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July 10, 2020, 06:53:52 pm

Author Topic: Studying ahead for uni?  (Read 1491 times)  Share 

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zsteve

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Studying ahead for uni?
« on: February 18, 2016, 07:48:01 pm »
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^ thread title. Keeping ahead of subjects by a few weeks.
This got me through VCE. Will it get me through uni, or is it pointless? :P
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JellyBeanz

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Re: Studying ahead for uni?
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2016, 07:49:19 pm »
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^ thread title. Keeping ahead of subjects by a few weeks.
This got me through VCE. Will it get me through uni, or is it pointless? :P

Judging based of the people at uni on this forum,

You certainly do not have to study so far ahead to get through uni :P
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nerdgasm

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Re: Studying ahead for uni?
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2016, 01:04:19 am »
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Well, to put it in perspective, a standard uni semester is 12 weeks of content delivery. So, when you say 'a few weeks', that could translate to learning a quarter or a third of the unit curriculum ahead of the lectures, which themselves are pretty content-packed and which go a lot faster than VCE does. So, it's definitely a very challenging undertaking, even for the high-achievers.

Will it get you through uni? Is it pointless? Well, only those who have tried it can really say what it's like, and even then, it's your uni experience that matters here. There are students who use lectures as a supplementary resource to learning the content themselves via books and papers. There are students who like to annotate the provided lecture notes; others will write their own; others will use listening as their best aid to understanding. Some students will prefer being first exposed to content from a lecturer, because they find it's clearer for them than partly understanding things on their own. Others find forming peer study groups the best way to learn from each other. The point I'm trying to make is that a big part of the academic aspect at uni is finding what works for you (which can vary between different subjects, and even week-to-week!). So, it *can* work for you, and if it does, it certainly isn't pointless!

However, I'm reasonably confident it isn't necessary (and I am sure many uni students will attest to this). If you do adopt this approach, I'd like to offer a couple of comments:
If you successfully learn content (and understand it well) before it is covered in lectures, please do not underestimate the importance of the information given in lectures (and pracs, tutorials etc.). If a lecturer focuses on something, it is often prudent to give it extra attention. An example that a lecturer uses may be one among many you encounter in your own readings - but do not be surprised if an assessment question expects good knowledge of the example.

Also, if you find that you are really struggling to keep up with such a pace, please don't be too hard on yourself. Being up-to-date at uni already puts you in good stead to achieve good results. There tend to be two or three weeks during semester when assessments pile up, and it's normal for students to devote more time to assessments rather than content learning in those time periods. Try not to get too down if you need to catch up on lectures or if you need to 'cram'. If you really feel overwhelmed, there are support services available!

University can take some time for you to 'find yourself', so to speak. But usually, those who are able to figure out what works for them do well and get a great deal out of all aspects of uni life. All the best for your journey ahead!

wyzard

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Re: Studying ahead for uni?
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2016, 02:59:16 pm »
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No it will not be pointless. In fact I will studying ahead will be really helpful if you want to excel at uni.

It will be great help if you're can read up ahead before uni starts. Not only will you be more familiar with your contents, it will put you in study mood and having the study habit down. The last thing you want is when school start you're stuck in the holiday mood, and before you know it, you're way way behind.

Even though what you learned on your own might be a bit off with what will be taught, it is not useless, it will be very useful to have some extra understanding. I remember spending a few days before uni starts studying linear models of complex economics system as an application to linear algebra, even though it is not taught, learning that helps me understand linear algebra as a whole a lot better, so it is not wasted. It is better to learn a bit more, rather than be stingy with what you learn and just sticking to the syllabus.

In uni, the lectures are pretty fast paced so you can expect to learn quite a lot, so taking a week or two before school starts will help ease the sudden burst of information thrown at you.

On the bright side, in uni, you'll get plenty of own study time so it's important to cultivate the discipline to study independently, and during the long holidays even more so. There are also plenty of room to develop other things other than studies, such as joining a club or learn some extra things.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2016, 03:02:00 pm by wyzard »
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zsteve

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Re: Studying ahead for uni?
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2016, 05:38:35 pm »
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Thanks for the input :)
Some of my subjects got loaded to the LMS today, and I finally got my textbooks so I'm probably ready to go during O-week if and when I get bored :)

I've know that the textbook is used as a 'reference' and not the backbone of the course. This is unlike VCE (or anything else I've experienced in my prior education) where I would be handed a book or resource and then read it contiguously from cover to cover (or at least entire chapters).

What is the best way to tackle the 'jumping around' of the course? Some subjects (e.g. Chem) have outlines where they state 'references' from the book (Chapter|Section)? Also, what about notetaking? Any experiences?

Thanks in advance :)
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bennieboy

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Re: Studying ahead for uni?
« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2016, 07:00:12 am »
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If anything, use your lectures as the reference point of what you need to know. As most science kids would agree, content covered in lectures can (and will) be examinable. In my experience in first year, in exams, they'll ask you questions that has something to do with the lecture slides, some details can be mentioned just once by your lecturer and never again - which means you won't have a lot of practice with those questions unless you work on them outside of class. So it's definitely not like year 12 where you are constantly given questions by your teacher to consolidate what is taught in class. While most questions that you'll need to do will be given to you (like in Chem I'm pretty sure there's a workbook and in other subjects they might be given in tutorials), you will only benefit to find extra questions or read more in the textbook to clarify what you find challenging. With that said, I really don't recommend starting from the textbook! Unless you're really curious about a certain topic (I was so into quantum mechanics even though I didn't even do Physics), reading excessive information from the textbook will only confuse you with a lot of unnecessary and unexamined details. I mean read it for the joy of learning and creating a prospective of what is discussed in class, but stay focused on and memorise only what's on the lectures, or else you'll be stuck with knowing a lot on the surface without much depth.

Sorry to be so long-winded. But my advice is start reading or studying from the lecture slides, and then extend and dig deep on that by reading relevant textbook topics. Only read the textbook first if the topic absolutely fascinates you.
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