Study Skills

Resources: 

Click on a subject area from the list below to access all of our study skills resources.

Learning Styles

Overview:

There are many different theories and views of learning styles and approaches to learning. You may have heard of people talking about 'visual learners', 'kinaesthetic learners' and others. An overview of these different learning styles can be seen below:

  • Visual (spatial) Learners - Learners who prefer using pictures, images, and spatial understanding.

  • Aural (auditory-musical) Learners - Learners who prefer using sound and music.

  • Verbal (linguistic) Learners - Learners who prefer using words, both in speech and writing.

  • Physical (kinaesthetic) Learners - Learners who prefer using your body, hands and sense of touch.

  • Logical (mathematical) Learners - Learners who prefer  using logic, reasoning and systems.

  • Social (interpersonal) Learners - Learners who prefer to learn in groups or with other people.

  • Solitary (intrapersonal) Learners - Learners who prefer to work alone and use self-study. 

From the list above you may already know the type of learner you are and you may have a better idea of techniques that you should develop (combined with time management, note taking etc.). However, you may still have some difficulty, or would like a better interpretation of your learning style. There are many tools available that will provide you with a more comprehensive analysis of your learning style and also can provide you with more practical tips for studying.

One of the most popular is the Myers-Briggs Type Inventory (MBTI).  The MBTI is a technique for measuring your learning preferences, using four basic scales with 'opposite poles'. The four scales are:

  1. Extroversion/Introversion
  2. Sensate/Intuitive
  3. Thinking/Feeling
  4. Judging/Perceiving

The MBTI will require you to make a choice between each of the above based on your preferences and the various combinations of your preferences will result in one (from a total of 16) personality type. If you would like to find your personality type using the MBTI click here.

Once you know your MBTI from taking the test, then you will be able to develop your study skills.

Download Resources:

Learning Styles Questionnaire (Shorter questionnaire based on the work of P. Honey and A. Mumford in the The Manual of Learning Styles, 1991)

Different Learning Styles

Further Support:

You can find out your personality type by emailing or contacting the  Learning Development Service and making an appointment with Paula Moran for a Myers Briggs individual assessment or workshop. It is fun to do and you will gain a valuable insight into how you and others work and communicate.

General Study Skills

Download Resources:

Ten Tips for Effective Studying

Virtual Workshop:

Note Taking in Lectures

Overview:

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!

Download Resources:

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)

Abbreviations

Reading Skills

Overview:

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.

Download Resources:

Reading Skills Handout

Reading Tips

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

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

Personal Development Plan (PDP)

Need further guidance?

Book a One-To-One Appointment

Undergraduate students can arrange an appointment with a Learning Development Tutor for help in identifying key areas for improvement along with personalised guidance 

Appointments take place in the Student Guidance Centre and last up to one hour.  Click here to arrange an appointment through MyFuture.