Studying Ahead for Uni (1 Viewer)

sab13562

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Hey there! With uni coming up next year, I have a few questions:

1. Would it be wise to get the textbooks for my subjects now and start taking notes during this break?
2. When should I start taking notes, now or mid January since uni starts early march?
3. Should I have two books for each subject, that is, one for textbook summary/notes and one for notes taken during lectures/class?
4. Do unis heavily rely on textbooks for study/revision or more on in class notes?
5. How ahead should I be in my content before starting uni?

Any response to any of these questions would be greatly appreciated.
 

icycledough

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1 and 2: Definitely no need to start prepping for university now. There's a reason why this is a summer holiday; make sure to use it wisely. Go out with family and friends (where possible), save time for yourself with hobbies, part time work, etc. You won't have access to lecture slides or notes anyway, so you won't be putting yourself at any advantage. This last year has already been stressful enough, so I'm sure you want to take the break you thoroughly deserve. Just start taking notes when the first semester officially starts.

3) Depending on what course you do, I took notes on my laptop for content-heavy subjects, and then for my maths subjects, I would use a notebook. But as lectures look likely to happen online (with the new Covid variant around), you honestly only require the lecture slides provided + some additional information from online. I would have one with condensed notes (and maybe one for practice questions if needed), but probably not necessary.

4) With my course, most of the content I needed was from lecture slides (I didn't need to use textbooks that much apart from exam style questions and bits of extra information here and there), but you will find out what works for you as you get accustomed to university.

5) As mentioned first, no need to start anything on university now

Hope this helps 👍
 

sab13562

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1 and 2: Definitely no need to start prepping for university now. There's a reason why this is a summer holiday; make sure to use it wisely. Go out with family and friends (where possible), save time for yourself with hobbies, part time work, etc. You won't have access to lecture slides or notes anyway, so you won't be putting yourself at any advantage. This last year has already been stressful enough, so I'm sure you want to take the break you thoroughly deserve. Just start taking notes when the first semester officially starts.

3) Depending on what course you do, I took notes on my laptop for content-heavy subjects, and then for my maths subjects, I would use a notebook. But as lectures look likely to happen online (with the new Covid variant around), you honestly only require the lecture slides provided + some additional information from online. I would have one with condensed notes (and maybe one for practice questions if needed), but probably not necessary.

4) With my course, most of the content I needed was from lecture slides (I didn't need to use textbooks that much apart from exam style questions and bits of extra information here and there), but you will find out what works for you as you get accustomed to university.

5) As mentioned first, no need to start anything on university now

Hope this helps 👍
I didn't know you could access lecture slides, that's great! Thanks a lot for your reply, super helpful 🙂🙂
 

jimmysmith560

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What degree do you intend to study? Answers may vary slightly depending on what you wish to study. Generally speaking, I believe the following would apply:

1. If you already know which textbooks are required for the units that you are taking, it wouldn't be a bad idea to buy them early on. Regarding whether you should start making notes for your units early on, perhaps it would not be a good idea to start as early as now particularly because it has not been long since you completed your HSC and you should instead be enjoying your break. If you wish to start making notes before university starts, then perhaps you should consider doing so closer to the end of your break.

2. Similar to what I mentioned above, it has not been long since you completed your HSC and you should perhaps forget study-related matters for a while and enjoy your break. Even mid-January may be too early to start making notes. I usually start exploring lecture material and relevant textbook material (where applicable) one week prior to the start of the semester.

3. It is probably not a bad idea to have more than one book dedicated to textbook-based notes and notes taken during lectures/other classes. With that being said, it is important to consider that university will constitute a substantial increase in terms of content. Because of this, you may wish to consider relying on typed notes either alongside or instead of written notes. Of course, the specific degree matters in this regard. As mentioned above, it would be better to make digital notes for content-heavy subjects and handwritten notes for mathematics/science-related units.

4. This depends on the specific unit that you are taking. In my first year, I took a compulsory core finance/economics unit in my first semester and a statistics unit in my second semester. While both units had textbooks, lecture material and my own notes were largely sufficient and, in addition to consistent revision, allowed me to achieve a distinction in the former and a high distinction in the latter. In the case of other units I took, textbooks were very important, meaning that solely using lecture material was an ineffective method of studying and would not yield favourable results.

