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Medicine at Swansea University
Swansea University
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Want to Stay Motivated and Develop Independent Study Skills?

One of the ways university education differs from school and college is that it expects you to be in control of your studies. If you want some tips and advice on how to stay on top of studying at university level, keep reading!
Self-Study the biggest problem, both new and seasoned students struggle with is self-study. It is normal to battle with time management and procrastination. The key here is to follow a well-balanced timetable for yourself. As you oversee your own study time make sure to dedicate hours according to your strengths. Set aside time for recreational activities. Self-study can encompass anything from pre-reading before lectures to rewriting notes post lectures. Figure out what works for you by trial and error. As a medical student I am a big fan of the Pomodoro method.
Medicine at Swansea University
Swansea University
Visit website
Library services as a new student I highly recommend checking out the library webpages for any workshops or seminars they may be running. Learning new techniques and grasping concepts such as referencing can help keep you focussed on your coursework. At Swansea University they also offer subject-specific support that comes in handy for assignments. Have a look at their various resources here and from personal experience, support with your coursework definitely keeps you motivated!
Study groups always remember, you are not alone! All university students struggle with some aspect of their studies be it grasping concepts or maintaining focus on. Be honest with yourself about your capabilities and find support amongst your peers. Forming a study group should highlight issues that all of you want to tackle. A way to avoid distractions make sure your study group meets in locations on campus that help you focus. At Swansea, I suggest booking the group study rooms on campus to motivate yourself. From your study group, you will pick up skills from each other that will form the building blocks of your own independent study style.
Resources books and lecture slides are not the only resources to focus on. To motivate yourself, look for resources that appeal to your way of learning. I approached my seniors in med school to pass down any resources they found particularly useful, and I still use them to date! For science subjects for example chemical engineering or medicine, making your own Anki cards or regular flashcards. The spaced repetition programme helps me stay motivated and not lose focus. YouTube tutorials are another way to start your independent study sessions. For example, Swansea’s very own Dr Sam Webster delivers clear concise content on Anatomy via his YouTube videos.
(edited 5 months ago)
My story one of my biggest challenges was to stay on track. I procrastinate and end up having to work under pressured deadlines. What has helped me study for medicine is developing my own methods and using resources that are more visual than verbal. I prefer making flowcharts of important topics and use key words for memory. I still struggle with memorisation, so my independent study focusses on repetition. Independent study skills are constantly changing as your learning needs change, so be flexible. Don’t be afraid to approach your personal tutors or lecturer to help formulate a study plan to keep you motivated.

Remember, you are the master of your fate motivate yourself in unique ways that are feasible to you. I hope these tips can help with your own personal study skills and I wish all the best to the new students starting university this September!

Ruchika Yadav Swansea Student Ambassador 3rd year Medical Student

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