Developing your study skills

On these pages, you will find tips for developing your study skills, finding your own learning style and study technique, and facilitating factors that make learning difficult. The pages also contain information on assessing your learning techniques and learning strategies, tips for planning your time and reading effectively, and information on learning problems and barriers.

Both guidance and various tools are available to support the planning of studies. However, the student must ensure that all the studies required by the curriculum and degree structure are completed.

Meaningful learning techniques, taking independent responsibility, managing the use of time and especially giving time for studying and the development of understanding are prerequisites for the smooth running of studies. If necessary, the study psychologist also helps degree students with problems related to studying and with the development of learning skills.

Also, on the How to make a Personal Study Plan (PSP) page, read the questions that support you prepare the PSP and use them to consider your own learning and study methods.

The subpages also have links to websites with more information

  • The Learning page opens up learning as a phenomenon, provides tips for developing as a learner, explains different learning styles and learning strategies, and how they can be taken into account and developed in your own learning.
  • The Planning and managing your time page provides tips for scheduling your studies.
  • The Reading and exam preparation page provides guidelines for effective reading and careful exam preparation.
  • The Writing and information retrieval page explains the importance of information retrieval skills and provides support for the steps in the writing process. 
  • The Following lectures and taking notes page provides tips for taking lecture notes and preparing for lectures.
  • The Barriers to learning page provides a brief overview of the factors that make learning difficult and of support services for learning problems.

Developing your study skills

University studies require mastery of various study skills. One important part of study skills is the ability to work and study independently, the ability to plan your studies and use of time, and to make study-related choices.

Study skills develop throughout the course of study, often unnoticed. Writing, reading comprehension and information retrieval skills are the most important study skills, and you should develop them right from the beginning of studies. Conversation and presentation skills also develop naturally as study experiences accumulate.

As a university student, you should also assess your own learning and study skills and think about what your strengths as a learner are and what skills you still want to develop. Also important is the ability to identify situations in which you need support and guidance in your studies, as well as the ability to use the guidance services available.

    See also Tritonia's information retrieval courses

    Tips for studying remotely

    • Remember that online courses are just as challenging as courses taught on campus. This means that you should set aside at least the same amount of time for online study as you would if the same course was taught face-to-face.
    • Online study is often project-like, so plan your time carefully.
    • Make a list of (or put in your calendar) all the important dates for all your courses: the online meetings that take place in real time, deadlines for all your assignments and any exam dates. This will give you an overall picture of your studies and the workload involved.  
    • Plan your studies so that you can adhere to the set timetables and deadlines for all your courses.
    • Find a comfortable and quiet workspace for yourself at home. The sofa may not be the best place to study!  
    • Take breaks. Make sure your workspace is ergonomic. Get some fresh air. Sleep. Eat well. Stay in touch with your family and friends.
    • Looking for some breaktime exercise ideas? Try the BREAK PRO break exercise app.
    • Studying continuously can get heavy-going, so try alternating between working for 45 minutes and having a break for 15 minutes. Or you could try the Pomodoro technique.
    • When working on assignments, don’t forget to follow the writing guidelines.
    • In Zoom and Teams meetings, it’s good practice to mute your microphone when other people are speaking. You can also use the chat to ask the teacher questions. You may also want to switch your camera on only when you’re speaking yourself, unless the teacher specifically requests that people keep their cameras switched on throughout. Do also take a look at the university Zoom netiquette.
    • Don’t forget that students can also use Teams and Zoom for collaborative studying outside taught sessions and meetings organised by teachers.
    • How about starting a reading group with your classmates to allow you to study together even when you’re studying remotely?
    • Set a time for an online coffee break with your friends and classmates, perhaps once a day, using any app that suits you. This can help you avoid struggling alone with your studies.
    • Don’t be afraid to ask for help – and remember to also check how everyone else is doing.
    • You can find the contact details for study counsellors on the university web pages and on Moodle.
    • For IT support, contact it(at)uwasa.fi.

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