5. As mentioned, you should prioritise your break and have a good time. Remember that you're a 2021 HSC graduate - a cohort that experienced a lot of difficulties this year. You deserve an enjoyable break! However, if starting a bit early to be ahead would make you a bit more confident comfortable, perhaps you could consider starting a week early, or 2 weeks early as a maximum.

I hope this helps! :D
 

jazz519

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No need to prepare beforehand. Relax and enjoy the break. Once uni starts you won't have this kind of break again because you will be trying to balance studying with finding a job / internship at some point

Don't buy the textbooks before uni classes. Often these are written in the course outline but may not be actually needed as a lot of courses sometimes all the content is in the lecture notes. Sometimes also you get given the textbook for free through the uni database. Throughout my whole degree probably only used the textbook for like 2 subjects and I got high distinction in every course I did during the degree (so it's not needed even if you are aiming for a high mark). If it's actually necessary for you to buy the lecturer will tell you during the first week
 

icycledough

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I didn't know you could access lecture slides, that's great! Thanks a lot for your reply, super helpful 🙂🙂
No worries ... again, that will depend on the course you do. Our lecturers gave us lecture slides for us to access, but that may not be the case for every course.
 

dasfas

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Hey there! With uni coming up next year, I have a few questions:

1. Would it be wise to get the textbooks for my subjects now and start taking notes during this break?
2. When should I start taking notes, now or mid January since uni starts early march?
3. Should I have two books for each subject, that is, one for textbook summary/notes and one for notes taken during lectures/class?
4. Do unis heavily rely on textbooks for study/revision or more on in class notes?
5. How ahead should I be in my content before starting uni?

Any response to any of these questions would be greatly appreciated.
No use. I tried this too and it didn't help whatsoever. What is important is that you maintain consistent effort during the semester, not that you did some prep during the holidays.

1. Get your textbooks when the semester starts (don't forget you can get second hand or an online pdf version). While courses have a prescribed textbook, most never use it or make reference to it. I just get them for supplementary material, but you sometimes I'm so busy I don't even have the time to go through them all semester. So yeah, wait and see if the textbook is required/you will actually be proactive about using it to revise. You should have a quick flick to see what you're going to be learning, but I wouldn't really go through the textbook unless you know for a fact the course you'll be doing is really really hard and moves very quickly.

2. Take notes during the semester. So march.

3. You're overthinking it, just do what works for you. Personally I don't take physical notes, but if you want to, then by all means go for it.

4. Depends on the unit. My mechanics unit used the textbook for tutorial questions and the lecture slides for content. This is typical of a lot of units.

5. Chill, enjoy your holidays. Uni is hard so make the most of your time off. Above all you want to be in a good headspace before you start.
 

sab13562

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Thank you to everyone that has replied. All your tips have been very insightful and helpful. Will definitely be following all of your advices. 🙂
 

jazz519

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is uni better than the HSC?
In what respect specifically?

In terms of difficulty it's harder because you have to be self directed and there isn't as much help

Regarding workload this is dependent on the person. Factors such as the degree, your academic goals, are you working a job and travel time affect this. In general it is more busy than high school because you need to balance many things while HSC is just about doing one thing (studying).

Personally for me it was very tough compared to high school because I tried to do too many things at once. I was trying to top in my subjects, which required lots of work and dedication, doing a job and also trying to gain research experience through my own initiative in approaching supervisors and asking them if I could work on any projects. I also had a very long travel time of 1.5-2 hours each way going there and coming back.

Those factors together combined to make it very demanding and for sure had impacts on my health in terms of sleeping got messed up and it's taking me a long time now to try fix that.

However, this is just my own personal experience. If you aren't trying to aim that high then you can balance the time better and enjoy uni more. I had to do those things because I planned on doing a PhD after that undergraduate degree and so my marks were very important for getting entry, as opposed to someone just wanting to graduate from the degree and then go into the workforce where decent marks and good experience is what's required.
 

dasfas

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In what respect specifically?

In terms of difficulty it's harder because you have to be self directed and there isn't as much help

Regarding workload this is dependent on the person. Factors such as the degree, your academic goals, are you working a job and travel time affect this. In general it is more busy than high school because you need to balance many things while HSC is just about doing one thing (studying).

Personally for me it was very tough compared to high school because I tried to do too many things at once. I was trying to top in my subjects, which required lots of work and dedication, doing a job and also trying to gain research experience through my own initiative in approaching supervisors and asking them if I could work on any projects. I also had a very long travel time of 1.5-2 hours each way going there and coming back.

