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TProblem Statement: Illustrate your understanding of what is needed to succeed at university and how study techniques can be used to your best advantage. your analysis on three of the study skills discussed in class.
At an institution go higher learning, like at a university, studying using the right techniques is just as important as studying from the right sources. In the following paper, I am going to illustrate what I believe are my strengths in studying and elucidate on areas where I think I can improve, when it comes to studying. With the use of three main study skills, I will elaborate on the three study skills that are pillars to the learning process and putting them into the context of SMART goals, I hope to look into the areas where I can improve.
The Three Study Skills and Their Importance
Although a variety of literature exists on the kind of skills that are employed in the managing of time, the salient points of all the principles can be compiled into three main skills; effective time management, effective reading and writing skills and note making skills. The first of these, time management skills, is considered a skill which works in tandem with planning and organisation. Claessans et al (2007) have defined time management as the achievement of the effective use of time in pursuit of certain goals. Hence, time management is understood primarily in terms of productivity. Time management can be classified in terms of management which are done in short-term tasks or long-term tasks. The writing of a paper for an assessment can be classified as the former and the writing of a doctoral thesis can be classified as the former. The second skill which holds an important place is reading and writing skills. These skills are not what one acquires overnight or through specialised courses, but through gradual schooling and leaning. While the majority do not learn this skill separately, they are a very important role of research and writing skills in one’s higher education years. The presence of knowledge through the reading of texts and facts is important, but if one doesn’t know how to present it in a proper fashion, then factual knowledge doesn’t amount to much. Thirdly, the skills of note-making and writing is relevant. It is related to the physical act of retaining knowledge and is also intimately related to the a student’s organisational skills of taking down and organising. The purpose of writing is to not just serve as a process of recording knowledge, but also as a process of presenting one’s findings in the most coherent form possible. Stephen Bailey (2010) maps out the salient features of taking effective notes and writing in a clear and coherent fashion. According to him, good writing doesn’t only consist of putting down information, but also keeping in mind other things like plagiarism and structure. In terms of my personal skills, I feel I possess all three of them. However, there is a definite scope for improvement in all three. In terms of my confidence with regarding them, ranking them in terms of a scale I would rate my time management skills as 6 out of 10, my reading and writing skills as 8 out of 10 and my note making skills as 8.5 out of 10.
Scope for Improvement
From the above assessment, it is easy to see that the area where I see the most scope for improvement are my time management skills. I believe my confidence level in researching and presenting my research in a coherent fashion. However, sometimes, planning and organising the framework of the final project takes me more time than usual. I feel I could manage my time better in terms of cutting down on certain unnecessary activities by using tools like citation tools, research paper searching tools and doing preliminary reading before I start with the assignment. Additionally, a separate list of journals can be consulted to make referencing easy.
Developing Study Skills Using SMART
SMART is an abbreviation which is expanded as follows; S stands for specific, M for measurement, A for attainable, R for relevant and T for timely. SMART goals are an essential element in development of not just academic goals, but every project with well-defined goals. These goals are used to ensure that the project meets standards while being time and resource-effective. The first aspect is being specific, whereby one can start by thinking about what they want to achieve broadly and then gradually zooming in to denied more specific goals. Measurement should be elucidated before the project begins, to make sure that the person undertaking the project knows which criteria need to be met in order for the project to be considered completed. Attainable goals must be realised, based on the availability of resources and time. The project must be relevant to the broader goals of the individual, so that it doesn’t run the risk of being immaterial to the long-term goal. Finally, it should be within a specific time frame, so that the project doesn’t run late and becomes long-drawn. Considering my own skills in the context of these SMART skills, I feel the biggest scope for improvement in my skills would be in completing a project in a specific time frame. This issue is related to the issue of attainability, as I feel that I need to conduct preliminary research in order to realistically look at the resources available in order to finish my project. That way, if a particular topic or field of research does not have a wide ranging body of literature, I will keep more time aside for the completion of that assignment as searching for sources to finish that assignment will take up more time.
Claessens, B.J., Van Eerde, W., Rutte, C.G. and Roe, R.A., 2007. A review of the time management literature. Personnel review.
Bailey, S., 2017. Academic writing: A handbook for international students. Routledge.
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