Student Takeaways from the Goal Setting and Study Smarter UniSkills Webinars

And how to book onto the next ones!

You may have spotted sessions on Goal Setting and how to Study Smarter in our exciting Ready, Set, Revise! schedule. Given they were so well received during their pilot (as part of New Year, New UniSkills), we wanted to give you another chance to join in and reap the benefits in preparation for your upcoming exams and assessments. 

To inspire you to book your place we asked Academic Skills Advisor, Maisie, to give us a sneak peek into what the session will cover, along with some useful pointers to keep your study motivation in check.  

We, your Student Advisors, have also shared our notes and ‘takeaways’ from attending the sessions back in January. And of course, they are as colourful and brimming with content as you’d expect! 

First up was the Goal Setting webinar… 

“The aim of this webinar is to give a refreshing take on how we can plan for academic achievement. It goes beyond SMART goals, which you may have already come across, by introducing interesting concepts such as PACT goals, habit stacking and the 4 burners theory. There is also a demonstration of the tools you can use to help visualise and track your goals. Specifically, this session looks at Pinterest and Trello, but – as the attendees brainstormed – there are many more! 

Maisie, Academic Skills Advisor

When it comes to Goal Setting, we advise: 

  • Deciding what’s important for you, your goals might not be the same as others on your course and that’s ok. 
  • Reviewing your goals regularly to check their still relevant to you. You can even set a 3-monthly reminder in your phone. 
  • Sharing your study goals to help hold yourself accountable. 

Here’s what Student Advisor Charlotte took away from this session… 

The Goal Setting webinar gave me new ways to plan what I wanted to achieve in my second semester, including new techniques I had never heard about before. I will continue to use these when I advance from my undergraduate to postgraduate studies! 

I really enjoyed looking at how to visualise my goals and after the webinar I created my own study Pinterest board. Whenever I am lacking motivation to complete my goals, I go to my Pinterest board and remember what I am trying to achieve in the long run. The great thing with visualising your goals is you can tailor this to your own goals, so mine is filled with loads of images relating to teaching but yours will be completely based around your own goals! The webinar also introduced other online resources such as Trello. I have utilised this as a virtual ‘To Do’ list, to keep on top of where I am with my goals, what I have already achieved and what I need to start! 

One of my key takeaways from the session was learning about PACT goals, which was a new concept I had not been aware of before. Checking in and updating my PACT goals have now become part of my regular routine and are really helpful to keep on top of what I want to achieve, not only with my University assessments but also for my personal goals! The webinar also covered SMART goals, Habit Stacking and Choice Architecture, so there are a number of interesting ways you can start to set your study goals ahead of the upcoming assessment period! 

Example of a goal setting mood board by Student Advisor, Charlotte.
Example of goal setting mood board created by Student Advisor, Charlotte

Next came the Study Smarter webinar… 

“In this webinar we cover why waiting for motivation can hinder your academic progress, looking instead at how you can align your environment and routines to make ‘showing up to study’ that little bit easier. It also explores different note-taking and revision strategies, and the research behind why some of the most popular are surprisingly not as effective as you might think!” 

Academic Skills Advisor, Maisie

When it comes to studying smarter, we advise:  

  • Cultivating self-discipline instead of waiting for motivation. 
  • Identifying and tackling your most important task (MIT) first. 
  • Exploring different productivity apps such as Trello or Evernote. 

Here’s what Student Advisor Lauren took away from this session… 

The Study Smater webinar was chock full of tips and techniques to make revising and finishing work much easier. An Academic Skills Advisor walked us through all of these and taught us how they work so we can apply them to our own work. Some of the things taught at the webinar included: the flow method, the Cornell method and the outline method. There were tips on how to help beat procrastination, as well as advice on apps and technology that can keep us organised; such as Trello and Evernote

My favourite techniques were the Pomodoro technique and ‘eat the frog.’ The Pomodoro technique has you working in short bursts of twenty-five minutes with five minute breaks in-between, with a long break after four repetitions. This one works really well for me because I have a tendency to get distracted whilst working, so studying in small chunks helps me stay focused. As for eating frogs, I don’t mean it literally. It’s based on the idea that if you have to eat a frog, you should do it first thing in the morning. If you have to eat two frogs, you should eat the biggest first. When applied to uni work, it means doing the hardest task first. By consistently doing the hardest thing first, you can get it out of the way and feel a lot more productive. 

It has been revolutionary to learn these two techniques and change my approach to my assignments. I mix them both up, so I’ll work with a pomodoro timer (you can find these easily online) and make sure I’m doing the hardest things first. 

As for more general revision, the webinar taught me some great strategies for that too. Personally, I liked the Cornell method best. You divide your page into cues, notes and summaries, then fill it in as your lecture progresses. My notes were always extremely messy and if I didn’t type them up immediately, I’d have no idea what they meant, but now they’re much more coherent. We also covered mind mapping techniques, which you can see reflected in the mind map I made below. 

Example of a mind-map from Student Advisor Lauren.
Example of a mind-map created by Student Advisor, Lauren

So, when can YOU attend our next webinars?

We are running these sessions again as part of our Ready, Set, Revise campaign (19th-30th April). Make a note in your diary and book your place today:

Ready Set Revise: Study Smarter for Exams

20th April 11am-12pm

Ready Set Revise: Goal Setting for Exam Motivation 

29th April 2pm-3pm

We look forward to inspiring your study goals for the term ahead and helping you to study smarter in preparation for your upcoming exams!

Happy revising from all of your Student Advisors and the UniSkills team 😊