5 top tips for mastering a challenging course

Studying a difficult course at tertiary level is never a walk in the park. In fact, a big part of the appeal of those courses is the challenge, right? We all know study not only broadens our minds, it opens doors to a world of career opportunity, so it’s worth sticking it out when the going gets tough. And with our top tips you’ll be able to rise to the challenges of your course feeling less stressed and more in control.

Tip 1: Get an idea of how each topic fits in the big picture

At the start of a new topic do some research as to its relevance in the overall scheme of your course. Having a sense of where the information sits in the bigger picture will keep you motivated and help your brain to understand which parts of the detail are important to your end goal.


Tip 2: Break tasks into chunks

Once you’ve got an idea where everything fits in the bigger picture, you can start to focus with more detail. Break down what you need to learn into smaller tasks. As you learn each piece of information, try to explain it to a lay person and have them ask you questions. This way, you’ll discover any gaps in your learning and can go back.


Tip 3: Be organised with time

Cramming a difficult course is never, ever a good idea. Our brains take time to absorb new information and you’ll need time on your side if you’re to learn properly. Looming deadlines only add to a sense of overwhelm so it’s critical to stay in control. Create a schedule at the beginning of each unit and stick to it religiously.


Tip 4: Limit distractions

When it’s time to study, make sure there are as few distractions around as possible. Try to fully immerse yourself in the topic as you study it, even outside of formal study time. Read about it, speak to your classmates and teachers about it and search online for interesting information or networks.


Tip 5: Speak up

By far the most important, if there’s something you don’t understand in class, speak up. No question is stupid and chances are you’re not the only one who doesn’t get it. At ACAP, you have access to a wealth of relevant industry knowledge, so tap into it and ask away.


Bonus tip: If it all starts to feel too much, return your thinking to why you chose the course in the first place. Imagine yourself on graduation day, full of pride and excitement at the career opportunities for the future you. You got this!

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