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Tips for uni freshers?

I just started uni. I would like to find out the most effective way to study for my physics degree. I was wondering if there are any tips from students in higher years?

In particular I have a few questions:
- Should I use paper notes or an iPad?
- Should I use notebooks or ring binders?
- Should I rewrite my notes?
- When should I study from the textbook (e.g. before or after lecture)
- How do I study effectively from a textbook without time wasting?
- How do I study during periods when my timetable is fuller?

The textbooks I use are maths and physics textbooks by the way.

Looking forward to responses!
(edited 1 year ago)
I am not a physics student but I am doing Electrical and Electronics Engineering and have a few friends doing Physics. In any case, both courses are similar in intensity. Psst Engineering is harder xD

- Use ipad. Digital notes are easier to manage as there will be too many notes at the end of the semester and it is tiresome to organise them in bulky folders(trust me I have tried xD)
- If you are going to use physical notes then use the ring binder and get those refill notebooks that you can remove pages from to file.
- To write your notes first get a copy of the ppts/pdfs into your notes app and then write beside it. If writing physically then print out your notes and then file your notes with/after them.
- Studying from books...usually you would be given lecture slides at least one day in advance so you can read up on the chapters mentioned. It would be very helpful. You can read after the lecture too.
- Well usually the lecture content given by your professors would be enough to cover examinable content but to study effectively make sure to switch off all notifications and music and go to a study space like library to study. If you do need music then just listen to lofi music not any catchy songs otherwise it impacts memory.
- When timetable is fuller? Well you will find that us STEM students are used to working till late at night so you will for sure have time after 6pm till midnight at the very least. Don't think that you need to sleep 8-10 hours, 5-6 hours is enough.

Hope this was useful. :biggrin:
Original post by MinatoNamikaze
I am not a physics student but I am doing Electrical and Electronics Engineering and have a few friends doing Physics. In any case, both courses are similar in intensity. Psst Engineering is harder xD

- Use ipad. Digital notes are easier to manage as there will be too many notes at the end of the semester and it is tiresome to organise them in bulky folders(trust me I have tried xD)
- If you are going to use physical notes then use the ring binder and get those refill notebooks that you can remove pages from to file.
- To write your notes first get a copy of the ppts/pdfs into your notes app and then write beside it. If writing physically then print out your notes and then file your notes with/after them.
- Studying from books...usually you would be given lecture slides at least one day in advance so you can read up on the chapters mentioned. It would be very helpful. You can read after the lecture too.
- Well usually the lecture content given by your professors would be enough to cover examinable content but to study effectively make sure to switch off all notifications and music and go to a study space like library to study. If you do need music then just listen to lofi music not any catchy songs otherwise it impacts memory.
- When timetable is fuller? Well you will find that us STEM students are used to working till late at night so you will for sure have time after 6pm till midnight at the very least. Don't think that you need to sleep 8-10 hours, 5-6 hours is enough.

Hope this was useful. :biggrin:


Well, that wasn't scary at all :smile:. I just started physics as well and I was wondering. Are textbooks at university helpful or do you think the lecture notes are enough?

Thanks
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by TheStressMachime
Well, that wasn't scary at all :smile:. I just started physics as well and I was wondering. Are textbooks at university helpful or do you think the lecture notes are enough?

Thanks

Lecture notes are enough to pass but if you need better marks and more confidence in your subjects then it's better to also use textbooks and other online resources in addition to lecture notes.
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by MinatoNamikaze
Lecture notes are enough to pass but if you need better marks and more confidence in your subjects then it's better to also use textbooks and other online resources in addition to lecture notes.

What kind of online resources? Is it like A level resources or are they just random websites that answer your questions?
Original post by TheStressMachime
What kind of online resources? Is it like A level resources or are they just random websites that answer your questions?


It's usually random websites and youtube but later on like year 2 or year 3 the answers you need start to be hard to find. Then you will have to delve into the world of research papers to get a better understanding of the subjects you are researching. In Physics especially for your coursework you will have to learn to get used to reading research papers.

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