Studying in Secondary School and studying in Tertiary Institution may be about passing exams, but they are indeed very different. The tricks that made you top your class in secondary school may not actually be effective for you when you get into the university/polytechnic.
Don’t be caught unawares before you hit the books. Below are the differences between studying in secondary school and studying in higher institution.
Daily Reading Is A Must
If you went to class in secondary school and paid attention, you were already ahead of the game. However, if you go to all of your higher institution classes, but don’t do any of your reading, you’re going to be doing a lot before the exam.
You will be more successful if you study each subject a little bit every day. Spreading out the review for a class is called “distributed practice,” in contrast to “mass practice,” in which students attempt to study for the class in one marathon session. Distributed practice is much more effective for long-term retention of information.
What To Study Is A Bit Of A Mystery
Students sometimes fall into the trap of thinking that if a topic was not addressed in class, they needn’t learn it. That may be true in secondary school, but it is not true in tertiary institution. Lecturers may assign reading that will appear on an exam even though they never lecture on it. Don’t be surprised when someone asks what to study for the big test, and your prof responds with, “everything.” Pretty much everything and anything is fair game in higher institution so you need to cover all your bases.
You Have To Know The Material Inside And Out
In secondary school, if you knew the answer, you were golden. In higher institution, you need to know the answer and be able to apply it to other things. It’s part of that critical thinking thing that schools love but we despise. It’s also what most long answer and essay questions focus on.
Study Groups Can Help
In secondary school, study groups weren’t really a thing. If you had one, it was really just an excuse for you to hang out with friends before you went and studied on your own. In higher institution, study groups can actually make a difference. They give you new perspectives on the material, and when they’re done right, they can help keep you focussed and motivated.
Review Days Don’t Happen
The last lessons before a the exams in secondary school were often about reviewing for it and getting us ready to all get A’s. That rarely happens in higher institution. Normally, you’re learning new material right up to the last minute. And you know what, that stuff is going to be on the exam.
You Need To Study All Those Different Types Of Material
Textbooks, PowerPoint presentations, research papers, your messy notes, whatever you looked at this semester, you need to read. The material for your higher institution exam could come from anywhere. It is up to you to figure out what is important in the lecture and reading, and to use your critical thinking skills to analyse it. Unlike in secondary school, you knew that it was going to come from your one-and-only-textbook.
You’re On Your Own For Summarising
Remember those days in secondary school where your teachers would summarise the chapters or the textbooks would even have chapter summaries? Unfortunately, you’re almost never gifted those in higher institution. It’s up to you to make your own summary notes and draw your own conclusions.
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