Study skills – strategies for success

Learning is your life’s work – it never stops – not when we leave school, our undergraduate studies, or postgraduate work. To be successful in our careers every day we must embrace a growth mindset and continue to seek knowledge and apply it to our working lives. Perhaps the most formal aspect of learning is studying – the act of hunkering down, focusing on your subject, working towards producing an assessed piece of work or passing an exam.

We asked seasoned teacher and executive coach Peter Le Cheminant to give us some insight into his new course Study Skills – Strategies For Success which he has tailored to people who are studying for professional qualifications.

In short – how you can learn to study better.

Growth Mindset
You’ve probably heard this term mentioned, perhaps in relation to children’s education.

It applies to all people, young or old, and simply put by its main proponent Carol Zweck:

“Individuals who believe their talents can be developed (through hard work, good strategies, and input from others) have a growth mindset. They tend to achieve more than those with a more fixed mindset (those who believe their talents are innate gifts).”

I invite you to pay attention to your own beliefs about achieving success and see what arises for you – and consider whether adopting a growth mindset could serve you better? People with a growth mindset know that it is possible to learn how to study in a more effective way. In practical terms this means challenging yourself to push through your ‘fixed-mindset triggers’ (the little voice in your head saying “This is too hard, I can’t do it”).

Principles of effective learning
To my mind, the three most important things to crack if you want to improve your study skills is to understand:

  1. Your learning style
    Kolb: Named after David Kolb, who states that learning is ‘the process whereby knowledge is created through the transformation of experience’.
    Visual: you tend to prefer information presented in pictures, diagrams and charts.
    Auditory: you respond best to voices, such as listening to a tutor or a group discussion.
    Kinesthetic: you prefer to learn by doing, such as physically examining an object.
  2. Your motivation to achieve your goal
    Think about what approaches you use to stay focused on achieving your goal – do you reward yourself? Do you break your studying tasks into bite-size pieces? Do you start studying with the end in mind? Do you share your goals with others?
  3. How you manage your time
    Do you set aside time in your day to study? Or just grab opportunities? Have you thought about setting up a study group? Are you flexible with your studying schedule? How do you manage studying around the other commitments in your life? Do you study at the right time of day where you are the most alert and receptive? How do you manage your procrastination?

Top tip for preparing for exams?
The best advice I have is the classic five Ps: Prior preparation prevents poor performance! In the course I also cover specific strategies to help you overcome any anxiety or nerves you may have in the run-up to an exam.

What misconception would you like to dispel about studying?
My key message is that studying does not have to be a chore, there are so many ways to make the process interesting and rewarding.

Find out more: Study Skills – Strategies For Success

Contact: Aly Keeling or call 732867

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2nd February, 2018

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