menu

Managing your time at university

As a university student you’ll have to be self-motivated and able to manage your time effectively. Read on to find out how your time at university might be spent and some top tips to help keep you on track...

Private study
At university, you're in charge of your time outside lectures. Whilst a personal tutor may be available it’s generally up to you to get motivated and direct your own learning.

You may not have as many essays as students on other courses, so there is no pressure to do private study but be disciplined as it will pay off!
  • Don't be afraid to ask your personal tutor for help or advice on how much time you should spend in private study.
  • Depending on which course you study, your timetable might change regularly. If that is the case look at what you've got to attend at the start of the week and plan your private study around that.
  • Try and get into a routine of writing up and reading your lecture notes straight away, rather than filing them away until the end of year exams. This way, you learn more as you go and won't be as panicked when you get to the exams!
Assessment and revision
It’s very important that you allow enough time to prepare for approaching exams and revision. The private study tips above will help you with this but there are also a few other things you might find useful.
  • See if you can look at previous exam papers so you can practice.
  • Try out different revision styles to see what suits you – group revision can break the boredom, flash cards and post-it notes could help you remember the key points. Your style may be different to what you did at school.
  • You won't be able to make as many notes as you did at school – there is so much content, it's best to annotate lecture notes.
  • Don't leave essays until the last minute!
  • Use the search function on this site to discover many more revision tips and tricks.
Your timetable
Your timetable may often change from week to week and term to term. Remember that you will be expected to do a certain number of hours doing private study alongside contact hours at university.

These contact hours will likely be split into different types of teaching; lectures, seminars / tutorials (smaller groups than lectures), practical sessions / work experience.

The actual amount of contact hours you will have at university will depend on your course. Some arts, humanities and social science subjects (and Masters) will have fewer lessons but will require you to do more study at home (reading set texts or writing essays).
Related Articles
  • Dealing with exam stress

    Worrying about exams is quite normal. However, if you tend to worry so much that it begins to affect your performance you may be worried about doing less well than you deserve. Reduce the panic and become better at exams with these easy to follow tips...

  • How to use practice exam papers

    Practice exams papers are a vital part of your revision toolkit. Find out how to get the most out of them...

  • Different types of exam

    Knowing the type of test you’re going to be taking can be as important as knowing the answers. You will need to revise in different ways depending on the type of exam, so ask your tutors about the nature of the exam and what you can do to prepare well in advance...