A model for study

Organisational requirements
In this section we are going to outline for you a simple, three stage model for studying. Before we start, it is important to mention that there are many different methods for studying and that your style and preference will determine which is best for you. Whatever method you choose, there are some key organisational requirements:

  • Organise your space
  • Organise your files – paper and electronic
  • Organise your mind

Once you have achieved this, you can study.

Our three-stage model covered in the next 3 sections is familiarise, memorise, and consolidate.

Start your study period by looking at the key learning points. These are likely to be found in a course syllabus or the session objectives. Make a quick note of areas of concern, query, or special interest so that you can refer back later on.

Orientate the study materials and get a grasp of what they entail. Perhaps you are working on a chapter which has a particularly technical section or an assessment to complete.

You can now work out how you will complete the task in the allowed study time.

If you are studying for an exam, you will be looking to memorise information.

Looking for meaning rather than focusing on remembering greatly assists with recall of information and of course, with application in the workplace after your study has concluded. It is tempting to learn by rote, to cram or to skim but if you develop your understanding of a subject, it helps application and recall in an exam environment.

Make notes as you go in a format that you will be able to use when you need to refer back later. The format of your notes (written, typed, audio or diagrammatic) should take into consideration your preferred learning style.

Studying is a process that involves reading and absorbing information, reflecting on it and then actually recalling it, for use in the workplace or for the purposes of answering an exam question.

What you have learned needs to be consolidated before it can be recalled or applied and to do this, you need to re-visit the information periodically. You can do this by revisiting your notes, taking quizzes or assessments or by reciting.