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Four top tips to be a productive student

Photograph of Muminah

by Muminah / from Dumfries / BSc Computer Science and Mathematics / 4th Year (UG)

To make the most of your studies, here are 4 top tips for increasing your productivity as a student 😄

1. Go to your lectures (or at least try).

This tip may seem obvious at first, but honestly (speaking from experience) it is easy to fall into the trap of not going to lectures and “planning to watch the recording later”. I’d say it’s honestly worth trying to attend most of your lectures in-person for the following reasons: 

  • You can engage with interactive elements e.g., asking questions and participating in polls. 
  • It’s a good opportunity to meet fellow course mates and make connections. 
  • And finally, there are some occasions where a lecture recording has issues, e.g., the recording is unavailable or the audio quality is bad, so if you miss the lecture live, you may never have an opportunity to access that information again 😱

2. Watch recordings at double speed.

So, in the event where you do end up missing a bunch of lectures or simply wish to review content quickly, watching lectures at x2 speed comes in handy – that way you can watch a lecture in half the time. And it may seem like a far-fetched idea at first because you’re probably wondering “how will I even understand what they’re saying at that speed? 😲”. Well, in order to adjust, I’d suggest starting off with watching your lectures at x1.25 and then gradually working your way up to 2x. With practice, you’ll soon become accustomed to the fast life 😎

3. Remember: First and second year don’t count…but they kinda do! 

You’ve probably heard someone somewhere say that first and second year don’t count and that is true – to an extent. First  and second year grades don’t count towards your overall degree classification. However, with this knowledge, performing well in your initial years is still important because: 

  • If you’re considering studying abroad later, part of the application process involves considering your pre-Honours grades. 
  • When applying for internships, some employers request to view your transcript. 
  • Overall, it makes progression easier 😌– if you pass all of first and second year first time, it saves you the hassle of having to do retakes and helps you have strong grounding in fundamentals that future courses will build on or reference. 
  • Generally, it’s good to still push yourself in first and second year for your own self -motivation, if you’re not used to working hard in your early years, making the step up to Honours can be very challenging 😖

4. Establish a routine

To manage your time effectively, establishing a schedule or timetable early on can be helpful. One simple method that I’ve used and think works quite well, is following a schedule that resembles that of a 9-5 job or typical school-day i.e., you attend any classes you have, study on or around campus in between them and leave the end of the day free for any personal activities or social events. Remember when you’re drawing up your schedule to factor in time to rest and recharge in order to avoid burnout, as taking time out to relax can help promote an overall productive and balanced student lifestyle. 


Thank you for reading this blog post and I hope you found my tips useful 😊



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