I never thought I would go to university especially at the age of 54 … I do feel at times a little daunted by it all and I imagined it would be a lot harder

Study Tips from online students - #3 Develop positive study habits


  • Get prepared

    What students said:

      I went to Prep [Preparatory classes] before I started. It was fairly insightful and you got a lot from it. For us, those little prep courses were not a problem. You've got the on-line referencing tools and that's where they go if you've got a problem get a referencing tool because it helps you.

      The tertiary introduction I thought that was extremely useful and I think that would be useful for anybody. It gave me a really good understanding of what was expected of me at, I guess at a written level on top of everything else.

  • Prioritise study

    What students said:

      It is up to you. At the end of the day, you’ve got to get off your backside and do it.

      I’ve changed my hours at work so that I only work two days a week and because it’s Open University, there’s no time restraints on me so I can sit up as late, or as early as I want.

      Well I’ve got it worked out with my present manager where I work in the local office that on Mondays and Thursdays I start at midday and then I work late back on those days and I dedicate three hours to study.

      It can be really hard to get the motivation in there, to put the time aside, but essentially I almost have to diarise it. It’s the same with the sort of booking it in like the doctor’s appointment, you know, like you’ve got to do shopping, we’ve got to do this, we’ve got to do that, I’ve got to study.

      What I usually do is set aside two nights during the week to sit down and not have friends over and not go out and just work on uni stuff.

      When I get an assignment, I usually try to get on top of it straight away and start researching and reading up basic stuff so I’ve got some idea of what I’ve got to do rather than leave it right to the last second.

  • Create a place to study

    What students said:

      Usually I’m locked in the office doing the study.

      Now that I’m back at home and I’m living and working full-time it’s a lot easier; I’ve got my own study area, I’ve got my own place to go to study and it’s not all over the place.

  • Know your study style

    What students said:

      I’m probably just starting to get a bit of a rhythm studying so that’s been a good achievement because every unit I find it is structured differently they all tend to have their own sort of flavour in the way you interact with them.

      I find, you know, just work to your strengths – I’m a morning person so if I have to get up at 5:00 or 6:00 o’clock in the morning and spend three hours doing an assignment.

      I also like the flexibility of studying; I’m a fairly independent learner so I like having the flexibility to be able to choose my own times to study, you know, just to manage my own time.

      Everyone studies differently. I might have to study twice as much in one area than another person. What does that tell you? I don't think it tells you anything … expect I’m going to have to put in extra study to get to a point where I’m going to be happy with myself and enjoy what I’m doing.