Student Learning

Study Tips for New Students

Being a successful student means being able to maximise your own performance in the various kinds of assessment you will meet. Therefore as you go about your studies, it is worth spending time ensuring you study effectively. Successful learning involves wanting to learn, needing to learn, learning by doing, learning from feedback and making sense of what has been learned (Race, 2003). Ultimately it is not how much you know, but how well you show what you know in exams and in coursework assessments that will determine your success.

Make the most of the opportunities for personal and academic growth during your student experience.

On this page:

Know your way around campus

Come early. Wander and explore! Find your Departments'/Faculty offices, notice boards; toilets; lecture theatres; food places, library and bookstore.

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Do a library course

This can save a great deal of time and energy later on especially when assignments are due. Contact the Library Information Desk for more details.

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Treasure the COURSE OUTLINE from each of your courses

This usually contains all the vital information essential to your success! Note your obligations: due dates for assignments; terms requirements; Department requirements; contact and tutor names and locations; lecture outlines/programme.

NOTE : If you should misplace your course outline go to the Department/Faculty office to ask for a replacement.

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Make contact with your Department/Faculty

Know the people and the places...they are your lifeblood. They, along with your fellow students, are your learning networks.

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Establish a study routine early on

University has lots of unstructured time and this can mislead you to think that you have more time than you really have. Try to work on the basic principle of one hour contact needs two hours additional study. Be flexible but be firm about your commitments. It's very hard to catch up from behind!

Communicate your commitments and work schedule to those you live with – families, friends and flatmates need to know how hard you work and realise this is a serious job you are doing.

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Find social places and activities to balance the study side of your life!

Victoria has HEAPS to offer - cafes, seated areas, lawn space in fine weather, clubs (more than 50!) and social events via the Student Union and VUWSA, physical activities through the Recreation Centre.

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Make a contact/acquaintance/friend in every tutorial

This can reduce the isolation of study on a large campus. Working with others provides a valuable opportunity to enhance your learning through discussion, feedback, even lead to study groups which are a permanent commitment to working together, sharing the lead and developing greater understanding.

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Take advantage of any opportunities for extra help

Talk with your Department or tutor for advice. Student Learning provides drop-ins and appointments to guide you with your academic writing, study and maths.

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Seek help early

For any subject related problems see the course coordinator in the subject area concerned or your tutor. To remedy or develop your skills e.g. writing, language, maths and statistics, seminar presentation, learning or study skills, reading, and research – Student Learning runs FREE workshops on all of these. Pick up a copy of Campus Connections or call in to Student Learning, Level 0, Kirk Wing, Hunter Courtyard, Kelburn.

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Know what is available on campus


Student Learning provides you with workshops and individual assistance in essay writing, study skills, maths and statistics, presentation skills and exam techniques. These are offered without charge during term time. For more information about any of our programmes, contact the Student Learning or check in Campus Connections.

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