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Tips on self-study during lockdown

Posted: April 29 2020

Sajni, Environmental Sciences

With everything happening right now, you are probably more distracted and unmotivated, finding it hard to commit to anything productive.

The fast-approaching end of year exams, not having access to your tutors, study areas and the library can be a big shock to the system. Additionally, having to adapt to a new working environment, doubling up as a lively and study space can be problematic. Hence, I have put together some tips to help you effectively study during isolation.

Get into a routine

Determine when you are the most productive. Are you an early riser, an afternoon person, or a night owl?

Create a study schedule

You can set reminders on your phone or use a wall planner! The study plan can incorporate the topics that need to be covered with an assigned time period according to your understanding of the topic. Do not forget to set specific times for studying and for breaks. When you know you have a break coming up, you will find it easier to focus on your studies. Initially start with periods of 30 minutes to study and a 5-minute break, as you get used to this schedule increase the study times to 45 and then 60 minutes. At the start, this may seem impossible, but ticking off each day and seeing your past progress will act as a motivator to your study!

Take notes

Remember that note-taking does not mean that you copy down every word in the book. It is important to summarise what you study in your own words. Taking notes will help you structure your thoughts when answering questions during an exam. Stick to the main point and do not forget to note the meaning of difficult words and important definitions!

Video lectures

Your lecturer is not the only resource you have in your reach! Utilizing Panopto is akin to attending lectures in a classroom albeit from the comfort of your home!

Online Library

The library has a wide range of online books, articles, and journals available in your specific field of study. Throughout this time the library online resources, inquiry, and support services are still available as normal, with additional library e-resources for remote study.

Study “together”

Just because you are studying in isolation does not mean that you are not able to timetable online study sessions with your colleagues. Additionally, with the summer term already started, your lecturers can be easily contacted via emails and video calls, to clarify any queries you may have.

Mock tests

Assessing your progress is the most important part of studying. Mock tests or online quizzes available online will allow you to evaluate your knowledge in the subject. Ask your parents or siblings to quiz you on topics that you have recently studied.


Self-study requires that you take well-placed breaks, to reduce stress. Taking regular breaks from studying is important to re-energize. Lastly, don't forget to hydrate and eat healthy!