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General Study Skills

  • The best way to learn maths is to do maths!
    You donít learn to ride a bike by someone telling you how to do it. The same is true with Maths. Listening to a friend or lecturer explain a mathematical technique or idea can help but a truly deep understanding is only really achieved through practice, practice and more practice!

  • Ask questions!
    No matter how small or silly you think a question is never be afraid to ask! Those seemingly insignificant questions are often key to understanding a problem. Most people feel intimidated about asking questions in class, but remember, if it is something that is bothering you, it is likely to be troubling others as well. If you absolutely cannot bring yourself to raise the question in class, do not leave it! Approach the lecturer at the end of the session, who Iím sure will be glad to help. Donít forget, you can always bring your questions along to the Maths Support Service.

  • Get organised!
    With many university students having to juggle work, study and (most importantly) socialising, time management is becoming increasingly important. Make up a schedule that includes all your classes, private study time and all other activities, and then stick to it! This will help you keep on top of your workload and also minimise the chance of missing classes and deadlines. Many students find keeping a personal diary particularly useful.

  • Review your work!
    The pace at which you cover topics at university tends to be a lot quicker than at school. This can leave you feeling swamped, as you move on to the next topic without perhaps fully understanding the previous one. Reviewing your work and tackling any problems as they arise (by asking questions!) can prevent a great deal of stress, particularly when preparing for exams. You should be aiming to spend at least one hour doing private study for every hour you spend in class each week. Further reading (see Reading Skills) and trying to explain ideas to friends are just some examples that can really help broaden your understanding of a topic.

  • Keep at it!
    Like most challenges, Maths is 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration. It takes time to comprehend but that ďeurekaĒ moment makes it very rewarding. Try adapting some of the ideas in this section into your studies and remember the Maths Support Service is always here to help.