Study Tips: From a Humanities and Social Sciences Student

Muhammad Mohib, a final year Economics and Politics student, has some study tips.

Hi everyone, I’m Mohib, a final-year student at Queen Mary. I am also the Societies Officer and the Course Rep for Economics and Politics.

Revising Tips

What study methods work for you? 

When it comes to studying, everyone has their own unique approach that resonates with their learning style. Over the years, I've experimented with various study techniques to find what works best for me. Through trial and error, I've identified three methods that have proven particularly effective: the Pomodoro Technique, Visualization, and the act of Writing Everything Down. 

One of the most impactful techniques I've adopted is the Pomodoro Technique. This method revolves around studying in short bursts, typically 25 minutes, followed by a brief break. The idea behind this technique is to maintain high levels of focus and concentration during each study session. By breaking my study time into manageable chunks, I've found that I can stay more engaged with the material without feeling overwhelmed or fatigued. These short breaks allow me to recharge, preventing burnout and helping to keep my motivation levels high throughout my study sessions.  

Another method that has significantly enhanced my understanding and retention of information is Visualization. This involves creating diagrams, mind maps, or flowcharts to represent complex concepts and relationships between ideas. Visualizing information in this way helps me to break down and organize the material into more digestible chunks. For instance, when studying a complex process or system, I find it beneficial to draw a flowchart detailing each step or component. This visual representation not only aids in understanding the sequence of events but also reinforces my memory of the information. Additionally, the act of creating these visual aids engages different cognitive processes, making it easier for me to recall the information when needed. 

Lastly, while it might seem a bit old-fashioned, Writing Everything Down with a pen and paper has been an incredibly effective study method for me. There's something about the act of physically writing that helps me to internalize and memorize information more effectively than typing on a computer or tablet. When I write by hand, I'm forced to slow down and think more critically about the material. This deliberate pace allows me to process the information more deeply and make connections between different concepts. Furthermore, the act of writing engages both my motor skills and cognitive functions, creating a more holistic learning experience. 

What would you recommend avoiding? 

Honestly, the first thing I’ll recommend avoiding is not making yourself a schedule. Trust me, it really helps. Putting everything down in the calendar really helps keep track of everything and keeps you in control. Plus, I think it helps me stress less! 

Secondly, I’ll also recommend avoiding staying up late. I know there’s a lot to do, but in my experience, pushing yourself beyond the limit is never healthy. It’s important you take care of your mental and physical health.  

Any recommendations on study locations? 

Oh my god, so many! Let’s start on campus; The Canal Side Study rooms used to be my go-to place but they are a bit crowded now, they are still a really good spot. The 7th floor of the graduate centre has got the best views and honestly, the best study spot on campus.  

The Teaching Collection in the library is also one my favourites, it’s usually really quiet in there, and its right next to the vending machines.  

Oh yes, the Student Union Hub. Somehow, I tend to get a lot of work done on the comfy couches in The Hub and would highly recommend it. 

Outside Campus, my go-to spot is the Ragged Café on the canal. It’s so calm and peaceful in there! 

Student Wellbeing

What do you like to do to relax?

I read, sometimes more than I should during exam periods but it helps me relax. Plus, I play cricket every weekend (unless its raining) which is really relaxing!  

Any recommendations on locations/activities on campus to help destress?

Ummm, I’d say get involved in the Get Active campaigns on campus. They have weekly sports activities you can drop-in to, that can help destress. Plus, a nice hot latte sitting by the beautiful canal is always a great option to destress and relax! 

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I think the most important thing I’ve learned is to never be afraid to ask for help especially if you're struggling with a particular subject or topic. Whether it's asking a teacher or professor for clarification, joining a study group, or seeking tutoring, there are plenty of resources available to support your learning and you should never be hesitant! 

 

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