Maximise your studies

This great advice will help you to maximise the benefits you get from your courses and show your best work in assignments.

Balance your workload

If you're taking an uneven number of courses over two trimesters, take the lighter workload in the first trimester—for example, three courses in the first trimester and four in the second.

Be prepared for class

Do the required readings and being on time for class. You’ll understand the lecture, take better notes and feel less overwhelmed.

Get into a good routine

Get some good routines going and favourite spots where you can concentrate, so that you can make the most of your time.

Study independently

The first trimester goes by very quickly—do the readings, revise your notes, summarise, start that assignment and think about how you are going to manage multiple assignment deadlines.

In your study time:

  • re-read your notes after lectures
  • research in the Library
  • prepare your assignments
  • write lab reports
  • work on studio projects.

Learn to think critically

Think critically about what you are studying. Facts and theory alone are not enough—you must be able to give an opinion, put forward an argument about the topic and support it with material from your reading or research.

This is not only written work—you may be asked to comment in a class. It is a great time to open your mind to new ideas and push yourself.

Ask that question

Most people feel nervous and unsure for the first few weeks. If you're not sure about something, it’s likely that others are unsure too—so ask staff or other students for guidance. You can also use Blackboard to ask questions, email, or call 0800 04 04 04.

Say hello

Talk to the people sitting beside you in class and in tutorials. It’s handy to have a friend to take notes if you are sick. Setting up a study group/network is also a great way to learn.

Get help early on

Part of independent learning means you may need to seek help at times. Do this early. You could:

  • ask your lecturers, tutors, classmates
  • ask your Faculty Office or School office
  • use the Library—ask the Librarians for help if you need it
  • go to the Student Learning for free workshops on academic writing skills, one-on-one appointments and great resources
  • join one of the Māori and Pasifika faculty-based mentoring programmes.

Success is seeking your own challenge. Looking beyond what the lecturer expects of you, to what you expect of yourself.