STUDY SKILLS AND TEST STRATEGY TUTORING
LEARN HOW TO TAME YOUR TEST ANXIETY
Study Skills Support is put in place to facilitate academic skills development and time management for students registered with Disability Services.
The program assists you to improve your academic skills and meet the learning requirements of your Undergraduate degree program. This may include tutoring to assist you organising and accessing information related to your University studies, organising the content of your assignments and general academic and exam taking skills to help you achieve course outcomes when they are impacted by your disability or medical condition.
Disability Advisors will assess a student’s eligibility to receive Study Skills Support on a case by case basis. Due to the nature of student registration with Disability Services, all staff and tutors who are employed in the Study Skills Support program are expected to comply with the legislation and respect the privacy and confidentiality of others.
The Study Skills Support Tutor facilitates students being able to develop and attain the skills necessary to improve their academic work. The Study Skills Support Tutor does not teach the academic course content. Tutors are allocated work according to demand each semester. Disability Services will endeavour to place a student with the same tutor each semester once availability has been indicated, though we cannot guarantee hours or number of allocated students each semester.
The student can receive tutoring for two hours per week with a total of 26 hours per semester unless otherwise agreed with the student’s Disability Advisor.
The Study Skills Support Tutor assists students in the following areas:
- Improving the structure of their written assignments, such as essays and reports.
- Developing arguments in writing.
- Organizing their ideas.
- Improving their knowledge of sentence structure.
- Reading more critically to identify relevant information.
- Assisting student to develop time management skills and organisational skills.
- Assisting students with organizing notes and materials.
- Preparing for examinations and in-class tests.
- Prioritizing study tasks.
Generally, students are matched with a Tutor who specializes in the same course work, further enhancing their academic experiences. Due to limited tutors, this may not always be the case. Depending on the student’s needs, the Study Skills Support Tutor may require knowledge of the academic subject area and/or the School’s requirements, for example:
- Specific assignment formatting
- Use of relevant academic databases
- Readings for a particular course
- Availability of eLearning materials.
step-by-step tips on how to identify and handle study stresses.
Step 1: Come back to reality. Don’t needlessly freak out.
“The first thing to do [when stressed] is pause and reflect on what’s being asked of you,” Richard says.
“That’s probably a step most people miss out, because people assume whatever emotion we feel must be real and genuine, and actually, sometimes, the emotions we feel can be a runaway train.”
Begin by thinking back on what you’ve covered over the school year—or semester—and how you’ve done during previous tasks and assignments.
“You’re reassuring yourself that you have done relevant, meaningful, purposeful work along the way [which] can help alleviate that initial stress,” he says.
Step 2: Talk it out. You might know more than you realize.
“If you want to test yourself in an informal way, you can try and talk through some of the things you’ve learned with parents or friends or people who may not even know what you’re supposed to be doing,” Richard says.
“So, they won’t be judging you in relation to the criteria. You’re just getting a sense of, ‘You know what? I actually have learned something here. I’m saying things now I couldn’t have said three or four months ago.’”
He also recommends creating mock exams with fellow students who do know the subject matter.
“[It’s] an incredibly powerful strategy, to get into the mind of an examiner and think, what would they look for? What’s a reasonable question to ask people that’s not too hard, too easy?”
Step 3: Start doing the work.
You can’t climb Everest “on confidence techniques alone,” Richard says.
“[You] have to have done some of the legwork.”
By that, he means the actual act of studying can help alleviate the stress of studying. Make sense?
“Afterwards, you find, ‘Oh, I actually remembered some of that stuff; it wasn’t just meaningless facts, some of it actually went in’.”
Richard also encourages students to pat themselves on the back when their study is going well.
“[It’s] borderline cruelty to the self [otherwise], because you have done meaningful work; you’re further along than yesterday,” he says.
“That anxiety… can have knock on effects in terms of undermining your sleep [and] just generally making you more tired.”
You may even start to associate negative emotions with revision, and that’s not going to be very helpful.
Step 4: Getting stuff wrong helps you identify knowledge gaps.
“Sometimes you can do a bunch of revision and realize, ‘Right, I’ve got some extra work to do here’
“That’s a meaningful, important discovery, but it can make someone feel bad, so they end up shying away from the next day’s revision.
“No one likes having those things exposed.”
However, that’s why it’s so important to push past the ego-bruising and study through self-doubt.
“Without knowing what’s missing, how do you know where to start building?” he asks.
“That is absolutely the nature of how knowledge is built and constructed… You spend a lot of time groping around, not knowing what it is. And then suddenly something makes sense, and you get a little minor reward.”
Step 5: Stick with it!
“The best of the best, the PhDs and professors, have basically just got the hang of being slightly out of their depth,” Richard laughs.
“Some of the learning takes a while to connect.
“It’s worth putting the effort in and you have to have the faith that the effort will pay off. Even if that weren’t true, you’d still have more fun and more enjoyment and more persistence if you believe that.”
Step 6: If your ‘exam anxiety’ is something deeper, seek more help.
Richard acknowledges some stress might mask a deeper anxiety; for that, you may need to seek additional help.
“If that anxiety or unhappiness or whatever it might be is permeating every aspect of your life—so it’s not just school or sport, it’s everywhere you go and its preventing you from functioning—then we’re in the position where it’s worth seeking help,” he says.
This is especially true for anyone who might want to get an extension or some assistance.
“It’s good to talk to your tutors, but often, I find, they’re restrained in what they can do until you’re actually able to get something concrete from counselling or a medical GP or something,” Richard says.
“That ‘note’ opens up all manner of options, in terms of extensions, in terms of taking you into a different room to do the exam separately; it really depends on the specific nature of your experience and your anxiety, but the best way around it is to seek formal help.”
- Lectures 0
- Quizzes 0
- Duration 3 hours
- Skill level All level
- Language English
- Students 0
- Certificate No
- Assessments Yes