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12 tips for success at university

1. Planning 

– At the university, there is greater freedom than in upper secondary school – you choose subjects, the composition of subjects, you choose whether you go to lectures or not. The students who are unstructured or impulsive will find it difficult to study, says Svartdal, who among other things researches procrastination (procrastination behaviour) and learning psychology and Buy Essay Online

There is a connection between planning and postponing tasks, according to the professor.

– Those who procrastinate are also often worse at planning their work. The reason for postponing is usually that you have planned too badly before you started. This also often leads to so-called “skipper work”.

Procrastination: This subject term is often described as procrastination behaviour; “Should I read this chapter now or later?”

2.  Reading plan

Svartdal points out the importance of making a very concrete reading plan, which is followed throughout the semester.

How the syllabus is constructed is highly dependent on the subject.

– Some subjects are very structured, others are unstructured. Some students read fast, while others read slowly, so this must be adapted to your own pace, so that you know that you have come through what you are going to do during the semester.  

Regular work over time is necessary if you are to do well on the exam and gain good insight. This can be done by dividing the reading plan into chapters, themes or sections in the planning phase.  

– Proper understanding requires that you read the syllabus thoroughly, he adds.

3. Good work habits 

– Creating good work habits is important, but what suits the individual student is individual, says the professor. 

Good results on the exam turn out to be closely linked to the effort the person has made in advance. Research also shows that in the morning or during the day, after a good night’s sleep, one is more obvious. This is despite the fact that some claim that they read best at other times of the day.

– Here it is important to follow the simple logic; if you have slept well, you are able to work well, he simplifies. 

4. Effort 

Research thus shows that good exam results most often reflect the effort that has been put in. 

– Therefore, effort is more important than “talent” for the subject or the intelligence of the student. Effort, on the other hand, also involves a great deal of patience, and this can be practised over time.

Does this mean that even if you were not one of the best in high school, it is possible to work well with the help of efforts at university level?

– Absolutely, Svartdal thinks.

He recommends that all students read about the so-called growth mindset, which is a way of thinking that promotes change in thinking, since such a mindset can have a positive effect on various forms of achievement or, for example, grades.

5. Study technique 

What works best, according to the professor who, among other things, researches learning psychology, is to test oneself while reading.

– It is wise to do this to check if you have understood what you have read. This can involve answering questions, writing about it, making a presentation about a topic / theory or being heard by another.

Being a student can in many ways be compared to a job.

– I recommend that students to a large extent prioritise their studies during their time as students, rather than holidays, work and sports activities, says Svartdal. 

7. Cooperation

Collaborating in interaction with other fellow students, by working together in colloquia, in seminars, in teaching and so on, forms a good breeding ground for learning. 

– Being social with other students is very important to reach a certain level. In the long run, socializing is important for performance, and research shows that sitting at home more than at university, often leads to postponements.

– It is easy to miss a lot of information if you are not at the university, Professor Svartdal points out. 

8. Provide feedback

– My experience is that if you dare to be ahead, you get started faster. This can, for example, involve giving a presentation or participating orally, or simply asking for feedback on work more often, says Professor Frode Svartdal.   

 9.  “Being on the cutting edge”

Being a student is a learning situation, and if you want to learn, you have to be “on the cutting edge”, Svartdal believes. In order to succeed in your studies, influencing factors such as motivation, daily form, well-being and social support are important factors.

– You are not alone if you feel that it is a bit messy in the beginning; most people experience the start of the semester as a bit chaotic, since it is a lot of new, foreign and so on. It passes, he says.  

Adapting your own situation can also affect your performance.

– You may want to take a break from reading before you are really tired, since it is then most likely more fun to return to work. It is really wise to be on top when you have a break. If you are very tired when you leave work, it is easy for you to return to something that is aversive or destructive, he explains. 

10. Mastery feeling

– You may want to find subject matter you like and master, and become good at this since you will then experience mastery, says Svartdal. 

11. Postponement

Research shows that postponing work assignments often has negative ripple effects and stress for students and others.

– Often when students face challenges, they postpone these tasks until later. Maybe you think it’s easier to understand this next week. This still means that you have to take it again the following week. The more you expose, the worse the consequences will be, Svartdal says.  

– It only means that you get more and more to do, he adds and writing.

12. Drop multitasking or multitasking

Performing several attention-demanding tasks or skills at the same time is very problematic, research shows.

– Learning requires full attention, and if you do several things at the same time, it becomes too resource-intensive, Frode Svartdal points out. 

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