Gone are the days when all nighters and last minute cram sessions helped save the day – and your grade – in your undergrad classes. As a graduate student, even the best undergrad study strategies require a makeover for your post graduate work. No matter what degree you’re pursuing, from astrophysics to a human services masters degree to zoology and beyond, these tips will help you make the transition from bachelor to master.
- Take good notes.You will most likely be spending a lot of time listening to lectures. Make that time worthwhile by getting as much as you can out of the presentation. How? Whether it’s in notebooks with pen and paper or on a notebook computer, take notes by using short sentences including keywords relating to the lecture topic. Organize these sentences with subtopic headings.
- You don’t have to copy down the lecture verbatim but you do need to make sure you’ve got all the main points. If you happen to miss something important, leave a blank and ask a classmate or the instructor for the material you need.
- Read like a pro. There’s a technique scholars use to get the most out of the time they spend reading – which at the graduate level is quite a bit. This technique is called SQ3R and stands for Survey, Question, Read, Recite, Review. Survey the material to get a general idea of the information by looking at topic headings, reading the introduction and summary, and skimming each section. Question by taking the headings and turning them into questions. Ask yourself what it is you need to learn from the material. Read the material through with the Survey and Questions in mind. Recite with your own words what the material was about and answers to the Questions you came up with. Review by looking over your questions again and writing a summary of the chapter.
- Change your point of view. A key point to remember as a grad student is that you’re going for depth rather than breadth in your chosen subject. Your emphasis will be on analysis of material rather than straight memorization. You will use that analysis to write papers and support a particular point of view of supposition.
What may have worked for a bachelors in organizational leadership won’t be enough for graduate level work. Keeping these tips in mind, you’ll have a whole new perspective on your studies.