How to be a top class student

Study like a boss :)
Study like a boss :)

Hello all

With the new foundation courses starting up again in July, I thought it may be useful to give all of our new (and returning) students some quick tips on how to approach your studies, as follows:

Tip 1 - Stay alert and pay attention in class 

It sounds so straight forward, but please make sure that you pay attention in class.... grab a drink and some food to keep you going / feed the old grey matter.

When an MPES tutor is hosting a lecture, make sure you take notes and if you don't understand something, raise your hand and ask questions. The more questions you ask, the more you will understand the subject matter. 

Most of your MPES courses will be recorded, so if your lessons have been recorded, please make time to listen to these, when you get home :)

Tip 2 - Review your notes

Review the notes you have taken in class. If you have time, perhaps re-write the notes out too, so that they are neat, easier to read and in a logical order.  Consider using highlighters to make key points more prominent. 

Actively read your MPES folder and text book too, by highlighting pertinent points.  Make notes in your own words, based on these highlighted points.

Tip 3 - Devise some “self-test” questions

Either write up some questions yourself, or have a family member or friend help you to do this and then try and answer the questions, to help you consolidate your knowledge.

Tip 4 - Do your homework! 

You are set homework for a reason - it is to enable you to review what you have learned in your lesson. Take advantage of your free time and do your homework in your lunch hour, or in any other spare time you may have.

Make sure that you do not rush your homework. Once completed, check your homework over, before submitting.

If you really want to be a successful student you will need to put aside time to do your homework. Remember, homework can also help you develop good study habits and attitudes.

If possible, always try to do what is asked of you by your tutor. 

Tip 5 - Make sure you are prepared 

Bring everything you need with you to class. In particular your MPES folder and any study texts, paper, pens, pencils, homework, ruler, calculator and anything else you need. If you have forgotten something pop down and see Sheila and she can lend you items :)

Tip 6 - Organisation

Stay organised. If you have an organised approach, then you are more likely to be successful. File all of your notes tidily away, so they don't get lost.  Perhaps keep a separate folder for each subject and consider the use of colour codes, labels or file dividers for your folders.

Tip 7 - Take time to study

Make a study timetable and stick to it!

If an extracurricular activity gets in the way of your studying, consider giving it up for the time being. However, if you find you cannot cancel your attendance, you will just have to study on another day. 

In the months coming up to your exam, make sure your study timetable builds in time for your studying and your personal time.  Study time tables are fluid and flexible tools and can always be amended to better fit your requirements, as you go. 

Always remember - use your time wisely and study as if you are motivated for a positive outcome for all of your hard work!

Tip 8 - Enlist help

Ask a family member or friend to test you on the syllabus, perhaps by using the pocket notes.  Alternatively, consider teaching a family member or friend the things you have learned in class. 

Tip 9—Mind Maps, Mnemonics and other good stuff

The creation of mind maps can help you to more readily understand the difficult subject areas, as it will help you break these down into samller chunks.

Mnemonics can also help you to remember key facts - e.g. the colour of the rainbow - Richard of York Gave Battle in Vain (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet).  Perhaps make up a silly song / ditty to remember key facts and figures.

People learn in different ways - so find the best way to suit you.  Some people like to read and make notes / lists, some people like to draw pictures / mind maps and some people like to talk to themselves to remember key areas.....  :)

Tip 10 - Relax and Don’t Panic

Relax and don’t panic! Try to enjoy what you are learning and relate it back to real life.  As long as you focus on the work you need to do and keep to your study timetable you will be fine.

Tip 11—don’t put off your study until another day

Make study a daily routine for yourself. Keep all of your electrical items such as your phone, iPod, iPad, TV and laptop well away from you as these cause distraction.

When you get home, try to read through your lesson and study notes and practice some problems to keep on top of your work.

Finally, if you are struggling, please don’t fret, The MPES tutors are always on hand in case you need help.  Please just contact us at if you wish to make an appointment to see someone. 

Good luck and until next time .....


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