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Study Tips

As a first year student, you will see that life at third level is filled with new choices, insights, possibilities and yes… distractions!
Study is a key part of your academic journey. As you enter first and second semester it may help to take note of the following tips to assist you in your studies. It is also advisable that you attend all of your lectures and keep up-to-date with assignments and practicals.

Taking notes from lectures…

  • Try to have a separate area within your study folders for each subject.
  • If you are missing for a lecture/day try to get notes from a friend.
  • Develop your own methods to speed up note taking.
  • Try to review your notes at the end of each day/week to keep them fresh in your mind.

When you study your textbooks, notes and handouts…

  • Write questions, comments and definitions in the page margins.
  • Review all material for a subject from lecture notes and handouts, your own notes and textbooks. Use a broad range of information resources when studying.
  • It is important to question, critique and interact with your subject! This will help you to master it and remember it more easily.

Do you learn well when…


  • You discuss things in a small/large group?
  • You draw diagrams, bubbles and arrows?
  • You talk to yourself out loud?
  • Jot things down in a notebook?
  • Use a method with headings, underlines and summaries? Develop a method that works for you and learning will be more enjoyable.

Learning is easier when…

  • You are in a positive physical state to learn (i.e. eating a healthy diet, drinking water, exercising and managing your stress levels).
  • Information is organised.
  • You enjoy what you learn.
  • You work with others (study group/s).
  • You establish a regular routine for your study.

What does 3rd level expect from you as a learner?

  • Independence – Know where to get help when needed.
  • Self-motivation – Ability to work on your own.
  • Openness to working with others.

Organising your time…

A timetable is a useful way of organising your time – pick up a timetable layout from the Careers & Counselling Service (2nd Floor, Student Centre).

  • Be aware of how much time it takes you to complete each type of study task.
  • Be aware that many aspects of study can take longer than expected.
  • Schedule time for relaxation and leisure.
  • Ensure there is flexibility in your timetable for unforeseen events.
  • Be very specific in your time planning.

Designing a study timetable…

  • Decide how many hours you can study for each week – space the hours over the week.
  • Decide the time of day that you study best.
  • Decide how you will divide your time over the various subjects.
  • Tackle more difficult subjects first.
  • Decide on the length of each study session.
  • Begin each study session with a 5-minute review of the previous nights work.
  • Finish with a 5-minute review of the work you have done in the session.

The less you have to remember…

  • The less you will forget – make it easy for yourself and put in the effort sooner rather than later.
  • Studying is all about editing – cut to the chase!

Place of Study…

Find an appropriate place to study with:

  • Good lighting & heating.
  • Good ventilation.
  • Proper furniture i.e. a desk and chair.
  • No distractions!

Other Notes…

  • Remember it is only by trial and error that you will find the best way of studying, which will suit your learning and your lifestyle.
  • Turn in all of your assignments on time – if you are experiencing a personal and/or professional difficulty speak to your Course Coordinator and/or Lecturer.
  • Feel free to visit your Lecturer during office hours to ask questions or just to discuss the class material. The Lecturer will recognise you’re interested in the subject and be willing to assist.
  • There are several very helpful books in the Careers section, on the first floor of the library.

If you need support around study, contact the Careers & Counselling Service on (021) 4335772.