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From Cramming to Conquering: Smart Study Strategies

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Your Education Officer is reading a book

As a proud Coventry University alumna, I understand the challenges students face when it comes to managing coursework, exams, and the whirlwind of university life. Fear not! I’ve got your back. Let us dive into some study tips that will help you conquer your academic journey with finesse. 

Do not cram

Cramming might seem like a superhero move, but it is not your best move. Research shows that long-term retention happens when you study consistently over time. So, ditch the all-nighters and embrace steady progress.   

Plan and stick to it! 

Create a study plan with specific goals. Set aside dedicated time for each subject and stick to your schedule. Procrastination is the enemy; do not let it sneak up on you. Create a personalised study plan, set reminders, and organise your academic life seamlessly.  The my homework app may be helpful for you. It simplifies your working plans for you, as well as synchronising across devices, so you will never miss a due date. You can keep track of all of your assignments, deadlines, and class schedules. 

Ask for help 

You are not alone! Seek assistance when needed. Professors and fellow students are valuable resources. Do not hesitate to reach out; even superheroes have sidekicks! Our Advice Service is also here for you whenever you need us. You can reach out to them with academic issues and queries to help you achieve. We also have a Centre for Academic Writing here at Coventry University. They offer workshops, one-on-one sessions and have tips to enhance your essay-writing prowess. From referencing to structuring, they are able to help. You should also meet your Success Coach; they will journey with you from enrolment to graduation. Need advice, motivation, or support? They are just a message away. Your success is their quest. 

Find your learning style 

Are you a visual learner? Do you thrive on group discussions? Tailor your study techniques to your learning style. Experiment with mind maps, flashcards, or teaching the material to someone else. If you are a visual learner, then mind maps are your secret weapon for brainstorming and organising ideas. Simple Mind Lite Mind Mapping is an app that lets you create colourful, interconnected mind maps on any topic. Whether you are planning an essay or visualising complex concepts, this app has you covered. 

Take breaks 

During my years, I realised it is not about how long you study for, but how effectively. Short, focused study sessions are more productive than long, draining ones. Embrace the Pomodoro Technique - 25 minutes of intense focus followed by a short break. Your brain needs frequent rest. Short breaks during study sessions improve focus and retention! Go for a walk, dance to your favourite song, or just breathe. Your brain will thank you. Keep an eye out of our website; our events are designed to melt away stress like ice cream on a sunny day!

A few 'dont's' for your break

A break does not mean binge-watching TV shows or scrolling through social media for hours. Use breaks to refresh your mind briefly. Here are some suggestions on what you can do during your study breaks:  

  • Fresh air: Step outside for a breath of fresh air. A change of scenery can boost your energy levels If you are around our university premises, pop over to Starley Gardens, named after the legendary bicycle pioneer, James Starley.
  • Active breaks: Engage in activities that stimulate your brain. Try solving crossword puzzles or playing brain games. 
  • Connect with peers: If you are studying in a library or at university, take breaks with friends. Socialising can be as energising as a cup of coffee. 
  • Remember, a well-organised study plan includes intentional breaks. So, work hard during study time and play hard during breaks!  

Cultivate a productive space 

Create a study sanctuary. Clear your desk, minimise distractions, and surround yourself with positive vibes. A clutter-free environment enhances productivity. Ensure that the space is well-lit to reduce eye strain and choose a comfortable chair and desk to promote focus. Add personal touches like a vision board of motivational quotes and pictures of your goals, to make the space more inviting. Use planners or digital calendars to organise your tasks and deadlines. But as we all know, staying focused while studying can be challenging, especially with the allure of social media and other distractions. is an app that allows you to block distracting apps on your smartphone. Set daily usage limits, whitelist essential apps, and receive insights into your usage patterns. It will bring a notable change for maintaining productivity. Everyone's ideal study space is unique. Experiment with different setups until you find what works best for you. It is about creating an environment that supports your focus and learning style. 

Reward yourself 

Celebrate victories, even the tiny ones. Finished a chapter? Treat yourself to a victory snack. Plant a virtual tree in the Forest App and watch it grow as you focus. You may can grab a delicious treat from our Union Street Café (USC). From heavenly pastries to freshly brewed coffee, the menu is designed to satisfy cravings. Don't forget to show them your student ID card for exciting discounts and deals! 

Review, review, review 

Do not let your hard work fade away. Regularly revisit what you have learned. Spaced repetition - revisiting material at intervals - boosts memory retention. 

Set specific goals 

"I want to ace my exam” is vague. Break it down into specific goals. “I’ll conquer chapters 1 to 5 by Friday.” Specificity keeps you focused and accountable. 

Be Smart – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timebound. Utilize University Resources.

Your Students’ Union and the University offer a treasure trove of resources. Libraries, study groups, workshops, 1:1s with academics and online platforms - tap into them! Attend seminars, explore databases, and make the most of what is available in wayfinder.  

Explore, Engage, Excel 

A healthy mind resides in a healthy body. Ensure you get adequate sleep, maintain a balanced diet, and indulge in activities you enjoy. Taking care of your well-being is not a luxury but a necessity for academic success. Coventry University is not just a place; it is a launchpad. Dive into societies, clubs, and volunteering. Attend workshops, explore libraries, and dance at cultural nights.  

So, wield your pen (or keyboard), embrace the services, and let Coventry University be your Batcave!

Remember, you are not just studying; you are investing in your future. So, study smart, stay curious, and embrace the journey. You have got this!  



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