Whether you have come from straight from high school or are mature age, chances are university will challenge you to work and learn in new ways. University learning is self directed- that means that it is your responsibility to get to class, to do the work required and even to make sure that you have understood what has been taught.
Before you run off to class, check the web first! Lecturers usually post notes and activities online via Blackboard for you to take to the lectures and tutorials, and having these documents with you does avoid unnecessary note taking and allows you to concentrate on the important course outcomes from each lesson. Also, if you are unsure if you have enough knowledge to tackle a course, completing the diagnostic quiz in English or Maths may give you some guidance - you can access these tests from the ‘Learning Development’ area of the BlackBoard site.
To get the best mark you can, it is important that you try to attend ALL Lectures, labs, tutorials and workshops – whether they are compulsory or not! Also, when in class, try to actively participate in the sharing of ideas- this will help develop your skills and ensure that you are engaging in the information presented. When it comes to study, don’t assume that what works for your friends or colleagues will work for you too. Do you study better with a computer or with a notepad? Are you able to sit down and study for three hours or thirty minutes? Finding your own study niche will help you better prepare for exams and assessments.
The University of Newcastle runs PASS (Peer Assisted Study Sessions) for a number of subjects each semester. PASS can help improve your grades, and gives you an opportunity to ask questions of a student who completed the same subject last year. For additional information on which subjects have PASS please visit:
Learning Development can assist you to improve your study skills through workshops, great online resources and individual consultations for academic skills, english language proficiency, and maths skills. Learning Development helps all students learn and write effectively at all stages of their degree. Check out the Learning Development Blackboard site for more information.