How to Succeed in Your Degree

Congratulations for working so hard to get admission into University to study psychology. It takes a lot of studies and dedication to achieve such a feat. But getting admission is just the beginning of the main task to be done. Now, what is your best approach to learning?

In 2009, a survey by Karpicke and colleagues revealed that about 83 percent of students use the rereading approach to studying. Also, 10 percent of the surveyed students included the self-testing (retrieval practice) approach in their studies. However, according to research, retrieval practice is the most effective way of studying compared to rereading.

Now that you find yourself in a university, your study approach would determine or contribute to your overall academic success. This article addresses the effective way of studying to succeed in your degree, in psychology.

  1. Metacognitive ability

It is advisable to use the retrieval practice approach to define what you perceive to know and what you really know (level of competence). In most cases, you don’t actually know the things you think you know. This is why you can find yourself wanting when asked to demonstrate or explain something you thought you knew. Therefore, evaluating your level of knowledge and understanding (metacognitive ability) is critical in determining you’re the study approach to adopt. People who mostly know the least about a subject matter normally think what they know is absolute. As such, they exhibit the greatest level of ignorance of the subject. To solve this, adopt the retrieval practice in your studies.

  1. Dealing with Procrastination

To achieve reasonable success in your degree, procrastination should be eliminated from your studies.  The first way of dealing with this is proper time management. Preparing a daily timetable taking into consideration all your daily activities is the best way to go. However, just having a timetable is not enough, it needs to be followed religiously by avoiding procrastination. According to research, an effective way of dealing with procrastination is through implementation intentions. You need to relate your goals with the needed actions for the best results. For example, if you need to graduate with a first degree with honors, then you need to take your books, lectures and homework seriously. The intention is to get a first-class degree, so you need to implement it by studying.

  1. Reading and note-taking

The best way to absorb information is to digest it to your level of understanding. If your tutor assigns you to read a source for the next class, you shouldn’t just read and reproduce what you read. Reressding and notes taking, helps you to create your own notes out of the source. Preparing a note gives you a better understanding of the said topic. You can explain it in your own terms and it makes absorption easier.

  1. Academic integrity

As a student, you wouldn’t want to be accused of plagiarism at any point in time in your academic pursuit. But how do you find the fine line between paraphrasing and plagiarism? The easiest way of solving this is by adopting the rereading and note-taking approach when doing your homework. As already mentioned in taking notes, you use words you are acquainted with and break the source to your level of understanding. This is a great way of learning how to paraphrase your sources.

  1. Written work preparation

Some students believe that writing complexly equates to their level of intelligence and competence. This is a misconception that needs to be disregarded. Complex writing is difficult and boring to read and also not easy to understand, hence, prolongs absorption. When preparing your university written assignments, keep them simple, clear and concise, and easy to read. It is best to replace complex words and phrases with easily understandable ones and avoid stuffing them with unnecessary terminologies.

  1. Work in teams

Working in a team has its own merits and demerits. However, if members of the team are carefully chosen and made accountable, its merits far exceed any disadvantages. Some team members can indeed display a high level of incompetence and contribute almost nothing during team tasks as they would do in individual work. However, if individual members of a group are made accountable for their contributions, they turn out to put in much effort to tasks assigned to them. When forming a group, choose seriously and result-oriented persons. With this, you can get the most out of each member when studying and tackling homework together.

How to Succeed in Your Degree

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