Succeed - Academic Journey
Towards the end of the semester many students are thinking about exams. You might like to check out some of the resources available to support your exam preparation and performance. The Learning Development Unit also runs workshops.
Associate Professor John Germov and Dr Lauren Williams have developed a great online resource about surviving first year exams.
"Don't underestimate the time you'll need to succeed."
"Keep on top of stuff and you'll be less stressed at exam time."
"I had some good marks for my assignments so it took some pressure off me in exams."
"I get nervous in exams but I'm learning how to deal with it."
Student tip: Plan for your exams
"I tried mind maps for the first time. I think I remembered more."
"I listened to my lectures again and summarised them."
"Make up a revision timetable. I set 15 min study goals and tried to avoid my favourite distractions."
"Think about your study goal and match your method to the task E.g. Read quickly for overview and in more depth for understanding or learning for exams."
Make sure you understand the course content rather than just memorising it."
"Answer the question that is asked in the examination not the one you would like to answer, for example if the question asks you to explain X don't just describe X."
"Don't forget to review your approach to exams and exam techniques afterwards."
Pause to reflect
When looking back on first semester, what have you learnt so far about your chosen areas of study and about yourself as a learner?
"Reflect on those strategies that worked well for you this semester and try to incorporate them into your academic resolutions for Semester 2 study."
"You can make it a habit to plan your work and review your approaches."
What does success at uni mean to you?
Perhaps this will involve being satisfied with your:
- increasing ability to navigate uni
- friendships and peer networks at uni
- new or modified study skills
- personal growth
- getting closer to career goals
"Give yourself credit for surviving Semester 1, it's the hardest one."
"Semester 2 was so much easier compared to Semester 1."
"I didn't think I would get through it, but I kept going and I can't believe I made it."
Strategies for success
What strategies have worked best for you so far? What one's have you changed or developed at uni?
We want you to succeed here and we're thinking of new ways to support you. Check out:
If you'd like to share your tips for success or ideas about how we can support students in their first semester please email Dr Jill Scevak.
Recent surveys and studies describe some strategies that assist students to stay at uni, achieve good results and finish their degrees. There might be one or two strategies you'd like to add to your toolkit as you move into Semester 2. Check out some strategies for success.
At the 2009 First Year in Higher Education Conference, Professor Keithia Wilson delivered a paper titled "Success in First Year". She spoke about the Five Senses of Success Framework developed by Alf Lizzio (Lizzio, 2006). Check it out below.
According to Alf Lizzio, students are most likely to succeed at uni when they develop their senses of:
- Purpose - Work on your sense of purpose. Why are you at uni? Why did you choose your degree? What do you want to achieve for yourself? Set some personal goals.
- Resourcefulness - Learn how uni systems work so you can navigate uni and find the information you need. Ask for help early and often and keep assessing your study-work-life balance.
- Connectedness - Develop your relationships with your peers, tutors, lecturers, your School, Library, Hubs, Student Support, your Uni community.
- Capability - Understand what's expected of you in your student role, develop your basic academic skills and engage with your learning community.
- Academic culture - Learn about academic values and culture and how this influences the way you learn and study.
If you're reading this now it may be that you're looking ahead in your first year journey or you made it through your first semester. We sincerely hope that this guide has helped you. You're welcome to re-visit it at any time during your degree. Congratulations!
Should you have any questions about this guide or would like to give any suggestions or feedback, please email us.
Good luck on your journey.