can assist you in preparing assignments, provide guidance on how to write a report or essay or how to structure a written piece work. There is also available specific support for English skills and mathematics/statistics.
- Your subject forum is another avenue of support and assistance open to you. Other students are often helpful in discussing and clarifying assignment expectations.
More on study support, and getting in touch with the uni
Get the most out of the tools and services
Get to know the resources available to you - and use them!
- Student Services can answer general (non-academic) questions
- Library: Speak to library staff and investigate borrowing facilities and online library resources
- Learning Skills provides self-help 'how to' guides with strategies and techniques that will allow you to better participate in academic activities
- Subject forums: You will find out so much more from being involved with the CSU community, and may meet people in your area studying for the same course who can offer advice and support
- Computer training: You will need to use various software packages during your studies. CSU provides web based training which covers aspects of Microsoft Office products.
Develop the right attitude
- Think positively and reward yourself for each achievement. You are studying for yourself, so give yourself a pat on the back each time you take a step towards your end goal then move on
- Get motivated! Think about why you are studying and who you are studying for- YOU!
- Be flexible! Study routines are important, but if something comes up that interrupts your study plans, work around it. Try to avoid frustration and feeling like you're falling behind. Just rearrange your time, reset the goals and move forward again
- Be clear about your goals. Think about why you're enrolled at university, what you want to achieve in the next year, three years, or five years. Doing a degree is a long-term commitment, but setting small goals and working towards achievable interim milestones can be a useful strategy of breaking the big task into smaller ones
- Be realistic. Successful students have realistic expectations of themselves and of the tasks they undertake, and they can adjust their expectations if circumstances change
- Be persistent. Successful students are able to sustain the effort and keep on spending time on task over a long period of time, the three years or longer that it takes to complete a course of study.
Maintain a balanced life
As a student, you should try and engage in a balanced lifestyle, one that has a suitable study program tied to healthy recreational activities.
- Stay healthy. Eat well, exercise regularly, and get enough rest. Around your study commitments, you should schedule some kind of regular physical activity.
- Plan for time away from your books. No-one can study all the time. Arrange an evening with friends, an afternoon at the park with the children, a trip to the movies, or a lie-in on Sunday. Any change can be therapeutic and you will return to study feeling as though you have already accomplished something.
More on study life balance
- Read the assignment task as soon as you receive your study materials. Keep the task in the back of your mind as you progress through the subject.
- Don't leave your assignments to the last minute. The earlier you get started on your assignment, the better. Don't underestimate how long it will take you to fully research, draft and polish your work.
- Past Exam Papers: If these are available, it's is a good idea to go over past exam papers so you have an idea of the kinds of questions that may be asked and what will be expected of you.
- It's never too early to start preparing for exams. Check in your subject outline as soon as you receive it to find out if you will be having an exam, and schedule in appropriate amounts of study time on your timetable leading up to the exam.
- Exam Stress: Some people become stressed prior to and during an exam. CSU's Student Counsellors has some great exercises for staying sane which you can incorporate into your study routine.