Those factors together combined to make it very demanding and for sure had impacts on my health in terms of sleeping got messed up and it's taking me a long time now to try fix that.

However, this is just my own personal experience. If you aren't trying to aim that high then you can balance the time better and enjoy uni more. I had to do those things because I planned on doing a PhD after that undergraduate degree and so my marks were very important for getting entry, as opposed to someone just wanting to graduate from the degree and then go into the workforce where decent marks and good experience is what's required.
Yeah, 100% agree. To OP, uni is not better/worse, just different. Workload wise, it also depends. You can either coast and end up passing your degree, or try very hard, get HDs in everything, internships every summer, involved in societies etc.. The latter would have a much higher workload than high school.

In uni, you can always challenge yourself to the limit of your ability. However, there's nothing wrong with wanting to stay in your comfort zone. It's all up to you, you're beginning to enter the real world now. You're the one in charge.
 

nzexperiment

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Yeah, 100% agree. To OP, uni is not better/worse, just different. Workload wise, it also depends. You can either coast and end up passing your degree, or try very hard, get HDs in everything, internships every summer, involved in societies etc.. The latter would have a much higher workload than high school.

In uni, you can always challenge yourself to the limit of your ability. However, there's nothing wrong with wanting to stay in your comfort zone. It's all up to you, you're beginning to enter the real world now. You're the one in charge.
so unlike highschool, if you arent getting 90s ur not screwed
 

BLIT2014

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1. Would it be wise to get the textbooks for my subjects now and start taking notes during this break?
No, enjoy your break (plus textbooks may change).
2. When should I start taking notes, now or mid January since uni starts early march?
Once University has commenced.

3. Should I have two books for each subject, that is, one for textbook summary/notes and one for notes taken during lectures/class?
I use to just print the lecture slides and scribble on them for my in-class notes for the majority of my subjects, and then do practice questions/tests in the form of notes. Some subjects it may be benefit to supplement using textbooks, so keep seperate notes from your tutorial/lecture slides.

4. Do unis heavily rely on textbooks for study/revision or more on in class notes?
Similar to school, it depends.
For example, one of my law subjects it was like 3-4 different textbooks, tutorial notes, then lectures with respect to depth.

5. How ahead should I be in my content before starting uni?
Do not start, you deserve a break.
 

jazz519

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If you're getting 90s in every unit, you're in the top 1% of your degree.
Yeah can confirm 90+ is usually first in a lot of subjects 2nd Year onwards. Sometimes it's lower like in my 3rd year Analytical chemistry course I got an 88 which was the highest mark. A thing to understand for future uni students, uni marks are often raw marks and there isn't the same type of aligning / scaling you see in HSC, where a band 6 might actually be getting a 80/100. In uni if you get a 90 that is a mark without any adjustment to it most of the time

So if you are getting 90 in HSC it's not the same as a 90 in uni
 
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nzexperiment

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1. Would it be wise to get the textbooks for my subjects now and start taking notes during this break?
No, enjoy your break (plus textbooks may change).
2. When should I start taking notes, now or mid January since uni starts early march?
Once University has commenced.

3. Should I have two books for each subject, that is, one for textbook summary/notes and one for notes taken during lectures/class?
I use to just print the lecture slides and scribble on them for my in-class notes for the majority of my subjects, and then do practice questions/tests in the form of notes. Some subjects it may be benefit to supplement using textbooks, so keep seperate notes from your tutorial/lecture slides.

4. Do unis heavily rely on textbooks for study/revision or more on in class notes?
Similar to school, it depends.
For example, one of my law subjects it was like 3-4 different textbooks, tutorial notes, then lectures with respect to depth.

5. How ahead should I be in my content before starting uni?
Do not start, you deserve a break.
what did you study?
 

uniqueusername1

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Hey there! With uni coming up next year, I have a few questions:

1. Would it be wise to get the textbooks for my subjects now and start taking notes during this break?
2. When should I start taking notes, now or mid January since uni starts early march?
3. Should I have two books for each subject, that is, one for textbook summary/notes and one for notes taken during lectures/class?
4. Do unis heavily rely on textbooks for study/revision or more on in class notes?
5. How ahead should I be in my content before starting uni?

Any response to any of these questions would be greatly appreciated.
na bro we're not doing this
it hasn't even been 3 weeks since the last HSC exam
how could such questions emerge?
please just enjoy the holidays its just started
if you feel bored just go to luna park or something
but na na na we're not doing this again
 

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