Wellbeing is necessary for our capacity to learn, but knowing how to positively engage with your study and learning can contribute enormously to your wellbeing.

In a tertiary educational context, academic under-preparedness is one of the risk factors that can exacerbate problems with wellbeing, whereas knowing how to effectively learn and study to meet the academic demands of your course can work to protect your wellbeing.

Managing stress when learning and studying

Stress is not the next assignment or exam. Stress is your physical and/or emotional response to having to complete the assignment or prepare for and sit the next exam. It is normal to perceive assignments and exams as stressful, particularly if you are trying to meet your own, or other’s expectations of yourself to do well. However, we can’t avoid stress (in life, not just at Uni), and other people cannot manage our stress for us, so it’s important for you to know how to manage your stress, through purposefully relaxing, gaining a sense of control, re-framing your thinking, and eating well.

Review your learning and preparation

Use your non-contact learning hours effectively by using these deep learning strategies. These techniques challenge you to really look at how you study and prepare. You’re doing the work, but are you doing the right work? This sheet asks questions like - what did you actually do to prepare for this? Did you just re-write sections of the textbook? Or did you go through the content and generate questions to test yourself? The second one is a way more effective activity for really understanding a subject. Are you stretching yourself and working on things that are just out of your grasp? Or doing the easy thing and just going over what you are already good at?

Effective in-class notetaking

Download template

Instead of typing out everything you hear the lecturer say on your laptop, actively engage and then write a purposeful summary to sustainably build your knowledge every week. When working with this template, you should be able to tell someone everything you learnt that day, and where you think your learning is going to go next week.

This prep, notes and summary template helps make your learning visible to you, and lets you monitor your learning progress.

Completing these every week is a habit of excellence and a great strategy for retention - having to explain what you are learning, first to yourself as you complete the template, and secondly to someone else means you are going over the material twice and really understanding it and learning it. Your study group can use this template together. 

UQ Student Learning Services

Access an online learning guide, make an appointment with a learning advisor, or find a learning workshop to attend. UQ Student Learning Services provides great support to help your academic success.

Growth mindset

For those interested in reading further, Carol Dweck revisits her decades of research on mindset - how students perceive their abilities and how much attention they pay to the process that leads to learning (like hard work or trying new strategies) rather than the end goal of a 7.