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Study Skills


There are many ways in which you can progress your study skills, from finding out which learning style you most identify with to making the best use of your notes from lectures. Below you will find some resources to help you make the most of your study time:

General Study Skills Note taking in Lectures Reading Skills

General Study Skills

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Ten Tips for Effective Studying

Note Taking in Lectures

Taking accurate detailed notes is one of the most important skills you need for learning at University.  The notes you take during lectures will help you prepare for examinations and also offer a way to reflect on your previous learning.  If you don't take notes during your lectures then it is most likely that after the lecture you won't remember the key points and examples that were provided.

Some Things to Think About:

  • If you don’t attend your lecture, you will miss important information.
  • Even if you borrow your friends’ notes, you still run the risk of missing important information.
  • If your lecturer has requested additional reading before your next lecture do it! Otherwise it is highly likely that you will not understand the material covered in your next lecture.
  • By reading in advance it is likely you can predict the topics to be covered in your lecture.  
  • REMEMBER: Lectures do not provide you with a full understanding of the subject, and certainly are not the total requirement for exam revision, they assume some input on your part e.g. writing up notes in a style that is more comprehensive! 

Top Tip:

  • Always ask in advance if lecture notes are available before the lecture. If they are, print and study them BEFORE you attend the lecture!

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General Note Taking

Digital Note Taking

Note Taking Do's and Don'ts

Cornell Note Taking Method

Cornell Note Taking Example

Mind Mapping

Mind Mup (free online mind mapping app)


Reading Skills

Being presented with a reading list on a new course can be daunting for most students. They worry over how much to read, which bits of books and papers are releveant, and how to make effective notes from readings so that they can understand and remember the important points. 

The first thing you should do when you are given a reading list is to find out which books and papers are necessary for particular lectures, tutorials or seminars and essays. If this is not clear from your module handouts do not be afraid to ask them to direct you to the most useful texts. By doing this you will be breaking up your reading into more manageable chunks and it will seem less of an obstacle.

Generally your module guide, or lecture/tutorial handout, will specify certain readings as ESSENTIAL. These are the ones you really should take the time to read.

Then there may be sources under SUGGESTED reading. These are generally very useful and will bolster your knowledge beyond set texts. Use them for essays, seminar presentations and perhaps, revision for exams.

FURTHER reading lists can be dipped into, if you have the time, when it comes to essays.

Remember – you are not expected to read everything or to read texts from cover to cover. The whole idea of academic reading is to train you to be SELECTIVE. However, it is good to get into the habit of reading beyond the set texts. But again, do not worry; deciding what to read will come with practice.

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Reading Skills Handout

Reading Tips

Research Quick Notes Sheet (a useful resources for making quick notes as you read)

Critical Notes Sheet (a useful resources for making more detailed notes as you read)