About this study guide

This guide is designed to help students take charge of their learning, particularly at the beginning of their tertiary journey. Students inevitably discover pathways to success as they work through a degree, however this guide will give you the strategies you need in an organised framework that will smooth your transition to university study or ease your journey if you are already a tertiary student. As such it will be a useful companion for you to consult, refresh and consolidate your learning approach when new challenges and questions arise.

How to use this guide

Most sections include a concept map which outlines the main ideas in the section working from the centre outwards. The topic of the section is at the centre of the map and the ideas around this are the important points. Use the maps to give you an overview of each section. This will help you to organise the information for better understanding as you read. When you have finished reading, go back to the map to consolidate what you have read. Concept mapping is a central strategy suggested in this guide.

Some paragraphs have words in bold: hover over these for additional information and descriptions. At the end of each section, there are points for reflection. Try writing down your thoughts so that you can trace your progress and learning as you read the book. Later, you can look back over your reflections and consider how your ideas have developed. It will also be useful to use these reflections to develop a study approach that suits you.

The central ideas in this guide are about becoming a strategic learner, primarily by organising your time and organising information. Thus time management and concept mapping are the key sections in the guide and they underpin many of the ideas in the remaining sections.

Who should use this guide

Study Strategically has something for every student, no matter where you are in your course of study.

        If you are new to tertiary study and are unsure of what is required of you, this guide will be an invaluable resource for you.
        If you have been studying at a tertiary level for a while but still find the demands of study to be daunting, or think you might need a refresher, this guide will help you get on the right track.
        If you are attending a tertiary college or institute, this guide is still equally applicable and helpful for you.
        If you are an overseas student trying to understand how tertiary study works in Australia, this guide will help you make sense of the system.
        If you are teaching students and want to help them to study effectively, this guide will aid you by making explicit some of the strategies that you most likely use implicitly.

About the author

Marian Butler has been teaching for over thirty years, helping students at both secondary and tertiary levels succeed with their studies. Her extensive experience in learning and academic guidance is focused in her current role as a Learning Advisor at the University of Queensland, where she implements the strategic studying skills outlined in this guide with students on a daily basis, both in one-on-one consultations and teaching workshops on a wide variety of subjects. Marian’s passion is to help students realise their full academic potential by using her years of experience and wealth of knowledge to make study skills clear and accessible for everyone. This passion has ultimately led to the creation and dissemination of this guide.