Top Tips from your Education Leader, Ellie Rivera.

First of all, attending the induction week can give you the opportunity to attend guided tours of the facilities led by another Birkbeck student. Here you can make friends at the same time as you get to know the university better. During these workshops you can have some questions answered regarding general issues… but golden rules that would help once the lectures and seminars get started.


One such golden rule that I would insist on the most, is reading the module guides for each one of your modules. Sometimes questions that were on the guides, were asked in seminars and by reading the guides you can get familiar with the course main points and save time for seminars.


Some of the precious information you can find on the module guides are:

  • Module aims
  • Module outcomes
  • Teaching and learning methods
  • Assessment info (including deadlines!)
  • Additional information about reading and how to make the most of the modules.

This will put you ahead of the class immediately and you will know why you are you are completing the set assessments.


Workshops in general may take away fears related to writing essays and information on who to see if you’re struggling such as the Learning Development Tutors and other workshops available.

I would say attending the induction week for me in the past has been very useful when it came to feeling like a student again and hearing about experiences from others that I could relate to, such as being a mature student and knowing that I would not be the only one struggling with different experiences.

The activities led by the SU will also be a good way to get to know your peers and have fun!

There is a book display in the 1st floor in the library where you can look at some study skills books too if you need to refine certain skills such as referencing and the different ways to referencing according to your course. This may be OSCOLA vs Harvard referencing to give an example.

Photos ot the library stall

We know that assessments can be stressful too so within the same book display we have included some wellbeing books which can teach you mindfulness techniques. This is to help you deal with the stress that comes with being a student and having to stick to so many deadlines.



Exam Season

With exam season coming soon here are some effective study skills tips which are essential for success during these stressful times!

  1. Organise Your Study Space: Create a dedicated study area that is free from distractions and well-equipped with all necessary materials such as textbooks, notebooks, and stationery.
  2. Set Clear Goals: Establish specific, achievable goals for each study session. Break down larger tasks into smaller, manageable chunks to stay motivated and focused.
  3. Use Active Learning Techniques: Engage actively with the material by summarising key concepts, teaching the content to yourself or others, and applying what you've learned through practice questions and problem-solving.
  4. Create a Study Schedule: Develop a realistic study schedule that allocates time for each subject or topic. Prioritise challenging subjects and allocate more time to areas where you need extra practice.
  5. Take Regular Breaks: Avoid burnout by taking short breaks during study sessions. Use techniques such as the Pomodoro Technique, which involves studying for 25 minutes followed by a 5-minute break.
  6. Practice Time Management: Learn to manage your time effectively by setting deadlines for tasks, prioritising assignments, and avoiding procrastination. Use tools like planners or digital calendars to stay organised.
  7. Utilise Resources: Take advantage of resources available to you, such as textbooks, lecture notes, online resources, and academic support services offered by your university.
  8. Stay Healthy: Maintain a balanced lifestyle by prioritising sleep, exercise, and nutrition. A healthy body and mind are essential for optimal cognitive function and academic performance.
  9. Review Regularly: Review material regularly to reinforce learning and prevent forgetting. Use techniques like spaced repetition and active recall to strengthen memory retention.
  10. Seek Help When Needed: Don't hesitate to seek help from professors, tutors, or classmates if you're struggling with a particular subject or concept. Asking questions and seeking clarification is a sign of strength, not weakness.

By implementing these study skills and tips, you can enhance your learning experience, boost your academic performance, and achieve success in university exams and assessments.

Furthermore, here is some information on the Pomodoro technique which is based on the idea that short bursts of concentrated work, followed by brief breaks, can help maintain mental freshness and prevent burnout. Here's how it works:

  1. Set a timer for 25 minutes (one "Pomodoro" interval).
  2. Work on a task with full focus until the timer rings.
  3. Take a short break (usually 5 minutes) to rest and recharge.
  4. After completing four Pomodoro intervals, take a longer break (usually 15-30 minutes).

The Pomodoro Technique offers several benefits:

  1. Enhanced Focus: Breaking work into short intervals helps maintain focus and concentration, reducing the likelihood of distractions.
  2. Increased Productivity: By setting specific time limits for tasks, individuals are motivated to work efficiently and make progress.
  3. Reduced Procrastination: The structured nature of the technique encourages individuals to start tasks promptly and work consistently, minimising procrastination tendencies.
  4. Improved Time Management: The Pomodoro Technique encourages individuals to track and manage their time effectively, enabling them to allocate resources efficiently.
  5. Prevention of Burnout: Regular breaks between work intervals allow for mental relaxation and prevent exhaustion, promoting sustained productivity throughout the day.

Overall, the Pomodoro Technique is a simple yet effective strategy for managing time, maintaining focus, and maximising productivity in various academic and professional settings.

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